Runt Rant

30ish. Married. Educated. Foodie. 311 Fanatic.

311 Fan Spotlight – 12/5/16 – Eddie Bratke!

December 5th, 2016

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Welcome again, all of you amazing fans of 311! Fan spotlight time has arrived and this week we take aim at Mr. Eddie Bratke! 

Eddie’s best friend growing up had some family in Omaha and when he was about 10 years old, he remembers his friend and his friends family bumping the blue album. Eddie fell in love with it instantly! “Me and my friend listened to that CD forever. What drew me in was the unique style, I had just never heard anything like it.” Then in 2005 when he finally saw 311 live in Salt Lake City, his obsession began. 

49 shows is the number Eddie is at today which include four 311 Day events and one cruise. The show at the House of Blues in Orlando next February will be the big 5-0. While he said that the SLC two night show was epic, nothing beats the cruise for him. “I literally get sick thinking that I missed out on so many of them, but no more will be skipped!

Song that means the most to Eddie has changed a few times of the past few years. “I have seen some good people in my life pass away, so right now its Tranquility.  I find it to be almost therapeutic to listen to now.” Favorite lyrics are, “Gotta be a better reason to colonize a star, Gotta be a better reason man has come so far.” Eddie said that lyric has always given him goosebumps. “It just sums up how much better we can make the world than it currently is, and there is more to life than pay bills and die.”

Born in San Diego, Eddie grew up just north of Salt Lake City in Farmington. He went to school in Colorado for two years and loved it, but his home will always be in Utah. He currently works for a company called Salt City Sales where they sell private label work gloves. “If you need to buy gloves, hit me up (it will help my 311 habit).” Current age is 28 and he is still on his search to find his special slinky girl! 

Something people may not know is that Eddie became branch manager for Wells Fargo at the age of 22 and the impact made him realize that he never wanted to work in a corporate environment again. Unique quality for Eddie is his hair! “I have a lot of hair.” Guilty pleasure comes in the form daily fantasy cash games (NFL, NBA, and Golf). He also loves to golf! 

When not listening to 311, Eddie can be found jamming out to Dirty Heads, Blink 182, Rage Against the Machine, RDGLDGRN, and lately Tropadelic. 

To 311, Eddie would like to say, “Thank you for changing my life and giving me the best memories, and making me visit the world to see ya’ll!”

For the other fans of this amazing band:

“To the coolest people in the world, much love! If you see me at a show or on the cruise say hi, I love meeting excitables!”

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There you have the tale of how Eddie Bratke fell in love with 311! Thanks for being a part of this Eddie, and of course thank you to all the fans who read each story week after week. 

Much love to you all!

The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/28/2016 – Joshua Shelton!

November 28th, 2016

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Welcome back 311 nation!! I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving (if you’re livin’ and rockin’ in the U.S.A. of course). Now it’s time to kick off the holiday season and what better way to do it than with the new fan spotlight! It’s time to meet Joshua Shelton! 

Summer of 1997 is when Josh’s love for 311 begins. While watching MTV, on came a video with a spinning, future-like minimalistic T.V. He said something just connected to him at that moment. “Metal guitars, vocal effects, chill beats, then back again with a heavy finish… the song was Transistor and that was the first time I know of that I actually heard 311.” A few days later while riding in the car with his father, he asked what that song he had heard on MTV was…something “supersister.” It was that same day that the universe aligned and Josh happened to stumble across the Transistor cassette tape at Best Buy. “I put that tape in my old-school stereo and it was immediately confirmed *this* was a vibe I wanted more of. Then Galaxy>Beautiful Disaster played and I was forever sold. Since I was just 11 years old at the time, I don’t think I was really prepared to digest what I was hearing content-wise: lyrically and musically. Yet I was hooked, and a few months later I got the Blue album. I listened to both of these damn near nonstop for around two years (Beastie Boy’s Hello Nasty and The Offspring’s Americana was in that rotation too), until Soundsystem came out. It’s like 311′s been in my blood ever since that first time in ’97.”

Four states and ten shows is where Josh is at for seeing 311 live. “The thing about being a 311 fan is that whether it’s your 2nd show or your 100th show, we’re all one in the same- we the 311 Nation all share the unity, appreciation, and dedication. Can’t wait for show #11 though!” Josh said that each experience is special in it’s own way. 311 Day 2012 in Vegas and then 2016 in New Orleans are high up the list. However he said Grassroots Fest 2014 was like a family reunion…literally, since he was in the VIP section with many of the bands family members. “The last time they were in Minneapolis I was front and center on the rail. Times like that, and anytime you get to meet one of the guys, whether backstage or outside the venue, always makes for a real memorable experience.”

When it comes to favorite songs, Josh says he has a list of his “Top 11” songs that he is constantly re-evaluating. One that he keeps coming back to and that has personal significance is “Strong All Along.” “As an impressionable young teenager at the time it was released, that song gave me the freedom to explore who I was, who I was going to be, and just the confidence to grow into that. More recently would be Simplify- before my daughter was born I included that song on a mix I made for her, as an encouragement to life as she would soon be starting hers.” As far as favorite lyrics, he said the possibilities are endless but in the end it all comes down to “Stay positive and love your life.”

Twin Cities, Minnesota is where Josh grew up. Then he attended college in downtown Chicago and after that moved out to the great city of Seattle, Washington for a few years with his wife. They are currently back in MN. When in Seattle, Josh was a barista and would use his tips to fund his 311 adventures, but now he says it’s all about careful planning and making sure his amazing wife is okay with everything! 

One thing Josh loves is being a daddy to his almost one year old daughter. “When she was born preemie, she literally weighed 3 lbs 11oz. (the band signed her birth announcement which is now obviously proudly displayed).” Josh has been happily married to his wife for almost seven years and they enjoy family walks around the lake, making their daughter laugh and dreaming big dreams together. 

Some things Josh personally enjoys is creative writing, as well as reading, art, design, shooting on his GoPro, mentoring students, snowboarding, wake boarding, fitness and working out. He also loves to travel, stargaze, listen to live music, watching the Seattle Seahawks, and all things X-Files (as well as Twin Peaks and Grey’s Anatomy). When not listening to 311, Josh can be found listening to other favorites like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, U2, MuteMath, Project 86, Mae, Tristan Prettyman, Bob Marley, and Jason Mraz. 

Things that make Josh unique are as follows: He used to play rugby in high school and after college; the sustained a spinal injury from a wake boarding accident; While working at the flagship Gap in Chicago, he sold President Barack Obama (then senator) a pair of jeans; And finally he can rap just about anything while driving alone. Guilty pleasure comes in food form – he loves a good doughnut (like Top Pot in Seattle, Glam Doll in Minneapolis or Voodoo in Portland). He said it also compliments his black coffee addiction. He also said he goes to Target about “9 days a week” and spends a small fortune on Starbucks coffee every month. 

Josh’s message to 311 is a simple and meaningful one: “Much gratitude for forever following your passion(s)- your impact on me personally has been truly life-changing!”

Now to all the other awesome fans out there:

“Something recently that’s been on my mind is the idea of only giving energy to the things which matter most… I encourage you to consider what this might look like in your life. The other thing I would say, and I say often, is “Stay Fresh” :)”

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That is the story of Mr. Joshua Shelton my friends! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you all for being the wonderful, positive human beings that you are. Until we meet again…simply “Stay Fresh” as Josh would say! :)

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/21/16 – Megan Lynne Crucet!

November 21st, 2016

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Happy Thanksgiving week excitable fans! Shall we kick it off right by giving thanks for a new 311 fan spotlight? Let’s meet this weeks amazing fan – Megan Lynne Crucet! 

Back in 1995, when Megan was around the age of 10, is where her 311 tale begins. She and her friend Alec went to after school care together at their elementary school. Alec’s dad picked them up and Megan would hang out at his house until her mom got out of work. “I  have fond memories of the two of us playing Sega and listening to the blue album. I believe it was his older brother who introduced the band to him and then share it with me. Once I saw the music video for “Down” on MTV, my love for the band, especially Nick, was solidified.”

Show count is unknown for Megan but she does remember that her first show was on 3/13/2002 in Sunrise, Florida. She has been on all of the cruises and will be on the one in 2017 (with Alec and his wife). She’s also attended 311 Day in Nola in 2008 and 2014, been to Pow Wow, and was at the Halloween show in West Palm Beach back in 2003 with Alien Ant Farm. “I never ended up getting a shirt from that show which I regret to this day!” Favorite show is tied between 311 Day 2008 and the beach show from the second cruise. “311 day was the first major event I had attended and first I had to leave the state for. I remember getting chills and feeling emotional when they closed with Paradise.”

Favorite song is a three way tie between “Eons,” “Jackolantern’s Weather,” and “Electricity.” Megan loves the beat change up at the beginning of “Eons”” baffles her mind and she even had a conversation with Pnut about it. “He tried to explain to me that it actually isn’t that difficult, but I still couldn’t catch on, and I was also busy staring lol. He mentioned that Offbeat BareAss has a similar change up, but that one doesn’t confuse my brain as much.” Then there is “Jackolantern’s Weather” which is the inspiration for her tattoo (see photo further down). “My birthday is in October and Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.” Then the song “Electricity” and the line “The soul you have is electricity” hold a special place in her heart.  “When my grandfather passed away several years ago, we had people over the house after the funeral, which I suppose is tradition. It was a perfectly sunny Florida afternoon and about 30 minutes into it the lights started flickering. This went on for the next few minutes and even lead to a couple people leaving. I truly believe that was his soul letting us know he was there and saying goodbye one last time…tear :(“

Megan was born and raised in South Florida and has never lived anywhere else. She has traveled though, she and her sister used to spend their summers with their grandparents in various places such as Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. Flying is something that Megan has never been particularly good with and she said 311 has become somewhat of a security blanket for her. “As long as I had my CD player and some 311 CDs I was okay. I still remember sitting there and holding the rewind button to get to the Transistor Intro. That was the coolest thing for some reason lol.” Funding her 311 habit is relatively easy – she just doesn’t go on other vacations besides 311 related ones or family related trips. 

As mentioned above, Megan has a 311 tattoo relating to “Jackolantern’s Weather.” What most people don’t know is just how big the tattoo is. “Started with just the 311 star with the space theme below it. The center is my Jackolantern’s weather scene with the quote from electricity below it.” While no band besides 311 has ever come close to being as important to Megan as 311 is, she does love Sublime, Incubus and Nirvana. Plus she said her parents had a role in shaping her musical tastes as well. Guilty pleasure for Megan is “Spongebob.” Even as an adult she still stops and watches it. She’s also still obsessed with the show “Friends” and says she probably can’t make it through a day without quoting it. 

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The question about what makes Megan unique was difficult for her, but it was a friend who reminded her of an amazing skill she has – pumpkin carving skills. “Don’t get me wrong, I just use those stencil packs that they sell everywhere, but I guess since I pick the hard ones and am pretty accurate he thought it was worth mentioning. This friend also happens to be the first 311 friend I made via the internet before the days of Facebook and the Familia. I think it was around 2002 or 2003 in an AOL chat room. We ended up meeting in person after chatting almost daily for a few months when he lent me his ETSD VHS(I know, right) and a 311 shirt since I decided I wanted to wear a 311 shirt to school everyday that week and I only had 4. We are still friends to this day even though he moved to Alaska, and he is also coming with me on the next cruise as a first timer! So everyone be sure to say hi and give all the high fives you can!”

To 311, Megan’s message is: “And when the day is done, what you receive is the sum, of what you took out from what you put in.” I hope you guys are getting as much out of this as us fans are. I don’t think any of us would want it any other way, but please don’t ever stop!”

To all the other fans:

“I’m only outgoing and somewhat crazy around people I know, but until then I’m pretty shy and not likely to initiate conversation. So if you happen to see me at a show or on the next cruise, come say hi! High fives and hugs are also welcome. Thanks for creating a community I am proud to be a part of! PLUR.”

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Nice to meet you Megan Lynne Crucet! Thank you for being a part of the 311 fan spotlight project. Thank you to all of the other fans who keep reading. Thank you to 311 for being amazing and bringing all these positive people together. Without you, our lives would all be drastically different I believe. Now go, give thanks for the love in your life, be positive, spread the PLUR. 

Much love my friends – Happy Thanksgiving! 

The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/14/16 – Virgie Mestas!

November 14th, 2016

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Welcome back excitable friends! Our next fan spotlight has arrived. Time to meet Virgie Mestas! 

The age of 19 was when Virgie (short for Virginia) was introduced to 311. A boyfriend told her about them and they would occasionally make an appearance on her playlist off and on. It wasn’t until age 21, while going through a rough patch in life, that she rediscovered them and “the amazing positive energy that they pump through their lyrics and music.”

Show tally so far is at 30, including 311 Day events from 2008 to 2014, and the 2015 cruise. So many of those 30 shows stand out in Virgie’s mind and it’s hard to narrow it down to one favorite. Her first show was in 2005 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. “311 and the electricity blew me away!”  Other notable shows were 2006 Avila Beach because it’s her home, 2008 311 Day since it was her first, and of course the cruise to Jamaica. But the show that will always mean the most to her is the private concert she attended in 2009 in San Pedro, California. “My buddy Steve Siebold was lucky enough to win a free concert and I was blessed enough to be among the few he took along! EPIC is the best word to describe it. I mean come on, a private concert of your all-time favorite band with 20 of your close buddies , NEVER dreamed that would happen. Every moment felt surreal. They were only 10 ft away from where I was standing and put on an awesome show ! And then afterwards getting to meet them and chat and get pictures was just the cherry on top. Thank You Steve! Thank You!!”

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The song “Strong All Along” will always be one that she holds dear to her heart as she said the lyrics remind her to just be herself and love who she is. “This song replayed and played at a time in my life when I was going through a huge personal life change and at that same time one of my dearest friends passed away suddenly.  So many lines in this song spoke life to me again!She even decided to get the song title tattooed on her arm as a reminder that it’s who she is. 

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Obviously some of her favorite lyrics come from her favorite song such as “Reevaluate what makes you laugh, stand apart, makes you feel good what’s in your heart” and “You could make a mean hand out of what you been dealt.” Other favorite lyrics are the mantra “Stay positive and love your life” and “You might as well forgive yourself, that means more than someone else.” She said hearing the song “Don’t Dwell” also came at a crucial time in her life when she needed to hear those words the most. 

Virgie states that her family is a bit different than others. She and her sister were adopted (for which she said she is blessed) and they grew up in a Christian home with parents involved in ministry. This led them to South Dakota for 5 years during her childhood. “It was quite a change from the Sunny California weather but we adjusted well and loved it.  Some great childhood memories were made freezing in the snow lol.” Then in junior high they returned to the central coast of California. She still currently resides there, now with her boyfriend, and she is a student and works part time as an UBER driver, amongst other things. She hopes to be done with school in the next few years with a degree in recreational therapy. “Over the last few years I have been working with children and adults with limited mobility and learning and behavioral disorders. I really want to have a non-profit one day that brings the local community and its Disabled tourist together. There are so many beautiful things to experience in this life and the great outdoors and if I can be a part of helping others achieve that and live full happy lives , that would just be amazing.”

Music was important in Virgie’s home growing up and she said her father is an amazingly gifted and talented Spanish and Classical guitarist. She would go to coffee shops and watch him play and listen to him at home for hours at a time. This influenced her love for a variety of artists including Santana, The Gypsy Kings, Paul Simon, Ottmar Liebert, James Taylor, Enya, Mariah Carey, and Sheryl Crow. She was never a guitar player but she did have a passion for singing and spent over 8 years in the school choir. She said this was heavily influenced by her love for musicals. “You would have found me dancing and singing away most of my childhood.” Top of her list for current bands is Passafire. “Talk about an amazing Band, extremely talented. Seriously cant get enough of them.” Other all time favorite band is Incubus. “I’m a sucker for words. And Brandon Boyd is a lyrical genius! Not to mention an amazing singer.”

Fun fact about Virgie that ties in with her singing talent is that in the 10th grade she auditioned to sing with the all women’s California ACDA Choir. “It was an awesome experience that I will cherish forever. I competed against many other young ladies on the central coast and was chosen with 3 other ladies from school. We then learned 7 different songs from Italian Arias to acapella Spanish songs. It was sooo cool!! We then met up with the other ladies from the area that made it, had a few days of practice together and then put on a concert in a Mission in Santa Clara, CA.”

Virgie has earned the nickname “311” from her local beach buddies because she has 311 ink and she’s always bumping their music on the beach. She has two 311 tattoos, strong all along on her left arm and the blue album design on her back. Guilty pleasure for Virgie is spending as much time at the beach as possible. “Spending as much time at the beach as possible in the sun and surfing are part of who I am. I love the water, the sand , the sun, the salty air, I love it all. I find such peace and balance at the beach.” She also said that ice cream and watching “Gilmore Girls” or old musicals is right up there on the list of guilty pleasures as well. 

Something most people know is that she is adopted, however most don’t know that she met her biological parents when she was 17. “It was a moment that I will never forget and is hard to put in words. I always knew I was adopted but meeting your birth parents, well its an outer body experience. I have been lucky enough to meet a few of my biological siblings and still hope to find the others someday.”

Her message to 311 is this: “I never expected Your Music to bring such joy, love, unity, friendship and adventures into my life.Some of the most dearest people and most exciting adventures were brought into my life because I found your amazing music. Thank you so much for reminding us all how beautiful it is to grow, learn, loose, forgive, travel  and embrace the many differences amongst each other!!!”

To all the fellow fans:

Hello My fellow slinkys and brodels!! I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the wonderful friendships we have made over the years. Tho the music brought us together it is each and every one of you that I have been lucky enough to embrace in hugs and share in the amazing electricity that keeps me coming! Ive made such amazing memories with you, and have made many beautiful bonds that unite us from all over the country. Your friendship, and positive attitudes and lifestyles are so contagious and encouraging and have made going to shows that much more amazing. I look forward to our reunions at all our events and talk endlessly to anyone who listens about the amazing individuals who influence me to live positive. You are all my family!!”

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That is miss Virgie and her story! So glad we all got to learn more about this awesome girl. Thank you all for reading each week. Go out and be awesome today, like you always do! 

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/7/16 – Megan Colby!

November 7th, 2016

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Hey hey hey excitable brodels and slinkies! Welcome again to the 311 fan spotlight. This week we meet the lovely Megan Colby!

Just like many other fans, the blue album is where Megan’s love for 311 began. “Hearing Down on the radio – how completely different it sounded from other music that was out there at the time – I was enthralled and eventually hooked!” It was winter 1995 and Megan received the CD as a Christmas gift from the family she babysat for. “I listened through it a zillion times, read through all the liner notes, stared at the photos in the CD booklet, and it quickly became a favorite.”

Amount of shows she’s been to, well she hasn’t really kept count, but her guesstimate is somewhere between 25 to 35. First show was back in 2000 when the band toured with Incubus. She saw them at the Pine Knob Amphitheater in Clarkston, Michigan. Like many, she had trouble narrowing down a favorite show and said there are many faves for a variety of reasons. “311 Day 2010 because it’s the day Chris and I got married and the entire day was pretty magical. The very first show on the first cruise was exciting and fun because it was so special – I mean, who else gets to see their favorite band on a freaking cruise ship surrounded by a bunch of other Excitables?!  Pow Wow was amazing because we met soooooo many new friends on that adventure. However, I’ve never rocked out harder than at the Atlanta Halloween show in 2010 – that was hands-down the best last-minute spontaneous trip of all time.”

The song “Electricity” means a great deal to Megan. Every time she hears it she gets goosebumps! “That song truly expresses how I feel about the human race. We are all one. We are all the same. We should treat others with respect and be open to others’ experiences.” Some of her favorite lyrics are this – “Life’s not a race.” “It’s a great reminder to take time to dream, to meditate, to take things slow, and to stay grounded.”

Southern California is the location of Megan’s birth, then right before her 2nd grade year, her family moved to Michigan. “Our house was on the outskirts of the bustling metropolis of Mt. Pleasant, which is smack dab in the middle of the mitten and at least 2 hours drive to anywhere you’d want to see a good band back then.” Megan attended college at Central Michigan University, where she met her now husband, Chris Colby, through mutual friends that are also 311 fans. “I still remember the day my friend Ron Hegenauer told me that 311 was going to be playing at CMU – that was CRAZY!!” Megan graduated and moved to Florida with Chris and their dog Bella. In 2010 they were married and they now have a 4 year old named Nicholas, whom she says is the most exciting part of their daily lives. For work, Megan is at a audio/video marketing business based in Tampa Bay. “I’m proud to be a part of a company that’s grown so much over the 11 years I’ve worked there.”

A fact most people don’t know, Megan used to be a cheerleader! She’s also pretty crafty and can sew. “I’ve made lots of jewelry, purses, clothing, costumes, curtains, and other crafts throughout the years. This year my big project was a blanket out of dozens of 311 shirts that Chris and I have collected over the years.”  Guilty pleasure for her comes in two forms – she loves Michael Jackson and wandering the aisles of Target by herself!

When not listening to 311, Megan can be found jamming out to artists like Rebelution, Beastie Boys, Beats Antique, Rage Against the Machine, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, CAKE, The Prodigy, Dirty Heads, DJ Shadow, Black Keys, Tool, Radiohead, Pretty Lights, Incubus, Beck, Jurassic 5, Gorillaz, Jack White (in any form), Silversun Pickups, Stick Figure, Weezer, lots of different 80-90s punk.

Megan’s message to 311? “The couple of times I’ve had an opportunity to talk to them, I’ve always said, “Thank you.” So I’ll say it again – thanks for doing what you love and including all of the fans on your adventures – it truly means the world!”

Megan’s message to all the other 311 fans:

“I never thought I would be so close with people I see only once or twice a year. I’m so glad to have made friends as amazing as all of you, and I can’t wait for our next adventure together!”

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That was the story of Megan Colby! Very much thanks to Megan and the readers. You are all amazing and give me something to look forward to every week! Until next time…

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/31/2016 – Bonni Sue!

October 31st, 2016

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Happy Halloween 311 nation! Hope you are having a spooktacular day so far and let’s make it better by meeting a new fellow 311 fan – here is Bonni Sue!

High school era, Bonni was listening to KROQ, and that’s how she initially heard 311, but it was actually an ex who really exposed her ears to them back in 2002. “I enjoyed all of their music. But while scrolling through Facebook one day in August 2011, I came across the cruise promo picture listing all the bands and djs. I knew I had to be apart of this.” Bonni had only seen them live once prior to the cruise but she booked her cabin on the third cruise knowing absolutely not a single person on the ship. “Walking off that boat I knew I was a 311 fan for life! The friendships and bonds that I made were unreal!!! The positive message in their music with the reggae rock vibe mixed with the amazing fans fit perfectly with my lifestyle and the way I choose to live.  I will be honest and say that 311 isn’t my #1 favorite band but 311 fans are my #1 favorite group of people! I get pumped for 311 shows because my ears get filled with beautiful music and my heart gets full of love seeing everyone from around the world!”

Number of shows she’s been to, well she doesn’t know, because she chooses not to count. “Music is such a huge part of my life there is no way I can keep up with how many shows I’ve gone to. My goal is to catch a live show of any kind at least once a week. I’ve traveled across the country following the bands Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, The Simpson Project, The Expanders and Soja.” Favorite place to see 311? “Red Rocks. I’ve seen them there twice now and both times my heart gets stolen! Red Rocks is magical to begin with add 311 and all the beautiful people they bring together! Words can’t describe the feeling it give me.” A close runner up is the 2014 Vegas show because during that trip she made some long lasting bonds with a few people.

Song that means the most to her is “Beautiful Disaster” and it holds a lot of memories for her. “It’s been my favorite for years! It’s one of those songs I love putting on repeat, turning the volume up super loud and sing at the top of my lungs while traveling the open road.” One of her favorite lyrics comes from “All Mixed Up” – “You’ve got to trust your instincts and let go of regrets.”

Huntington Beach, California is where Bonni Sue was raised an only child by her dad. She has a stepmom, two older stepbrothers, and a younger half brother. She was raised in the same house that her dad grew up in. Her free spirit and strength she says definitely comes from her mom. Growing up near the water she spent a lot of time in it. “I grew up with a pool in our backyard…I could swim before I knew how to walk. I was on the swim team in high school and our water polo team won CIF championship my senior junior year.” Her first job was teaching kids how to sail at Huntington Harbour Yacht Club.

When Bonni turned 21 she started to move around a lot which she said turned into a “2 year itch plan.” She has lived in Humboldt County, Seattle and Ventura. From 2014 to 2016 she lived out of her trailer, traveling all along the coast of California. She recently moved to Denver, Colorado after having dreamt of living there for over 10 years. During her travels, she worked on a cannabis farm in Northern California and realized what she would love to do for work. She now has a career as a budtender at a dispensary in Colorado. “love being able to help people and broaden their horizons when it comes to medicating with so many different types of cannabis products.” She has two fur kids known as “The Hounds:” Koda, a coonhound, and Marilyn Mae, a bloodhound. She said despite being mauled at an animal shelter in 2010, she still loves animals especially her dogs. “My experiences do not define me but rather strengthen me in life. My pups are my healers and help me get over my challenges being around the other dogs.”

Earlier this year Bonni lived in Rishikesh, India, where she studied to be a yoga teacher. She has since opened a yoga studio in her home and named it after a nickname she was given when traveling – “Traveling Gypsy Hippie.” She is also working on opening a boutique in November that will feature hand crafted items that she and other artistic “brodellas” have made. Next up for her regarding travel is heading to Thailand to study Thai Massage. “Trying to find more ways to educate myself so I can help people he’s naturally is something I get so much enjoyment from.”

As if Bonni hasn’t been interesting enough so far, here are some more tidbits of info that make her unique. She used to manage a live artist and they completed a national tour with the bands Fortunate Youth, Ease Up and New Kingston. She auditioned for the T.V. show “Big Brother” seven times while traveling across the country. She has been a diehard Denver Broncos fan since 1995 and was lucky enough to go to the Superbowl in 2014, even though they lost. Oh and she can blow glass!

Bonni is also a tough woman and fighter to get what she wants. Last year she lost her job, place to park her trailer and call home, and her life savings. “I literally had $200 to my name and nothing but dreams still left to live. I knew if I didn’t stay positive I would fall back into a dark place I didn’t want to end up again. I made a sacrifice to live out of my truck for 6 months, I put my trailer in storage.  I was able to manifest abundance and funded my way to live in India for a month. I am a dreamer and I don’t let anything stand in my way. If there is a will there is a way. When I returned from India I started from scratch again trying to get the money to move to Colorado. I continued to live out of my truck another 4 months. My life in Denver is magical and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better move or home for myself and the pups.”

Mentioned earlier, 311 isn’t Bonni’s favorite band. So who is? “Sublime will forever be my number 1 band!!!” She also was lucky to have become close with a lot of bands from when she worked in the music industry, including a lot of musicians in the reggae community. “I am very grateful for Stick Figure and Fortunate Youth in particular. I met my best friend Michelle at a Slightly Stoopid show and shortly after meeting we bonded on a road trip to see Rebelution for 4 shows!! I truly believe that Soja saved my life. After I was mauled by a dog at an animal shelter in 2010, I feel into a very dark place. I thought about attempting suicide a few times and even came close, every time I would turn on something that would play music, Soja would come on and tell me “I’m not done yet”. Lights came on and I turned to music!” Her guilty pleasure also comes in musical form. “I’m a parrot head! My first concert I ever went to was Jimmy Buffett. My dad loves him and made me love him too! Lol.”

To 311, her message is this: “Thank you! My life would not be so rich and full of love if it wasn’t for you and the message you send, the bonds I have made with other fans whom I now call my family is something I cherish and hold very dear to my heart!”

And to all the other wonderful 311 fans:

“Don’t stop dreaming, anything is possible! When bad things happen in our lives it is because we are being tested at how badly we want those dreams to come true! Live the life you love! And listen to a lot of 311 music in the process!”

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Wow what a story! Thank you Bonni for sharing your journey. As always, thank you to all the fans who continue to read. You are all truly amazing! Until next time…

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/24/16 – Hayley Kluge!

October 24th, 2016

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Excitable friends, welcome back to the 311 fan spotlight! Now it’s time to meet Hayley Kluge!

First encounter with 311 came in the year 1999 for Hayley when her friend played her the whole Soundsystem album and hooked her in. “Their positive lyrics and funky rhythm mixed with rock and reggae totally attracted me to listening to them more.” Then in 2011 when she started snowboarding 311 became her life. “My boyfriend Mike and I listen to them on our drives up to the mountain, as their music gets us pumped up and ready to ride.”

While Hayley hasn’t kept track of the number of times she has see 311 live, she can tell you her favorite event which was 311 Day 2012 in Las Vegas. That was her one and only big event so far. “We met some amazing people and began to learn about the kindness that comes along with the amazing followers of this band. I remember meeting some really amazing people on day one that saved me a spot up in the front. This meant so much to me because not only had I never been in the front at a 311 show, I also had a full arm cast on from a broken wrist injury 2 weeks prior. I was so bummed about hurting myself before the big weekend. It was so cool to have some rad people make my day under the circumstances.”

The song “Slinky” is one of her favorites because it reminds her of all her “awesome slinky sisters.” She also has a special place for “Beyond the Grey Sky.” “I always get teary eyed as I hold up my lighter up during that song.” One of her favorite lyrics though comes from “Grassroots” – “Challenge comes and goes, and there will be another I say bring it on. The roots that grow underground are as big as the tree that you see, if not, it will fall down.”

Hayley was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, California. Oldest of three siblings, she has one sister and one brother, and the whole family has always lived by the beach. “We grew up as little ocean babies.” Her dad has always surfed so they all had their own boards at a young age. “ I love the ocean and the culture that comes along with it.” Hayley also loves to snowboard and has been to Mountain High, Mammoth, Big Bear, Snow Summit, and a few different resorts in Lake Tahoe. A California girl all her life, she has big respect for the ocean and mountains. For 11 years she’s been working in the banking industry. “My motto is I work to live and listen to 311!” She and her boyfriend have been saving up to go on a 311 cruise and they will be on the next one in 2017, which will be their first so she’s super excited.

Something amazing about Hayley is that she is a breast cancer survivor! “It’s been a little over 2 years since my surgery and radiation treatments finished. I feel very blessed to have detected my lump early. I vividly remember 311 playing as I got my treatments, those were some tough days but I got through them with the power of their music. Recently I had the wonderful support from some of my amazing 311 Slinky sisters at a cancer walk that my boyfriend Mike and I were part of. We love getting involved and giving back.”

Fun fact about Hayley is that she’s never been on an airplane ever! So going on the cruise is a big deal for her and she said it’s her first “adult trip anywhere and she’s totally scared.” However she knows it’s going to be amazing! She also loves to sing but gets shy singing in front of people. With that said, she’d love to get together with some musically inclined people and just create some fun music. Keep that in mind fellow fans!

Guilty pleasure for Hayley is that she loves binge watching shows on Netflix. “Walking Dead has me hooked!” She also truly loves her doggy Oscar. “I’m not a mommy yet but Oscar is my little baby boy. I love spoiling him and showering him with lots of love.” Other music Hayley listens to includes old and some new reggae, Steel Pulse, Sister Nancy, Don Carlos, Slightly Stoopid, The Aggrolites and Ooklah the Moc. “I listen to some old school rap from time to time. Some examples would be the Roots, Pharcyde, Living Legends and Atmosphere.”

To 311, her message is this: “Thank you for making great music that has brought so many great people together.”

To the other superb 311 fans: “Never miss a day to shine bright. The light that you give out can be contagious in all the right ways!”

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There you have the tale of Hayley Kluge my friends! I hope you all enjoyed her journey and thank you all for reading. Now go seize the day, be amazing, and as Hayley said, shine bright. Until next time!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/17/16 – Des Love!

October 17th, 2016

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Welcome again excitables to the next 311fan spotlight! This week we meet the awesome Des Love!

Thanks to a friend in college Des was introduced to the awesomeness that is 311. Anytime they were driving around in the car the CD’s were playing. “I was drawn into the different sound and lyrics of the music. It had such variation and Way more depth to the songs than what the radio continually played. I Haven’t listened to the radio in over 15 years, I’m not a fan of mainstream music.”

First show for Des sucked her in even more, she was in the front row and said the lights and sound of the music being right in your face is so intense. “It was overpowering with life that there was no turning back from loving the band!! And my appreciate for their ability to connect to others through their music has only grown!”

The cruise has been her favorite event so far. “It’s a span of days and nights spending such memorable times with friends and family in one location under the sun and on the ocean. The opportunity to be Experiencing multiple shows from various artists, and discovering new friendships, loves and plenty of laughter, is truly indescribable! It’s such an open feeling and beyond amazing!!”

The east coast is where Des grew up but she moved to California during her teenage years. “My breath belongs to the ocean tides and my soul resides to the cornfields.” She is a “bad ass, superwoman mom of two spectacular little Mohicans” who has a boyfriend that she met thanks to 311. “He’s shown me love and laughter with the desire to see the ability within myself as we grow together and enjoy our epic and entertaining adventures.”

Des was lucky enough to have attended the Red Rocks show this past summer and said it was one of her favorite concerts ever. “The venue was absolutely awesome and having someone you love share the same excitement and energy for the band makes it even that much more spectacular.”

Obviously Des is a lover of music but she’s also a performer. She can play the harmonica, spoons, and acoustic guitar. As far as listening pleasures, she likes classic rock and a new favorite has been The Movement. “Reggae, dance reggae, no limitation to the genre-it’s the feel of a song that keeps me wanting to have more of it-the lyrics combined with the instrumentals is what I find attracting. I mainly like the faster paced style of songs, not a big fan of the slower kind. Especially during a concert. I really like to be moving and feeling the real vibrancy of it all.” She does have a music guilty pleasure though – it’s Neil Diamond. “My mom played him in the car while I was a child so I have a soft spot in my heart for him.”

Normally the fan spotlight has two different messages for the band and the fans, but in come original fashion, Des has this message to both 311 and the amazing fan base: “No words can properly say thank you to the band members for their dedication and continued vibe to connect strangers together, who in turn form into friendships and families, through our many journeys to concerts across the country and hanging out together! It’s a tribe of unity made up of individuals finding peace, laughter, strength, and hope, you realize you are  among similar minded souls all working at keeping the flow of positivity moving forward in life. It’s pretty damn awesome and a wonderful group to be a part of. Much thanks to each one of you who have touched my life and brought me the ability to keep shining the sun at you full force every day  #I-Love-You-More ☀️-Des Love☀️”

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That is the story of Des Love! Thank you Des for sharing your story with everyone and I think we can all say it was a great one. Of course, much thanks to all that continue to read about your fellow fans! You keep reading and I’ll keep sharing the stories. Until next time…go rock the world!

Much Love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/10/16 – Jeremy Loya!

October 10th, 2016

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Hello again excitable nation of amazing 311 fans! New week is here so let’s meet the new fan spotlight – Mr. Jeremy Loya! 

MTV playing the video for 311’s “Down” is how Jeremy was introduced to the magic of their music. He hadn’t heard anything else like it. Then he got to see them live in his home town. “I was already hooked from hearing them, but then seeing them live I was hooked for life.”

Show count is at least at 45 and picking of favorite is a tough one, but Jeremy chose the beach show in the Bahama’s on the second cruise. “Just seeing and listening to 311 while chillin in the ocean!  WOW!!!!” Another favorite moment for him wasn’t a show, it was proposing to his wife during their cruise photo! 

“Love Song” holds a special place in Jeremy’s heart because that was he and his wife’s first dance song at their wedding. Then the song “Hive” is the one that gets him the most pumped up. Favorite lyric? How about a whole favorite verse! 

“You’re all up in my mix like fuckin’ betty crocker

You think you’re playing me but actually you’re a jocker

You bad mouth me bitch man you givin me juice

It aint nothin’ but a party everybody get loose

Notice what I don’t do when stress steps to me

Whatever your complaint so sue me

I say fuck the naysayers and keep goin

Gotta do what I gotta do to get the people glowin’

So let everybody gather the more the better

I represent the traveler him he’s a shredder.”

Jeremy said this whole verse just gets him really pumped up when he hears it and the whole thing just flows so well. 

Topeka, Kansas is where Jeremy was born and raised, as well as where he has resided for all of his 37 years on Earth. A lover of sports he’s especially fond of the Kansas Jayhawks (Rock Chalk). He’s worked at U.S. Foods for the past 15 years and he works A LOT of overtime to fund his 311 adventures. “When I request time off of work, they ask where 311 is gonna be now?” Jeremy just married his sweetheart on 3/11/16 and as mentioned before he proposed to her during the band photo on the cruise. “The photos are epic!  She was so surprised. So the next Cruise will be our Honeymoon!” 

Jeremy is lucky enough to share his birthday with the one and only Chad Sexton! As mentioned above, he loves sports and playing them in his spare time. He also goes to a lot of sporting events and concerts.  When not doing that Jeremy also loves to spend time with his family and friends, just hanging out. “I really like to make people laugh usually at my expense. (I’m a goofy dude).” Jeremy said he’s a big momma’s boy and a big baby when it comes to sad movies. “Or a heart felt video or story I see on FB or You Tube.  I’m a cryer.” Guilty pleasure is going to the movies. “It is my get away from the norm of every day things. It’s a good date night, or just a good time to be alone and enjoy a good movie.” 

AC/DC is another one of Jeremy’s favorite bands, as well as Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and 80’s rock. “I like all kinds of genres of music, from Rap to Blue Grass. Eminem, Beastie Boys, Biggie, Pac, to Texas Tornados, Eric Church the list goes on…lol. Oh I can’t forget Michael Jackson.”

Jeremy’s message to 311 is this: “Thank you!  Not just for their music, but what they stand for and bringing people together, for all the awesome people I have met along my ongoing 311 adventure.”

And now his message to all his fellow fans:

“What’s up Excitables?!?!  Just want to say I love all of my 311 familia I have met throughout the years!  I never would have thought I would meet as many awesome people from listening to a band. People all across the country, when I first heard 311 I thought it was just music, but over the years I have realized its WAAY more!  It’s a lifestyle.  I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and meeting a lot more Excitables in the future!!! Stay Positive & Love your life.”

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That’s Jeremy’s story my amazing friends! I thank you all for reading and hope you enjoyed it. We are all so lucky to be a part of this amazing community of fans. Now go seize the day, be awesome! 

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/3/16 – Kama Star!

October 3rd, 2016

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Hello and welcome again to the latest edition of the 311 fan spotlight! This week we meet the gorgeous Kama Star! 

Flash back to March of 1996 when Kama’s then boyfriend (now ex-husband and still best friend) saw 311 open for Cypress Hill. He came home telling her she had to check them out and while she was pretty much a deadhead at the time, she ended up listening to the blue album since he insisted she give it a shot. “I was instantly engaged.  The harmonies, funky rhythms and most importantly, positive messages, hooked me real good.  Over time, the relationships I’ve built with so many amazing people is a huge part of what keeps me in attendance at so many shows/events.”

Approximate show count is at 103 and of those she chose the second cruise as her favorite event. “The beach show was simply unprecedented and one of the other bands  that was on board is a personal favorite (2 Skinnee J’s!!!!)” 

Song that means the most to Kama has changed over the years depending on what is currently going on in her life, although she said “Wake Your Mind Up” and “Running” have really helped her through tough times. Favorite lyrics are “Stay positive and love your life” and “The jaded ones will wither while the optimistic grow.” She has both of those lines tattooed on her. 

Kama was born at approximately 4:20AM on a snowy January morning in Brooklyn, N.Y.  She grew up however in Silicon Valley in Northern California. In 2001 she moved to Las Vegas and has been there ever since. She currently lives with her boyfriend and fellow excitable Chris Childress and her cat Jupiter Star at what she calls “The Peace Palace.” She works at the Oasis Medical Cannabis as the Patient Services Manager. Her place of employment is a dispensary for medical marijuana patients. “We accept patients from across the world, so I get to help all kinds of people with all kinds of challenges.  To say I love my job is an understatement!”

Something most don’t know about Kama? “I’m 43 years young.” Unique attribute is that her name literally means “Love, to the utmost of all it’s senses.” “I believe I was put on this earth to shine love and light on people so they can better find their way on their journey.  I pride myself in coming from love & bringing people together in various capacities.” Guilty pleasure comes via music including Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Wilson Phillips, and Broadway musicals. When not listening to those artists, or 311, she also jams out to Full Service, Beastie Boys, 2 Skinnee J’s, Trevor Hall, Beatles, Grateful Dead, and G. Love & Special Sauce. 

To 311, Kama has this message: “Thank you, from the depths of my soul, for following your dreams, sharing your creativity and inspiring not only myself, but so so so many others whom I adore!”

To all the other fans out there: “I’m so grateful to be part of such a generous, conscious and beautiful tribe of humans.  We are so much more than just a group of fans, we are truly a community – looking out for one another, united in our love for music…staying positive & loving our lives.”

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That my friends is the story of Kama Star! I hope you all get to meet her in person some day. Thanks for being a part of this Kama and thank you as always excitable readers for coming back each and every week to learn more about your fellow fans! Until we meet again, go out and be the awesome people that I know you are. 

Much love – The Runt

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