September 1st, 2014
Hello my 311 companions! Happy Labor Day to you all! I hope you are having an excellent long weekend and are loving life as summertime winds down. It’s time to aim the spotlight on another amazing 311 fan! This week we introduce Ms. Lillian Valdes!
Lily’s story begins in Miami back in 1995, when the University of Miami radio station played “Omaha Stylee.” Lily says, “It was love at first listen. I called the station to find out who that was that I had just listened to.” It wasn’t until a few months later when the video for “All Mixed Up” came on MTV that Lillian’s love for the band was set in stone. It was this that made her a 311 fan for life.
While she has no clue as to how many shows she’s seen, she does know that she has attended every South Florida show since 1996, as well as been on the cruises and 311 Day. She mentioned that if she is going to travel for any regular tour show, it would definitely be to Red Rocks. Her favorite show/event? Well she says she’s enjoyed every single show she’s been to but there are a few that stand out of the crowd. “My very first show in 1996 with Goldfinger opening up (my sister took me), Guavaween in Ybor City, FL in 1999 (I hopped on a Greyhound bus with one of my friends and we had a blast), House of Blues in Orlando, FL in 2000 (I went by myself but got to meet Nick, SA, and Chad that day), and the first 311 Caribbean Cruise (the energy was electrifying!).”
Lillian’s favorite song or one that means the most to her changes depending on the time in her life. “Different songs mean different things to me. It all depends on how relatable it is. Right now I am feeling “I’ll Be Here Awhile.” It’s an anthem of survival and being able to depend on loved ones when you need it most.” One of her favorite quotes from a 311 song though is “I’ve seen the other side and I say I’ve been insane and I won’t ever be the same.”
Lily is a first generation American in an all Cuban family. She was born, raised, and currently still resides in Miami, Florida. Even though she grew up in a Spanish speaking household, even her Abuela (Grandmother) knew who Tres Once was! Lillian currently works as a finance assistant at a major car dealership but hopes to finish up her degree in special education. She went to school for radio and T.V. broadcasting when she first graduated from high school and worked at the rock station WZTA for awhile. However they eventually changed the format and there are now NO rock stations in Miami! While she loved radio she said she needed more job security in life and that’s why she left it. She loves her city and loves her culture and says, “So, here I am livin’ and rockin’ in sunny South Florida with my boyfriend Steven Weis.”
Having lived only twenty minutes from the ocean her entire life, you would think Lillian would love to swim right? Wrong! She doesn’t know how. She vows that she doesn’t have any talents…”I’m not a good singer, I can’t play an instrument…I do enjoy dancing though and I’m pretty good at it.” She also says that she’s great at being comedic relief in awkward or tense situations.
Lily is an avid pop culture and trivia junkie, so she has a vast amount of pop music knowledge. She also said, “ I enjoyed the shit our of NKOTB and The Backstreet Boys.” She can spend hours watching detective shows like The First 48 and Snapped “I love a good murder mystery. Is that morbid? Lol.” She also has a passion for makeup, although she buys a lot more than she actually wears.
An eclectic taste in music means that the other artists she loves are all from various music genres. “If it makes me feel something; sadness, happiness, the desire to act like a fool, the I like it.” Some of the people she’d pay money to see live are Nonpoint, Fiona Apple, Portishead, NIN, No Doubt, Tool, Lady GaGa, Jimmy Buffet and Queen. “This world wasn’t ready for Freddie Mercury. He was so far ahead of his time.”
Face to face with the guys from 311, Lily would simply say, “Thanks for making music that has been a driving force in my life through the very sad and incredibly happy times. And also for introducing me to so many of my friends.”
To all of you, my excitable friends:
“I cannot wait to have most of you here in Miami in February! Shout out to the Florida Familia (especially my roomies)! I’m so happy we’re connected.”
That is the story of Lillian Valdes! I hope you all adored her story. If you are headed to her home town in February, find her and say hello! I know I will be! Thanks for reading and enjoy the day!
Much love! -The Runt