311 Fan Spotlight – 2/12/18 – Michael Frye!

Back again my friends in 311 nation for another week and another fan spotlight! Take a moment to meet Mr. Michael Frye!

Michael was just a regular fan of 311’s hits from the 90’s until he met his now wife Tonya, who was a HUGE fan. He said it was a slow progression of his appreciation for their music and live performances. “But now I’m all in. So many songs have such positive and deep meanings for me.”

Show count is at 25 for him which includes four 311 Day events and one cruise. “My first show was in 2003 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, Virginia.” Of those 25 he said that the 2017 cruise takes the cake for favorite event so far, with 311 Day 2008 coming in as a close second. “Hearing ‘Too Late’ for the first time on last years cruise, what an epic moment out on the ocean. Its not too often that the first time you hear a song it blows you away. Every time I hear it live now it takes me back to that moment with Tonya and our friends Dave and Brooke.”

“Creatures (For A While)” is a song that Michael absolutely loves and he doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of hearing Nick say, “Let’s just be creatures for a while” live in concert. Song that is most meaningful for him though is “Beyond the Grey Sky” and he can directly relate to the lyrics. “It hits home. Nick put words to emotions and thoughts in a way I never could. When they play it live its bittersweet for me, its always an emotional experience and sometimes I don’t wanna feel that way and somewhat hope it doesn’t get played.” Lyrics that he says continue to describe his life are, “It’s been a wild ride, I wouldn’t change a minute.”

Maryland is where Michael grew up and he joined the Marine Corps at the age of 18. He spent 22 years in the Marines and retired in 2011 after serving in Desert Storm and in Iraq from 2004-2005. North Carolina, California, and Japan are some of the places he’s called home. “I traveled all over the world during that time, and saw some amazing places, Australia, Hawaii, Singapore, Hong Kong are on the top of my list.” Michael has a total of 6 kids and his two oldest daughters have given he and Tonya 3 grandchildren so far. “Yup, 311 has grandparents as fans.”

Posters have become something Michael and Tonya have started to collect and they have at least one poster in every room of the house. “We didn’t always collect but the artwork and memories are amazing, its hard to imagine not having them now.” The love he has for 311 has also brought him something he never really thought it would. “Sometimes its hard to believe the friends and relationships I’ve built because of this band. I have met some amazing people through this community, and hope to continue to do so.”

Something you may not know about Michael is that he leads a sober life and is part of a group for fellow 311 fans like him. He said many people are surprised that a 311 fan can be sober which is why they have the group. “It’s a Facebook group, 311 Sobrodels, and we are just a group of sober fans or fans that want to support those of us that choose to be sober, we don’t push any agenda we are just there for anyone that wants some support from like minded excitables.” –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesober311community/

Something Michael has a talent for is solving Rubik’s cube puzzles. “I know that sounds strange but I’ve been doing it since I was a kid in the 80’s. I have dozens of different size cubes and similar puzzles lying around.” Guilty pleasure for him is 80’s hair bands. “I love that stuff I did back then and I still do now. I have a playlist for when I’m alone in the car and feel the need to rock out to a power ballad. Lol.” Aside from that, Michael also loves artists like Dropkick Murphys, RDGLDGRN, Stone Sour, Ballyhoo, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Guns n Roses, Led Zeppelin,  and BB King. “I am literally all over the place and really depends on my mood.”

To 311 Michael would like to say, “Just keep writing songs that mean something and I’m sure we will all still be here listening.”

To all the fellow 311 fans his message is this:

We are what makes this community great and I hope to meet even more of all the amazing fans out there.”

————–

That was the story of Michael Frye! Thank you Michael for being part of the fan spotlight and sharing your story. As usual, thanks to all the readers! This community is such a wonderful entity to be a part of. Stay awesome my friends!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/29/17 – Nathan Ross!

We are back again my excitable friends, new week, new 311 fan spotlight! This week we meet and greet Nathan Ross!

Nathan can remember the first time that he heard Chad’s OC snare hit on “Evolution.” He was instantly addicted to their eclectic reggae/rock/hip-hop style. “Growing up in high school, I was an avid fan of the hip-hop/rock blend and was easily drawn to it, but I never knew how much the lyrics related to me until I dove into the lyrics of Soundsystem and From Chaos. I instantly knew 311 was the outlet I needed in my life.”

Nathan said for all bands and performers he has seen, he’s probably attended around 200 different shows from small local places to stadiums. His first 311 show wasn’t until 2005. Favorite 311 show/event so far was the 2015 cruise to Jamaica for a variety of reasons. “The idea that I had no responsibilities of getting a ride home was very nice, and I met most of the people from the community on that vacation.  Runner up was the 2010 Vegas 311 Day.”

Nathan said there is no way to pick just one song that means the most to him because there are many that have helped him through hard times. Currently “Made in the Shade” means the most to him and “Strong All Along” is a close second because of his insecurities getting out of high school. “The track literally made me break out of my shell and ‘flaunt my personality’ with no fear of being judged.” As far as favorite lyrics, again, it’s hard to choose just one. However a few that describe him are, “The kid is smart, the kid is clever,” “I am a cool and mellow man, Always got a plan. Copin’ out problems every time I can,” and the entire hook of “You Wouldn’t Believe.” He also loves, “I’ve one conclusion, it’s not illusion. But it’s creativity.”

In a middle class family in Santa Rosa, California is where Nathan was born, raised, and has lived his entire life. “I grew up with the biggest imagination and, at a young age of 5 or 6, had a passion for writing stories and drawing.  I loved computer games and only played those until I got my first Game Boy (the original brick).  I also played a lot of sports, but soccer was by far my favorite.  Between playing video games, a summer soccer league, hiking, swimming, and drawing Nickelodeon characters, that’s what most of my summers consisted of.”

Nathan said to fund his 311 habit, he simply keeps a category of things he “wants” and things he “needs.” “I am one of those fans who would rather spend my money at their shows and expensive events than buying all their merch.  I am definitely a fan of inside joke related items where only true 311 fans will get the references.”

Besides his love for 311, Nathan is also passionate about sound design and scoring for film and video games. “I am currently working on voice acting, map music, and ALL of the sound effects for an upcoming app game.  My dream would to work for Nintendo full time, but I am excited for any job!” He was also in a rock/reggae/funk/blues band called Propensity as the front man for about 2-3 years and is now currently an experimental hip hop artist working on a new album. As if that doesn’t keep him busy, he also is planning a YouTube channel for sound design tutorials and motivational speeches.

Something cool Nathan used to do was enter juggling contests! He even won first place at one. “Though rusty, I can still juggle and do special tricks too. I also used the devil stick.” Guilty pleasure? Nathan said he is a “crazy cat lady.” “Would love to own a handful in my own place someday.  I also thoroughly enjoy playing Pokemon Go when I have the time.”

When not enjoying the sounds of 311, Nathan can be found listening to everything from metal and progressive rock to hip-hop, dub-step, electronica, and much more. Some of his other favorite artists include Tool, Dream Theater, Rush, Rancid, Run The Jewels, System of A Down, and P.O.D.

Nathan’s message to 311 is this – “Dear 311, it goes without saying that you have changed many lives through you lyrics and community that you’ve built.  Music is so powerful and with the right intention, you can change people’s lives for the better.  You are the band that has helped me through depression, anxiety, and finding my ‘place’ in this world.  You guys have shown me that bands are not all stuck-up egomaniacs that think they are better than everyone else.  You are genuine, REAL dudes with gratitude to the community.  You have showed me that it’s okay to be unique and openminded.  That it’s not a weakness, but a strength.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

To all the other 311 fans worldwide:

“I know that we all have our own opinions on things, and our own reasons for those opinions, but what makes this a great community is our own understanding of ‘agreeing to disagree’.  To share our side while understanding another’s.  My request is that we all hold onto that mindset for the many years to come, and to always remember that, if the intention is good, we have all the reason to ‘reevaluate our personal style’.  We all grow from one-another and in these volatile times, we need more than ever to spread love and be openminded.  Much love from Northern Cali!””

—–

There you have the story of Nathan Ross! Another fan spotlight is in the books and as always I thank you all for your continued support in this venture. Until we meet again my friends, “Stay positive and love your life.”

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/15/18 – David Goldenberg!

Good day to you all out there in the excitable 311 nation! Welcome again to the next fan spotlight. Let us not waste anymore time – here is the story of David Goldenberg!

What drew David to the sounds of 311? Well it was the blue album of course! “I remember sitting home watching MTV (when it was all about the music) and on comes Down. The beat drew me in and SA’s rapping. Didn’t have a clue what he was saying, still don’t sometimes, but I just knew that I loved it. I immediately went out and bought the cassette and didn’t take it out for months. I was 14 at the time and never really had that band that got me excited quite like how this album hit me.”

Show count is at 36 for David and he’s seen the band in 10 different states. Very first show for him was October 6, 2001 at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey. “There was a small window where I stopped listening to 311 and was a big fan of rap music instead. A girl in my dorm asked if I wanted to go see 311 and I immediately said YES. The show blew my mind and brought me right back into being a huge fan. The night started with Omaha Stylee, got some you Got Worked in the setlist and ended with Fuck the Bullshit. What an amazing night and show.”

Asked what was David’s favorite event, the medal goes to Pow Wow. “I have attended 4 311 Days and zero Cruises. The 311 Days have all been a freaking blast, but the one event that will always stand out was the 2011 311 Pow Wow. If I could have a Groundhog Day type of experience in life, that Saturday show would be it. The Transistor set, OMG, what a magical moment. From the time that the Transistor intro hit until the end, I was just in awe. My favorite album being played live from beginning to end just gave me goosebumps. It made sitting through the entire Universal Pulse album earlier well worth it. The whole weekend was amazing too. From being picked up at the airport by Charleen and Curtis Elliot, to causing a ruckus with Sean Campbell and Gabe Guerra in our RV for the weekend. RIP first golf cart that we had. The tea colored water of the lake and all the other amazing bands that played that weekend. The Deftones REALLY kicked that weekend of right.”

Song that means the most to David is “Strong All Along.” He said it ties him to his mother in a very positive way. “My mother developed cancer and was given 6 months to a year to live. I was blessed to have her by my side for another 8 years after her diagnosis. Through her fight, she remained Strong All Along and was the inspiration to the tattoo that I recently got.” Besides the lyric “Strong All Along,” another favorite of David’s is “Stay positive and love your life.” “We all go through hard times, I’m no different, this quote has always inspired me to keep on going. Look for the good things and enjoy life all the time no matter what happens.”

Where did David grow up? “I grew up at the ripe age of 0 in Manalapan, NJ. A half hour from the Jersey Shore and about an hour from NYC. Nothing like being a kid growing up in the 80s. Staying out till dark playing manhunt with friends, riding bikes everywhere.” David said his unfortunate claim to fame is that he grew up as a classmate of The Situation from the T.V. show Jersey Shore, but don’t judge him from that. He said he’s really not your typical Jersey shore person! “While I have never lived outside of Jersey, I have moved around plenty in the state. Now I currently reside in Vernon, NJ, which is the exact opposite of what you would expect from Jersey. We have mountains, hiking trails, lakes and the scenery is beautiful! Oh, and I sell mortgages so this was also a marketing ploy if anyone is looking to buy a house in Jersey! Lol.” He uses his money to fund his 311 habits, but he did say he might be able to have retired by now if he had just been a fan of Nickelback. “Thanks 311! 60 more years of work for me!” David also has an 8 year old son named Jacob who he said is his life. “And also a great wingman. He is also single, so if any ladies are interested and have a daughter for him, hit us up!”

While David loves 311, he said his first musical love was the Beastie Boys. “The first time that I heard Fight For Your Right, I was instantly in love. How a couple good Jewish boys from Brooklyn were able to jump into the rap scene amazed me!” Other artists that have peaked his interest are Rebelution, Jurassic 5, Deftones, Dropkick Murphys, and Slightly Stoopid. “Going to start a petition for Jurassic 5 to be on the 2018 Unity Tour. That is a tour that NEEDS to happen.”

Growing up David played baseball and hockey. “You couldn’t get me off of the field or out of the rink.” Favorite sports teams for him are the Mets, Giants, and the Devils. When asked what makes him unique, this was his answer: “I have been known to be a little sarcastic. Not sure if anyone in the 311 pages have noticed that. Got to keep the humor in life or life becomes stale. So if anyone has ever been offended by anything I have said in the 311 groups, sorry but not sorry. None of it is meant in a bad way, all just in fun!” Guilty pleasure for David he said is that Stranger Things is his favorite T.V. show, but musical guilty pleasure is Katy Perry. “My son LOVES her so I have no choice.” Movie guilty pleasure is called Goon. When not partaking in these pleasures he loves hiking and can spend a whole day in the woods if he has the time.

David has two things he would like to say to 311: “First would be thank you for everything. The shows and the people that I have met through 311 have been sooo amazing. My favorite meet and greet with the band was with Tim. I met him a few hours before a show in Vegas. Such an excitable and humble guy. After the show, he saw me, ran over and gave me the best hug ever. He thanked me for attending the show. Nothing can top that. Secondly, ‘Stop making new music’. I loved the last two albums a ton. But, they have such a huge catalog of music now. Would love to be able to hear more of the older music. Then again, my son has really loved our first listens to the new albums and has become just as big a fan of me. Raising the kid right.”

Now David’s message to all the other fans:

“Be humble. There is too much chest bumping of who the biggest 311 fans are. As well as putting down of people who say that “Amber” is their favorite song. Don’t be a 311 snob, accept everyone who embraces the music. And it’s OK if people don’t like everything 311 does. I personally hate Universal Pulse, and that is OK. I’ll Amber bomb each and every one of you and you will have to deal with it! Besides that, Love Your Life. Signing off. 36/M/NJ if any females are in the area LOL.”

————

That was the entertaining story of David Goldenberg my friends! Thanks for sharing you tale David and of course, thanks to all for reading! Now go out there and turn up the volume of whatever you are listening to. Rock out and start this week off strong!

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/8/17 – Josh O’Saile!

Welcome back 311 nation! A new week begins and that means new fan spotlight time. This week let’s meet Josh O’Saile!

The year was 1995 and Josh was just ten years old. He had some major things going on in his life at the time, and while riding the bus to school one day he heard an upper class-man singing while listening to his discman, “You’ve got to trust your instinct and let go of regret.” He was instantly hooked just from hearing that line. “Without knowing the words, music, nothing.  What I knew was that was legit, and my awkward kid heart desired that…  genuine mentality.  As a hesitant kid, I timidly asked him “hey man, hate to bug you, but, what is that?” His response was simply “The only good song on the cd.” Took it out, put it in its case, and so easily handed it to me.  Just like that, my life was changed.”

First show for Josh was at the Starwood Amphitheatre outside of Nashville in 1997. “ I won tickets on the radio.  Typical 90’s stylee.  My God the hours spent making sure that it would happen.  I can close my eyes and still see the stage.” Show count is around 20 and he said the number climbed fast early on but then stalled out after awhile. Prior to 2017, his favorite show was 311 Day 2006. “Memphis model.  Oh man, the stories I could tell.  I was like the 7th person in line, we brought a small grill, gave away food away to folks we don’t and won’t know, partied, sang, danced, while simultaneously adding and taking away years from our lives.  As the song goes, perfect strangers, sharing a groove.” In 2017 Josh attended the shows at the Tabernacle, and his favorite show changed at that point. “At a major low point for me, a weekend trip to Atlanta fell into my lap and I got the whole experience.  Put names with faces, saw a hella’ show, and even got my first signed artwork.  I could go on, but, just know God was smiling on me that day.”

Song that means the most to Josh is “Omaha Stylee” because he says it tells you to “know your roots and refuse to let circumstance cause deviation from your course.” As far as favorite lyrics, pretty much the whole song of “Tune In” strike a chord with him. “It’s good for the heart, and helps hold your head high…to know your worth.” http://www.311.com/lyrics_transistor/#TI

The town of Greenbrier, Tennessee – a one stop light town as Josh called it – is where he was raised. His parents divorced very early in his life. “We seemed to live on each side of that light for a while until I moved in high school…  Thats when I moved to south Alabama.  Yes, Bayou la Batre’ IS a real place. A weird place… I’ve lived and worked there, and oddly enough, a great part of adult me still calls it home.  There hasn’t been much by way of funding the habit as of late due to the funding of my deteriorating health.  Some awesome people send me stuff from time to time, and their works fill my cup enough.  Circumstance has lead me away from sand dollars.”

What makes Josh unique is his “pursuit of the Nazz.” “I want to be the poet, the carpenter, and everything in between.  Not that I have had insurmountable success, but, folks notice the can do.”  Fun fact about Josh – he has nine 311 tattoos. “All but one is symbolic.  Only one actual logo.  Because, come original, y’all.”

Guilty pleasure for Josh is what he calls sappy girl music. “Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, Yael Naim, blah blah blah.  I am going to regret that one…” While 311 is the only band he knows the whole discography of, he is also a pretty big fan of Van Morrison. “Then after that, I like my punk and anarchy.”

Josh’s message to 311 – “Thank you.  You will never know how many kids found your message wandering down the straight and narrow path that chose not to deviate.  Your message made people like me a good daddy.  And, that in and of itself bridges the generational gap.  In music.  Your music.  Your message, our homes.”

Finally these are his words to all his fellow fans:

“Thank you as well.  People like me see your steadfast mentality and it helps us move forward.  We are more like a family.  There are outsiders that think they understand, and there are even those on the brink of it.  Then, there’s you guys.  Knowing people like you are out there makes me feel safer with my daughter in this world.  Knowing that other people preach love to their kids.  Preach understanding.  Preach respect.  Y’all are the real heroes.  The day in and day out models.  Without you guys being the conduit, this whole thing we love would cease to exist.  Of many, one.  We are the mosaic.”

——-

That is the story of Josh O’Saile! Much thanks to him for sharing and to everyone for reading. Now go seize the day and be amazing!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/1/2018 – Lisa Wilson!

Happy New Year 311 nation! Let’s kick off 2018 properly with the first fan spotlight of the year. Meet Lisa Wilson!

The year was 2008 and the month was March. Lisa was in the process of getting divorced which she said is the single scariest thing she has gone through. She was about to pack up and move home to Vermont when her friend Linda introduced her to a social club called PortSports, owned by Morgan and Dave Surkin, who are huge 311 fans. “Because PortSports had become such a big part of my life, in November of 2009, when 311 was due to play in Portland, Morgan was out of the world excited and I wanted to see what it was all about.  So Linda, myself and her daughter Vera went and the rest is history.”

Lisa just attended her 50th show in Montclair, New Jersey this past fall. Her first show was November 22, 2009, in Portland, Maine. Favorite experience so far was of course tough to answer.  “The most recent one would have been this past Unity Tour, the day of the Hampton Beach NH show.  Trying to plan a meet up at the beach during the day, but mother nature had different ideas and she rained on our beach party.  And so the ppppaaaarrrrrtttttyyyyy pppppaaaaattttiiiiioooo was born!  We took over the back deck of the Moulton Hotel and made the best of the day, rain and all, which included stalking the buses (in the rain) and a killer setlist!”

Favorite song for Lisa is “Strong All Along.” “During the 2013 unity tour when Nick said “Boston this one’s for you” in Mansfield and busted out this song, that was it!!” The first lyric that really, truly struck Lisa was, “Music, you’re my constant companion.” “Which is so true because music can turn your frown upside down.  Whether it be by the lyrics themselves or a blast from the past memory!!”

Fair Haven, a very small town in Vermont, is where Lisa grew up. It’s just west of the Rutland/Killington area. She is the youngest of 6 kids and her oldest brother is 17 years older than she is. She has 11 nieces and nephews and just as many great nieces and nephews. “Given all this, family is very important to me.” Supporting the 311 habit comes from working as a HR Generalist for the Portland Public School system, as well as driving for Uber and Lyft at night. “To really support the habit.” Aside from Maine and Vermont, Lisa also lived in a small town in Northern California called Susanville. “I worked as an HR Specialist for an Indian Rancheria and spent A LOT of time in Reno, we there wasn’t much going on in Susanville.”

A fun fact people may not know about Lisa is that she is a certified SCUBA diver! “While most of my diving has been done in the frigid waters of Maine, I’ve also been 60 feet under water in Monterey CA in front of Pebble Beach Golf Course.  I actually got engaged there, 60 feet underwater.  What a different coastal diving experience that was.  The kelp there was like a forest.  There’s really nothing like breathing underwater, so peaceful, and I being an animal person, I love seeing the sea life.   I really enjoy diving and wish I could do more often.”

Something that makes Lisa unique, that was thought of with help from her friend Adam, is her friendliness! “If I see someone alone, or not with a group,  wearing 311 gear on I will invite them to join our crowd, as Adam has witnessed this on several occasions 🙂  I guess it’s just because I want others to have as much fun as I do and meet the amazing people I have!” She also has an amazing and one of a kind whistle, you’ll know it when you hear it! 

Guilty pleasure for Lisa is sports, sports, and more sports! “Although most might know this already, because of the 4-311 jerseys I owns.  I’m a sports-a-holic. It’s so funny because everyone is always talking about all these series on, and I’m like yea no, I watch sport!! Like right now switching between the Bruins and Manchester United (no judging!!)”

When not jamming out to 311 Lisa can be found listening to bands she has met through 311 such as Ballyhoo!, RDGLDGRN (#teamsnaxx), Dirty Heads, The Urge, and Stick Figure. She most recently has gotten into Bumpin Uglies. “We need them on the boat and check them out if you haven’t.”

To 311, Lisa would like to say: “Thank you for all you do, the energy you bring to EVERY damn show and please don’t ever stop!!”

To all the other fans:

“Always keep an attitude of gratitude!! For life, this band and all the amazing people you’ve met and now call family, cause I certainly do!!”

—–

That my friends is Lisa Wilson’s story! I’m happy to call her a personal friend and hope you all get to meet her one day. Now go kickstart your year on a happy note – I wish you all the best in 2018! And as always, thank you for reading!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 12/18/17 – Lisa Parker Swane!

Welcome once again my friends in 311 nation! It’s time for another fan spotlight! This week let me introduce you to Lisa Parker Swane!

It was just a short time ago, in 2011, that Lisa was introduced to the wonderful sounds of 311 thanks to a great friend. She found herself jamming out to “Sunset in July” in her kitchen so she did some research and found out that they were playing a show in Atlantic City in October of 2011. “That would be my first show and the day my life would be forever changed. Seeing the fans singing, dancing, and laughing instantly sucked me in. I was hooked!”

Show count for Lisa landed at 53 this year when she saw 311 play Halloween night. She dragged her kids along at one point to their first show, but now they go willingly and it’s become their family vacation each year, which Lisa truly cherishes. Her daughter McKenzie attended her 12th show this past summer. “She’s become the best concert buddy ever.” Her son Jacob has been to 6 shows. “When I combine 311 and my kids, my heart is full!”

Favorite event so far has been the 311 Cruise 2017. “I was able to start my journey at hob in Orlando then the private show in Tampa.  Tampa is where I was on the rail for the first time.   Now I’m addicted to the excitement of the rail and the floor.  Everything just seems so much more exciting up front.  Plus being short, I can actually see! This cruise was when I met so many 311 familia members that have become amazing friends.”

Song that means the most to Lisa is “Beyond the Gray Sky.” “When I was on my first cruise in 2012,  I heard the words so clearly.   It was like all the other sounds went silent.  I heard Nick sing, ‘Don’t give up the fight to stay alive and even if you have too, find the reason of another’s pain of they lose you.’   The tears started flowing, as I had attempted suicide in 2011 and almost left my 2 beautiful kids without a mom.  Those lyrics are the inspiration behind my fb group beyond the gray sky.  A group for anyone who needs support to reach out and find beautiful souls who “get it”.  This group amazes me every day.  I realize the ones who are suffering are the first ones to help others.  Complete strangers spreading love to others.  It makes me smile every day.  I created bracelets that I mail out to help remind people to not give up the fight and find their reason to live and fight the darkness.  There are better days ahead.”

Lisa was born and raised in Vermont but moved to New York about a year and a half ago to start a new job at Verizon. She said it was hard to leave her family and friends behind-her daughter left for college and her son got a job in Maryland. “Being alone was difficult, too much time to think.  But despite the worst year and half of my life, I grew the most I ever have.  Not height wise but personally!” Lisa is now excited to be transferring to New Hampshire on December 30th! “I’ll be closer to my daughter, Boston, Hampton Beach, concerts, and tons of 311 familia!”

Interesting fact about Lisa is that she used to be a really good gymnast! “Back flips were my thing.  I used to start at one end of the gym and keep flipping until the other end.  I would be so dizzy by the time I was done I couldn’t walk.” An attribute that Lisa has is a tremendous amount of compassion for complete strangers. “If I think someone’s struggling or I see red flags, I’m not afraid to reach out to them to see if I can help.  I don’t think this is a unique quality as I have a group of people just like me, but it’s a quality I’m most proud of.  Your journey, good or bad makes you the person you are today.  I choose to learn from my struggles and do something good by what I was taught.”

Other musical artists that Lisa loves are Stick Figure, Dirty Heads, and 21 Pilots. Guilty pleasures for her are concerts, shopping, and the T.V. shows Real Housewives.

Lisa’s message to 311 is this: “Thank you, for helping me and so many other see beyond the gray sky.  Any event I attend makes me smile on the inside.”

Her message to all of the other fans:

“Thank you to my 311 familia for opening your arms and welcoming me and my 2 kids!  We have had the most amazing adventures these past few summers.  Memories, friendship, love and great music.  May it never end….  love you all!!”

———-

Now you know the story of Lisa Parker Swane! She may be little, but she has a huge heart and I hope you all get to meet her in person one day! Much thanks to all that keep reading and learning more about fellow fans. Until next time…

Much Love – The Runt

 

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 12/11/17 – Amanda Cusanelli!

Welcome back awesome people of 311 nation! Another week, another fan spotlight! This week let’s meet a personal friend of mine, Amanda Cusanelli!

Like many in the 311 fan nation, hearing the song “Down” on the radio is how Amanda first heard of 311. She instantly loved it. “They had a sound I wasn’t familiar with and it drew me to them. I loved rap but this was different…and I liked it more.”

While she doesn’t keep count of the exact number of shows seen, she knows it’s somewhere in the 40 range. First show for her was in 2006 at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia. Favorite event so far though? The second cruise, followed by Pow Wow. “Everything about the second cruise was amazing.  Great artists, great friends; good times all around.  I also really enjoyed PowWow.  The line up was perfection even if the sweat and dirt was less than desirable.  I did not partake in camping… I had my own princess hotel.  This was also the first event where I began to meet people and form lasting 311 relationships.”

Song that means the most? It’s hard to choose. But the first two that came to mind for Amanda were “Visit” and “Unity.” Music is still her favorite album. Favorite lyric? “Welcome to this groove’ describes who I am and the life I lead. I’m always singing and dancing wherever I go.”

Maryland is where Amanda was raised, which gave her lots of opportunities to hear live music as she grew up, being so close to both Baltimore and D.C. She also traveled to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York quite often for it as well. Music was an important part of her life from an early age. “My earliest memories of music were always with my father.  He had a state of the art stereo and was always listening to it.  He would let us kids each pick a CD and he’d shuffle them in his CD changer.  He would quiz me on artists, song names and albums on trips in the car.  He also took me to every concert I wanted until I was able to drive myself.  This is where my love of music comes from.” In 2014 Amanda moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, where she continues to see as many shows as possible.

Amanda has a very cool story to tell, and I’ll let her tell it in her own words. “In 2011 I met a teenage boy who had recently survived a horrific life changing accident while trying to fix up his house. I couldn’t believe the maturity and positivity he exuded after all that had happened. After learning more about this amazing spirit I realized he lived in a very dire situation with several members of his family. I asked for the assistance of a local production company and together we pitched his story to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  We succeeded and were able to gift the family with a brand new home.  The show even painted all the houses in the neighborhood and installed a community garden.  Still the proudest moment of my media career.”

Unique attribute? “I can sing/recite any song after hearing it a couple of times but I cannot remember song names if my life depended on it.” Guilty pleasure for Amanda – Boy bands…all of them. “They are a part of me; deal with it.” Second favorite band for Amanda is Candlebox. Other than that she loves KoRn, Billy Talent and Three Legged Fox. “I have a very eclectic taste in music and it’s extremely difficult to pick favorites. I’ve been to shows as obvious as 311 and as unexpected as Engelbert Humperdinck.  I will also go to any live performance. That includes theatre.”

Amanda’s message to 311 – “Thank you for taking me on this wild ride as we visit the world.”

Her message to all the other 311 fans:

“To all my friends: I’m glad you know me. To all my future friends: You’re welcome.”

——–

That everyone is Amanda’s story! I’m proud to call her my friend, she is a ton of fun and full of positive vibes. Keep an eye out for her at shows…look for the tattoo on her wrist and you’ll find her! Until we meet again.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 12/4/17 – Jessica Pursley!

Welcome back Excitable 311 nation! This week we feature the other half of a dynamic duo in the fandom of this band. Let’s meet Jessica Pursley!

Jessica was only 11 years old when she first heard the magical sounds of 311. She was at her friend Tony’s house and it was him who really got her into music of all kinds. He had an awesome sound system in his room and had just gotten a copy of Grassroots. Jessica went over to check it out. “I remember Homebrew started playing and within the first few seconds I had to know who the heck these guys were. We listened to the entire album and I can say that is the first time music really “hit” me. Even though I was really young, I was in awe. Then Tony mentioned he also had another album ‘Music’. We listened to that too, and I knew I was hooked. For good. Their style was just so unique. It was like nothing I had ever heard before.”

How many shows has Jessica been to? “Since Sean said his count is 15, that would make mine at 14. Haha, I don’t really keep track of that.” While she may not keep count, she does remember the very first time she saw them – Halloween night 2001 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles with Alien Ant Farm as the opening band. “I had to beg my parents to let me go, I was just about to be 17. Me and Sean had known each other about 8 months. It was my first concert ever. We were at the very top, only one row behind us…allllll the way in the back, and we still left that place soaked in sweat from rockin’ out the entire time. It was everything I had imagined, and so much more! That was the beginning of my love of live music.”

While she said every show is special to her in one way or another, her favorite event so far was 311 Day 2016 which was her first. “This one was incredible for SO many reasons. First, we had just learned about the Familia and the amazing community of fans and when we got to Nola it was mind blowing. The energy. The unity. The LOVE. I felt at HOME. That trip was life changing for me in so many different ways. I will never forget the streets of New Orleans just exploding with 311. There was the music, every place you went was a 311 song playing. Every where you turned was a smiling face so ready to give you a hug or a high five. Singing at Bandstand until I had no voice left at all. But the absolute, 100% best part about it all was the family we now have. The people we have met, the relationships that have been formed, the memories that have been made and have yet to be made. This is the stuff life is all about!”

The hardest question that Jessica had to answer for this was what song means the most to her. “Their music, as a whole, has grown and evolved with me over the years. It is continually changing and is relevant at different times. Their lyrics have helped me through so much! Lyrically there are a couple that come to mind though.’Sun ComeThrough’, ‘Don’t Dwell’, and ‘Use of Time’. Songs I love to just lose it and rock out to are ‘Existential Hero’, ‘Brodels’, ‘Livin & Rockin’ & ‘Get Down’. Before 311 Day 2016 I started a Twitter campaign to get C.U.T.M. played. No luck. That is the song I want to hear most live. 311 is the soundtrack to my life, and has been for over 20 years, each of their songs mean something to me.” As far as lyrics, she said she is still a person who studies the lyric books when a new album comes out. A few favorites over the years are “There’s much power in anger, but loves the bigger banger,” “Do as you will, do as you wish, follow your bliss,” and “Be positive with love, just see the good in everybody.”

Palmdale, California – about 60 miles north of Los Angeles in the desert – that’s where Jessica grew up. She said her family means everything to her and that they have the best time when they are all together. “One of my favorite memories from my childhood is how we would have “Rock out Sundays” my Dad was only off work on Sundays and he would wake up, put one of his vinyl records on (which was probably Tesla, or Queensryche, maybe the Scorpions or Stevie Ray Vaughn..) I guess you could say my Dad is the reason I love my music loud! Lol We would have family rock out sessions often. Even cleaning the house with my mom on Saturdays, we would put on some Fleetwood Mac or Supertramp and our cleaning turned into singing at the top of our lungs into whisk microphones while playing our broom guitars.”

Jessica never really had plans of leaving Cali, but then she met Sean and they began dating. When he decided to move to Colorado, Jessica took a giant leap of faith and went with him. “I was only 18 and the first couple of years were a rough transition for sure, but I knew I belonged with Sean. Now here we are, 15 years later, married with two awesome kiddos! I have recently decided to follow my lifelong dream of being a teacher, and am a full time student at Colorado Mountain College. Both Sean and I feel that Rifle, CO is most definitely NOT our forever home, but more of a place we have landed for a bit to further our careers. Once I get my degree and Sean has his electrician license we will be ready to move on to bigger and better places!”

Something people may not know about Jessica is that she LOVES to dance. “As a kid I danced from the time I was 3 until I was about 14. My family came into financial issues and I couldn’t go anymore…but it was my happy place for many years. I still love to dance. Another fun fact…my younger sister took me to my first rave two years ago on New Years Eve in California (Countdown to NYE) and it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. So. Much. Fun.”

Jessica’s passion to help people is what she said is a unique attribute for her. “I don’t have a lot to give monetarily…but I have found I am getting really good at setting up efforts, whether it be a raffle to raise funds or creating a lyric calendar or fun sunglasses to get donations coming in. Just in the past few years, we as a community, have been able to assist fellow fan members who have had house fires and lost everything, to getting a Christmas tree for someone in need, to helping someone get out of a potentially dangerous situation, to collecting school supplies for less fortunate kids, and going to help feed the homeless and share some smiles. I have found my heart is literally exploding with love and I have to share it, in any way I can!”

Guilty pleasure for Jessica is the T.V. series Teen Mom. “I have literally watched it from the VERY beginning. I am obsessed lol. Another guilty pleasure, and Sean can vouch for this, is 3 a.m. cheeseburgers and / or chili fries!  Theres just something about some hearty junk food after some drinks and rocking the F out! Its become an after show thing now…it all started at Krystal’s in Nola. Alison and Kris…you know what I’m talkin’ bout! Hahahaha.” As far as musical loves, Jessica has a pretty wide range of interests which include mostly everything except Country. “Some artists I love are: Fortunate Youth, Stick Figure, Passafire, Nahko, Soja, Rebelution, The Green, Tatanka, Iya Terra, old school No Doubt, The Expendables, Josh Heinrichs, RDGLDGRN, Sublime, The Beastie Boys, There are even some EDM DJ’s on my list, and of course the old school hip hop and rap…. My list could literally go on and on. Music is life to me, if the lyrics speak to me or theres a good beat to get down to…I dig it.”

As far as what Jessica would say to 311, she has pondered this many, many times. She has yet to have the opportunity to meet them, so she thinks about what she would say to them often. She said she would simply tell them, “Thank you for the music, the lyrics, the positivity and love, and all the amazing memories, but most of all….thank you for unifying this family of fans to which we all belong ♥.”

To all the other lovely fans, her message is this:

“To all my friends, its not the end…the earth hasn’t swallowed me yet!” To those of you I have the pleasure of meeting, or sharing in a hug or smile, or just plain rockin’ out together…I LOVE YOU!!! To those I still have yet to meet…I can’t wait!! Thank YOU all for your part in my journey.  Keep Livin’ & Rockin’ my friends!! XOXOX”

——–

That concludes the story of Jessica Pursely! Thanks Jessica for being a part of this fun and for all those that read her story. You all are the reason I keep going week after week. Thanks for being amazing!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/27/17 – Sean Pursley!

Hello again my friends out there in 311 nation! Are we ready for a new fan spotlight? I think so! Let’s not delay and meet Sean Pursley!

The year was 1995. Age for Sean was 15. He was just starting to get really into music. While Sublime was his favorite band at that time, 311 was a close second. “I remember waking up Christmas morning to a brand new CD player with a copy of the blue album and No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom from there I was hooked to their unique sound.  Although I had no idea what they were saying in the lyrics and I wasn’t one to sit down with the lyrics.”

Show count for Sean is at 15, which includes 311 Day 2016 and Red, White, & Boom 2016. Currently he has tickets for the San Diego warm up shows and 311 Day 2018. “My first show was at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater 7-1-2000 with Incubus and KMK.  It was a blast my friend and I sat in the grass and smoked schwag weed all night, while others danced around a burning barrel.  This show began my love for live music.”

As far as favorite show or event, I’ll let Sean tell it in his own words. “Prior to 311 Day 2016 the most memorable event was Halloween 2001 at Universal Amphitheater, the boys were dresses as American hero’s, and Alien Ant Farm opened dressed as Oompa Loompahs.  This was Jessica’s first concert and we were all the way at the top, but we came out of that place drenched in sweat.  311 Day 2016, however sparked a new love for the band. We have met so many amazing people that we now consider family.  Since NOLA, we have been able to travel for some amazing shows, and look forward to seeing new people and places in the future.”

Song that Sean loves rocking out to is “What Was I Thinking.” “It definitely gets my blood pumping. On the beach in Vegas last summer, I went crazy for this song live. I’ll never forget it.” Some of Sean’s favorite lyrics come from the song “Brodels” – The goals to be a poet, and a carpenter, to be one who loves, to be one who works. The Nazz is not something that can be given, the Brodel lives inside you it comes from within.”

Southern California, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles, is where Sean grew up. As a kid he was really into sports, specifically baseball, soccer and roller hockey. During Sean’s senior year of high school, his parents moved him to Colorado, and he absolutely hated it. Upon graduation from high school he spent a brief time in Topeka, Kansas, then  moved it back on out to Cali. This is when he met his best friend and soul mate, Jessica. “After about a year of dating I decided to move back to Colorado to work with my dad building homes.  Jessica decided to come with, but the first few years were very difficult to adjust to a new place. I found that concerts were always a way to be excited for something, at the time we were big into KMK and the sub-noize scene, but live music has always been an important part of our relationship.  We have been living in Rifle, Colorado since 2007.  We have been married 11 years and have 2 beautiful children Skylar 8 and Jaykob almost 4.  We both feel that this place is a stepping stone for us and are both currently working on our careers with hopes of moving closer to a city.” Sean is currently working on his electrical apprenticeship and is just about to begin classes for it.

Sean mentioned that they have a love for music, and he said he is big into the white boy reggae scene. He enjoys the sounds of Sublime, Rebelution, Passafire, Through the Roots, Soja, Stick Figure, and Fortunate Youth. He also loves Blue October.

Favorite movie for Sean is The Wizard of Oz and it has been since he was just the young age of 4. Something that Sean said makes him unique is that he really tries to remain grateful for everything. “I take each day as an opportunity to be a better, father, husband, son, friend, employee… I take the ups and downs that life gives me and use them as stepping stones to be the best me I can be.” Guilty pleasure? Well you’ll have to just guess this one. “I’ll give you a hint, it’s green, legal in Colorado, and in abundance at 311 events.”

His message to 311 is simple yet powerful: “Thank you for the soundtrack.”

To all the other awesome fans:

“Thank you for being you and allowing me to be me, I have never felt the way I do amongst my excitable family.  I am honored to be part of such a united group of people, and am truly grateful for the many friendships that have come from this group.  Can’t wait to rock with all of you.”

——————–

That my friends, is the story of Sean Pursley! Thanks Sean for being a part of this fan community and being your awesome self! I hope you all enjoyed reading about him and thank you for keeping this project alive. Until we meet again my friends, keep being awesome.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/13/17 – Joe Parisi!

Hello again to all of 311 nation! Fan spotlight time has arrived again. This week we feature Joe Parisi!

A best friend from high school is how Joe was introduced to 311. She told him he had to go see them with her. “I remember seeing Down on TRL back in the day and enjoyed it, but never became a big 311 fan. I started listening to them to get ready for the show and to be honest I still wasn’t hooked. But after seeing them live for the first time it changed everything and i knew this was a band i wanted to see again as soon as possible. I’ve only missed three shows in New England in the past 12 years.”

Since that first show, Joe has seen 311 live 39 times. Magic number 40 will be at 311 Day 2018. His first show was November 23, 2005, in Lowell, Massachusetts. “2017 set a personal record of 10 shows in one year.” Favorite one so far was the most recent cruise. “I cannot miss another one under any circumstances. There’s nothing like the vibe created by the amazing fans on that ship. It’s not easy to get over 2000 people together trapped on a ship and have every last one of them treat you like their best friend.”

Song that means the most to Joe goes to “How Do You Feel.” His favorite lyric also comes from that song: “You know the time that you feel, when nothing else really matters, you’re on the spot in the world that you belong. How do you feel cause I couldn’t ask for a single thing more, how do you feel the moment you know just what you are for.” Here are some words from Joe on why he loves this song so much: “This song is everything about being a 311 fan to me. Whether its the cruise or 311 day or any regular tour date, theres nowhere else I would rather be. That’s the place I belong right now. This is also a unicorn song for me, I’ve never seen it live. And I’m REALLY hoping that at 311 day in Vegas I’ll finally get to hear it. I’ve always been a little sad that its such a rare song when the lyrics are 100% what being a 311 fan is all about.”

Gloucester, Massachusetts is where Joe grew up. He now lives in Leominster, Massachusetts, a little more central to the state and away from the coast. “Never thought I would ever leave the ocean but my family is still there so I get back all the time.” Estimating and sales of commercial doors and hardware for Jackson Lumber is how Joe makes a living and helps support his 311 habit. He was also a Boston Bruins season ticket holder for years, but the cost got too expensive so he now saves all of that money for 311 fun!

While hockey is the sport that completely engulfs Joe, he knows more about baseball than anything else. “When I was a kid I would read the MLB rule book and study stats to the point where I could tell you off the top of my head the date John Valentin had an unassisted triple play (July 8, 1994). I think I would make a great baseball coach, way better than I would be at hockey.” Random talent Joe has is that he can easily tell what type of wood something is made out of. Guilty pleasure for him is beer! “I am so lucky to live in the Northeast with some of the best breweries on the planet. I used to be pretty good at eating healthy but the past couple of years thats all gone down the drain thanks to my weekly (or more) visits to one of our fine local breweries.”

Joe briefly hosted a radio show in college where he played 90’s music, so the sounds from that decade will always hold a special place in his heart. “I’ve probably seen Third Eye Blind the most times after 311. Live music is the best and I’ve seen a wide array of bands- Metallica, Matchbox 20, John Mayer, Rebelution, Roger Waters, Green Day, Blink 182, DMB to name a few. Since seeing RDGLDGRN on the cruise I’ve been REALLY into them.”

To 311, Joe would like to say this: “Thanks for keeping to the message of positivity and unity. In a world full of ex girlfriend/boyfriend revenge songs, it’s quite an achievement to have a catalog of music as large as yours without focusing about the negative.”

Joe’s message to all the other 311 fans:

“I’ve met some of the most genuine people at 311 events and it’s a pleasure every time. Cant wait to rock VEGAS with you!”

—–

That is the story of Joe Parisi! Thanks for being a part of the spotlights Joe, and thanks to all the wonderful fans that make up this community for reading. Go now, be awesome, spread the positivity to everyone you meet!

Much love – The Runt