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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!”

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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

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/6/2017 – Beth Perazzo!

Hey there excitable 311 nation! We are back at it with another fan spotlight. This week we meet the lovely Beth Perazzo!

It was just a short while ago, back in 2012, that Beth became a fan of 311 when she went on the cruise that year. “I had gone on a few Sixthman cruises and after I went on Rock Boat in March 2012 I wanted to go on another cruise and I saw the 311 cruise was going in May.  I didn’t have anyone to go with so I booked a room as an independent traveler.  It was the best decision!  I had a blast and I loved how amazing 311 is live.  I also met a lot of really awesome new friends!”

Show count is unknown for Beth, but it has been quite a few since she started just five years ago. She has seen them in many locations including Red Rocks and Las Vegas. The best show she has seen so far was the beach show on the 2012 cruise. “It was so awesome to watch them from the beach and in the water and the energy from the people and the band was amazing.  Everyone there was having the time of their life!”

Song that means the most to Beth is “Time Bomb.” “Since my first show was 2012 Universal Pulse was the new album and at the time the one I listened to the most.  I like this song because it has the lyrics “Let me introduce you, to the excitable crew”. That always makes me think they were talking to me on the 2012 cruise and they were telling me about all the amazing people I was about to me and what brings them all together is their love for 311, music and each other.”

Parma, Ohio is where Beth grew up, it’s just outside of Cleveland. In high school, Beth made the decision to join the military and she left for the Naval Academy right after she graduated. Four years later she became a United States Marine Corps officer. Her career has flourished since then and she has lived in Georgia, Missouri, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and now Florida.

After the cruise in 2012, Beth became friends with Chuck Haskin and then on the 2013 cruise he introduced her to Tony Perazzo. “We saw each other a couple times a year for shows and skiing but were only friends until last year when I finally realized how great Tony is and how great he could be for me.  Things moved quickly and we were in Las Vegas last year to see 311 in July so we decided it was the perfect time to get married.  We did it in his jeep in a drive through, which was perfect because it was unique and memorable, and still very special.  Our love of music is a big part of why we are great and love going to shows together.  I can definitely say that 311 played a part in us getting together and has changed my life in so many positive ways.”

Beth has been deployed to Kuwait and Iraq during her Marine career. “Deploying is part of military life and I’m glad I had the experience.  It challenged me and taught me many good life lessons.” She has also done really well in her career which is not easy as a female, so she is very proud of her accomplishments. “ And I’m very fortunate now to have Tony, who is so supportive of me.”

Guilty pleasure for Beth is the show Greys Anatomy. “I’ll be sad when it finally goes off the air.” One of her other favorite musical talents is Dispatch. She also loves Pearl Jam, Shinedown, Ballyhoo!, and Dirty Heads. “I also love acoustic and harmonies like with Mumford and Sons and a lot of my rock boat bands are like this.  I also like some country and I think Zac Brown Band is one of the best.”

To 311 Beth would love to say: “Thank you for continuing to make music and touring, because of you I’ve met so many amazing friends and my husband, and I love that we all continue to share our love of what you do.”

Her message to all the other fans out there:

“Keep being a family and being friendly to new people and making them feel welcome and part of something special!”

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Thanks Beth Perazzo for sharing your story! I’m proud to call Beth a personal friend and was so happy to be able to share her story. Thanks all for reading each week. Keep on being amazing and go spread the positivity!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/30/2017 – Melissa Lovejoy!

Hello again to all out there in 311 nation! New fan spotlight time has arrived and this week we get to learn all about Melissa Lovejoy!

It was the era of the blue album and Transistor when Melissa found the magical sounds of 311. However it was when Soundsystem was released that she really got into them more. “Soundsystem really drew me into their unique sound and inspiring philosophies.”

Since discovering 311 Melissa has seen them live 15 times, the first one being 15 years ago at The University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire. Favorite shows so far were the ones she just attended this year on the cruise, which was her first cruise.

Song that means the most to Melissa is “Large in the Margin.” As far as favorite lyrics, she has a few that stand out to her: “Every time you will ignore your heart it will come back twice more, never deny your own instinct, reconsider everything,” “I’ve got a mind full of weapons in the battle of me versus myself, and everything that I’ve kept in, I’m finding the courage to tell,” “The jaded one’s will wither while the optimistic grow,” and

“Do what you feel the more absurd the better.”

Melissa was born and raised a “Masshole.” (Massachusetts born just in case people don’t know that term!) Currently she lives in Tampa, Florida. Processing mortgage loans is how she funds her 311 habit, but she is really a massage therapist at heart. “I practiced for 10 years up north.”

Music is a huge part of Melissa’s life and naming favorite musicians could take her days. Right now she is really into reggae rock and hip hop when not listening to 311.

Interesting fact about Melissa? “I had never seen the Star Wars films until a few months ago.” Something that makes her unique are her eyes. “I was born with bilateral Coloboma of the iris, which is why my pupils are shaped like keyholes. It’s not super unique, but the odds are less than 1 in every 10,000 births.”

Guilty pleasure for Melissa is the movie Titanic. “It makes me cry like a little bitch every time I watch it.”

On the cruise when Melissa went to take her photo with the band, she managed to tell them “Thank you for everything.” She said if she had the time, she would dive more into thanking them for how positively they have influenced her life.

Finally, Melissa has this message for all her fellow fans:

“Familia, I love geeking out over 311 with you! Don’t be a stranger ;)”

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That’s Melissa Lovejoy’s story! Thanks for sharing Melissa and thanks to everyone for reading. Time to go out there and spread that peace, love, unity and respect. Keep being awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/23/2017 – Matt Brill!

Hello again to all out there in 311 nation! How’s everybody feeling? Hopefully good and ready to take on a new week. Let’s start it off and meet the next 311 fan spotlight, Mr. Matt Brill!

The love for 311 began for Matt when he was around the age of 13 or 14. He can remember the precise moment like it was yesterday. “I was hanging out with my best friend back then, John Mock. We’re in his basement. He turns on his stereo to ridiculously loud proportions. It was the song “Down” rattling his entire house. From that very moment I fell in love with 311.” Matt ran out and bought the blue album, then shortly after he found Grassroots. “I can’t really determine what drew me to them back in those days but it happened effortlessly. I instantly fell in love. 311, along with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, are the two groups that brought me into music and became the styles I love to this day.”

Show count is uncertain for Matt. He stopped counting when he reached the 40’s and that was four years ago. His estimate is somewhere in the 60’s now. “My first show was back in 1999 in Madison, Wisconsin at the Exhibition Hall. Madison being Nick Hexum’s city of birth!” Favorite event so far was the second cruise. “I got front row for the first night show, the Lido deck show. I remember running full speed up many levels of stairways with my buddy Jermaine to get that position. Spending multiple days, on a boat, with some of my best friends was surreal. And it was just us 311 fans. No cars, no traffic, no news, no TV, no cellphones. It was beautiful! That was an amazing overall experience. And the island show. Wow! To see 311 play on a Caribbean island!”

There isn’t just one song that means the most to Matt out of 311’s catalog. “There’s so many, collectively, that have different meanings for me depending on my current life situations.” One lyric that Matt loves though is, “The fish who keeps on swimming is the first to chill upstream.” He said it reminds him of his entire life’s journey. “Never giving up no matter what. And with much sacrifice now, comes much better things in the future.”

Janesville, Wisconsin, is where Matt was born and he lived there for his first 32 years on this planet. He and his sister were raised by their single mother and his grandfather was his father figure who taught him how to be a man. In 2015 Matt moved to Detroit, Michigan, to be near his mother, stepdad, and two little brothers, and also for a job working at Ford Motor Company. “My 311 habit is funded by my job at Ford and investments. Back in Wisconsin it was very much funded by “WGTH” sales.”

Interesting fact that Matt says most don’t know about him? “In my younger days I did jail time for stealing a Glock 40, bulletproof vest, and hundreds of hollow point rounds off of a S.W.A.T. team officer. Oops!” Something that makes him special is his frugality. “I know how to get rich by living like I’m poor. I have an exceptional ability to find the best deals and values in every aspect of my life. Sacrifice!” Guilty pleasure for Matt is The Walking Dead. “I love that show! I attend the conventions, meet the actors, know all of their real names, etc.”

Mentioned earlier, another musical talent that Matt loves is Bones Thugs-N-Harmony. He also loves Pink Floyd to name another one. “I fell in love with BTNH right about the same time as I got into 311. From what I remember, the videos for “Tha Crossroads” and “Down” were on MTV at the same time.  I fell in love with Pink Floyd my senior year of high school. My friends and I used to drive around the countrysides of Wisconsin, smoking herb, and Pink Floyd always was the perfect background music to those adventures.”

Matt’s message to 311 is simple yet powerful: “THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE.”

His message to all his fellow 311 fans is just as simple and powerful:

“Be different.”

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Thank you Matt Brill for sharing your story of your love for 311! It was a pleasure to learn more about Matt and I hope everyone reading enjoyed his tale. Thank you of course for reading each week, and being part of this amazing group of fans. Until we meet again, stay positive and love your life!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/16/17 – Brett Kondrat!

Will Byington Photography © 2017

Welcome again to all those out there in 311 nation! The time is here to introduce the next fan spotlight. Meet Brett Kondrat!

Love for 311 began in the mid 90’s for Brett, back when he was a skater kid. He gives credit to B Love, Brian Smith, and Arlo Eisenberg for his introduction to the band. It was 1995 and they had made a rollerblading video called The Hoax 2. “These guys were my hero’s and they were skating to 311’s music in a few sections of this epic skate video. Arlo owned a skate brand called Senate, it was like the Nike of rollerblading at the time. Nick used to wear Senate tank tops on stage and they became known as a cool band to us skater kids. In 1997 other kids were buying Jordan’s shoes and Deon Sander’s jerseys. B Love had his own signature pro wheels and the artwork on the packaging was styled after the album cover for Music. B Love was standing there pointing right at you. I was like 12, but I saved my money and bought 2 sets of those wheels, I honestly cherished them. I only skated them on wood ramps at the skate park so they wouldn’t get worn out on the street! And I still have them.”

Show count is at 72 for Brett, including six 311 Day events and all 5 cruises. First show was in 2001 at the Warped Tour in Dallas, Texas. The ever hard question to answer was what Brett’s favorite show was. “I would have to say watching Transistor in its entirety at The Pow Wow was the best night of music I have ever seen. Honorable mention to the Unity Orchestra at 311 Day and watching them while floating in paradise at Half Moon Cay.”

Song that Brett loves is “Reggae Got Soul” and he hopes that the band plays it live one day. He couldn’t pick just one song that really means the most to him though. “It’s impossible to pick one. The Continuous Life or Welcome live with the intro are favorites. The song that means the most to me is the one that’s making me feel awesome while I’m listening to it.” A few lyrics that stand out to him as favorites are, “Don’t let the fear get you,” “It’s not ambiguous, it be continuous, it’s all about us, it’s for real my man. The continuous life there is no end, moving through life, moving through death,” and “Damn, you’re a shame, no thank you ma’am, Bitch!”

A small town in Western Massachusetts is where Brett grew up, but he moved to Dallas, Texas when he was 11 years old. He just moved to Denver, Colorado a month ago and so far he loves it. How he funds his 311 habit is by his creation of a lighter called The Wick Light. He sells them online and at retail stores.

One thing Brett believes about 311’s music is that Evolver doesn’t really get the credit it deserves. “That record has Creatures, Beyond the Grey Sky, and Jacks rule the realm and it’s only 11 songs… just sayin’.” When 311 isn’t bumping at Brett’s home, his ears are entertained by musicians like Full Service, Killswitch Engage, Pepper, All That Remains, Times of Grace, Mastodon, and lately a lot of Tom Petty.

At the age of 33, Brett still hits up the skate parks. “I don’t want to grow up.” Guilty pleasure for Brett is the T.V. show The Sopranos. “I have an unhealthy obsession with it. I lost count of how many times I’ve watched it.”

To 311, Brett’s message is: “Thank you for creating beautiful art that brings us together, encourages us to live well and think deeply about ourselves, others, and the universe.”

To all the other awesome fans:

“Thank you all for being the greatest group of positive humans that has ever been assembled. I love you all, see you at 311 Day!”

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Thank you Brett for sharing your story with the best fans in the world! Thank you to all that continue reading. Time to go out there and be awesome, spread that love and unity to all!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/2/2017 – Rob Montano!

Will Byington Photography © 2017

Welcome back my excitable friends out in 311 nation! Are we all ready to start the new week off right? Let’s do it by reading the next fan spotlight. Meet Rob Montano!

The radio stations DC101 and 99.1 WHFS were local radio stations that Rob listened to and it was there that he first heard the magical sounds of 311. “I bought the blue album when it first came out and didn’t look back. My older sister was a fan too.”

First show for Rob was back in 2002 at the Nissan Pavilion for the Sprite Liquid Mix tour. Since then he has attended 71 shows total. Favorite of those 71 shows goes to the first show on the last cruise this year and it is for a very awesome reason. “I proposed to my longtime girlfriend Caitlin during the sail away show! Then we popped the biggest bottle of champagne to celebrate!”

Song that means the most to Rob is “All Mixed Up” and it has a special meaning to he and his fiancé. “I had always be mine engraved on my fiancés ring.” Favorite lyric comes from the song “Plain” – “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it.”

Rob was born and raised in Maryland, still residing there to this day. He lives in Montgomery County with his fiancé Caitlin. Currently he is attending school at University of Maryland University College. He is working towards a degree in Cybersecurity and also working full time so he can keep funding his 311 habit! He is very excited to get into the IT field of work. He also has his hands full taking care of their 2 year old puggle P-Nut. “He keeps us on our toes. He enjoys when we have friends come visit, especially our 311 friends.”

Cool piece of information about Rob, his brother lives in Milan, Italy, and his sister lives in London, England. “We just traveled to Scotland for my sisters wedding. I now have a British brother in law. I’m also about to be an Uncle in March.” Something else Rob says some might not know is that he played hockey in high school.

It was in high school where Rob met Caitlin, so he really proposed to his high school sweetheart, not something that happens very often! “We bonded over 311 in computer class and the rest is history.” Some things Rob loves (besides Caitlin) are playing golf, traveling (not just for 311), and going to Bethany Beach, Delaware. When not listening to 311 he can be found rocking out to Tipper, Pretty Lights, Ballyhoo!, Sound Tribe, Ganja White Night, Ott, Jade Cicada, Bogtrotter, Shpongle, Bassnectar, SOJA, and Stick Figure.

To 311, Rob’s message is: “Thank you for everything you have done over the last 27 years and also helping me meet a ton of great people….like Chrissy!”

Now his simple and sweet message to all the other fans!

“Life is short so live it up!”

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There you have the story of Rob Montano! Thanks to Rob for sharing his story of his love for 311 and thank you readers, as always, for keeping this blog alive! We are all part of an amazing community and I love helping tell your stories. Now go take this week on with power, positivity and love!

Much Love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/18/17 – Alisha Eckman!

Welcome again Excitable 311 nation! It’s time for the new 311 fan spotlight. This week we feature the lovely Alisha Eckman!

Fourteen years old was the age when 311 first came into Alisha’s life. It was 1995 and she was in junior high. She has a very distinct memory of her friend Megan saying she liked this song “Down” by this band, “three, one, one, or however you say it.” Alisha went out and bought the blue album and as she said, it was love at first listen. “Instant connection to the music and lyrics, which I studied and quickly memorized. This then brought me to BullMoose Music in Brunswick, Maine because I had to hear more! So bought Music, Grassroots and eventually Omaha Sessions – which would quickly become my favorite albums of all-time.”

Alisha never really kept track of shows she went to until recently, so she is unsure of her number, but believes it’s somewhere in the mid 20’s. Her favorite event so far was 311 Day 2016 in New Orleans. “I’d never been to 311 Day before that – it always seemed too tough to make it while I was raising my little ones. It wasn’t until www.thepier.org had an email contest How I discovered 311 that I actually won, that actually made this dream a reality for me! The experience was the most amazing ever and I’m forever grateful! I’d never even gotten the rail before, so to be able to see 2 nights of 311’s live music and get the pit for a photo pass, I’d struck gold. This totally rekindled my love for 311. Not that I ever lost that love, but I guess I lost my enthusiasm for most things in my life for a while, due to some pretty tough years. In 2006,​ ​my dad died unexpectedly in an accident and an ex cheated on me while I grieved… all simultaneously. My heart was completely broken and so was my sense of self. It took me many years to go to any shows again. I met my awesome husband Eric and we started going to shows together and that part of me was reborn. When I finally gathered up the courage to read his death certificate, I saw his time of passing was actually 3:11 p.m. Turns out that 311 is the bridge to my dad in spirit. 🙂 I see the clock at 3:11, sometimes out of a deep sleep and I just know it’s my dad telling me he loves me and is with me. 311 is so much deeper to me than ‘just a band.’ They have so much spiritual meaning to me. Following this band is a lifestyle and it’s brought me to meet so many beautiful souls. http://www.thepier.org/311-day-contest-how-i-discovered-311/

It was tough for Alisha to think of a song that means the most to her because she said there is literally not a song that she doesn’t like. Two songs that did come to mind that stands out as favorites are “Hydroponic” and “Omaha Stylee.” Song lyric that keeps her motivated is, “The fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to swim upstream.” She also loves the lyric, “I’m truly grateful, I’m going back to the Earth, I’m not gonna waste life being hateful.”

Maine is where Alisha grew up and has been there the majority of her life. She lived in Kansas for a little over a year, as well as Maryland, and even spent a couple of years in England. “I just moved to a little country town in New Hampshire with my family and have seen 311 in every state I’ve ever lived in but no other countries.” Funny tidbit about Alisha is that she has NEVER been able to watch scary movies! “I would literally still have nightmares… I avoid them and anything super violent. I couldn’t do Game of Thrones. I stick to lighter / feel-good stuff.”

Something cool that Alisha does is that she using her artistic ability to create pointillism art and mehndi (henna). You can find some samples of her work on her Instagram: stylemyday311. Some other bands that Alisha loves are Iration, Rebelution, and Stick Figure. “I’ve really gotten into reggae more in the past couple years. This music makes me feel so good!” Guilty pleasure? “Chocolate pie… I can eat the entire pie in one sitting. Done it… haha!!”

To 311 Alisha’s message is this: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart. You all mean so much more to me than ‘just a band’ that I’ve loved for nearly 23 years. You’ve helped me through the most difficult times of my life and I feel so grateful to have this connection with you.”

Now to all the other amazing fans:

“It’s just been such a blast and such a blessing to meet so many other awesome and passionate people who share a common love! I love seeing you all again each summer and look forward to many more years ahead of getting together and rocking out together. ;)​”

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Now you know the story of Alisha Eckman! I can say I’ve met her in person and she’s awesome! I hope you all get to meet her in person one day. Thanks for reading again this week! Now go kick some butt and spread that positivity!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/11/17 – Morgan Surkin!

Hello again Excitable nation! Are you ready to read about the next amazing 311 fan? Then let’s get to it. Meet Morgan Surkin!

The story of Morgan begins with her seeing the music video for “Down” on MTV and was there that she just fell in love with the music. “The mix of rock music and positive lyrics had me hooked from the get-go.”

Morgan hasn’t really kept track of show count over the years but believes it’s somewhere in the 20’s range. The shows she has attended include 311 Day 2010, Pow Wow, and two of the cruises. “My first show was when I was 16; August 21, 1997 with De La Soul and Rustic Overtones in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I remember it was pouring rain and nothing but mud. Ever since then I have seen them as much as I could because there is nothing like a 311 live show!”

Picking her favorite show was difficult. Pow Wow was her first taste of just how big the 311 community is and the power that 311’s music has bringing people together. “We brought our son and road-tripped down from Maine with another couple and a sitter. While the heat was ridiculous, my son played on the bouncy slide with Nick’s daughter and it was a chill, family-friendly and reasonably priced event for a vacation.” Then there was 311 Day 2010 where she and her husband splurged on VIP to get to meet and play Blackjack with the band. “The dealer even called me out for being star struck and having a huge dumb smile on my face the whole time. Ha! The Cruises are next level though – everyone stuck in a small area, there for the same fun loving reason, no internet, running into your favorite bands and comedians while walking around the boat (or beach) is pretty surreal. Any time the 311 community gets together for a big event, it is a fabulous experience.”

“Speak Easy” is one of the songs that mean the most to her, she says it makes her cry almost every time she hears it live. “I even have it woven into the grassroots tattooed on my wrist. When I heard it on the cruise with that beautiful backdrop, surrounded by so much love and positivity, it was like a dream.” Favorite lyrics are “Stay positive and love your life.” “Another lyric I have tattooed on my forearm. It is a motto I strive to live by daily.”

Falmouth, Maine, is where Morgan grew up and she currently lives in the same state in the city of Portland. She lives there with her husband, son, and their dog. By day she is a paralegal/legal assistant and by night she teaches Pilates and runs a sport and social club with her husband that they founded back in 2008. “We started PortSports with the ideal of promoting unity and positivity even within recreational adult sports. A big part of our mission is to give back to charities and over the years we’ve donated over $30,000 to local and national nonprofit organizations.”

Uniqueness comes from Morgan’s 311 tattoo sleeve. “All I knew when I started this project was that I wanted a sleeve, I wanted it all 311-related, with the overarching theme of ‘head in the clouds, feet on the ground’ from shoulder to wrist. From there I went through the lyric books I had created (because I’m a nerd), pulled my favorite quotes and imagery from their music and started my list to bring to my artist. We worked on the design for over four months to take the ideas and make them a cohesive piece of art that I will have for a lifetime. It took about 24 hours total ink time from start to finish. Inspiration: SPLYL, Jupiter, Hive, Pow Wow Fest/dreamcatcher, BTGS/Sun Comes Through, Transistor, Speak Easy, Grassroots, Ballyhoo!’s Earl to name a few].”

Something you may not know about Morgan is that in her sophomore year of college she went to Egypt to study the “Coral Reed Preservation in the Red Sea.” “We spent one week in Cairo and two weeks scuba diving in Sharm el Sheikh. And yes, I got to ride a camel!” Guilty pleasure for Morgan is the reality show “Big Brother.” When not listening to 311 she jams out to Dirty Heads, Ballyhoo!, RDGLDGRN and Major Lazer.

Morgan has this message to 311: “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for spreading your message of unity and positivity since the beginning and staying true to yourselves throughout the years. Keep on being the 311est!”

Her message to all the other awesome 311 fans:

“Enjoy the ride and keep an open heart. Even after 20+ years of being a fan, I still love rediscovering their music and finding a new appreciation each and every show.”

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Morgan, thanks for being awesome and sharing your story with everyone! It was my pleasure being able to write about an amazing person. Thanks to all who stopped by to read this and keep on reading each week. You are all wonderful! Now go out and spread that positivity.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/4/17 – Steve Young!

Hello again excitable friends! Can you guess the time? It’s new fan spotlight time! This week we meet Steve Young!

The year was 1994 and it was a close friend at school that introduced Steve to 311. His friend had the Music album on tape and they would listen to it in between classes. “I remember saying wow these guys are freaking awesome. I went to Tower Records after class and bought it, I wore that tape out, till it broke, and then bought it again.”

Show count for Steve is at 54. He’s been on three cruises and thinks they are absolutely amazing. “I even got to play basketball against p-nut on two of them.. he won one and I won one, so  I need a grudge match! every show since then Pnut always pretends to shoot a basketball at me when he see’s me on his side at the shows..so cool!!!” Steve’s first show was at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City back in 1995. “They played with Korn that night and I danced and moshed my ass off all night, instantly hooked on the energy of their live shows!” His favorite show so far though was the beach show from the second cruise. “Nothing can compare to watching 311 do their thing on a pirate ship stage while swimming in the ocean. I remember it so well I had a blue floating matt with 2 buckets of beer my close friends and a ear full of awesome…that memory will never leave me.”

There are many songs that Steve holds near and dear. “With each release of a new album there would be a song or three, that felt like it was just for me in the now, something I was going thru or experiencing that just was in sync with my life, a song like all mixed up saying trust your instincts and let go of regret, at the time its just what I needed or song like speak easy when it came out I was living in the Bahamas I was away from the city, away from the ears that bug us and judge us, indeed it was liberating to be free…. all along their path and mine they would have song come out that touched me, encouraged me or lifted my spirit up. I can’t name just one, its a collective of lyrics, songs and moments in time that stir my soul.” There are also many lyrics that have touched his heart, but right now he said his favorite comes from “Wake Your Mind Up” – The streets that we walk on are dark and jaded, a wandering soul that’s filled with hatred. In it is poison the youth is tainted, social engineering keeps us separated. Media control is highly overrated, ignorance is bliss to those uneducated. Listen to the message cuz it’s time we faced it.”

Northern New Jersey is the area that Steve was raised but his journey through life has taken him quite a few places including Southern Florida, a small island in the Bahamas, New York, and Pennsylvania. His career path has been kind of crazy he said. “I just followed the road in front of me and surfed the wave, after college I was a bartender for many years, one summer I was hired to do a flair gig in the Hamptons, it was a party for a really wealthy family, that party I worked changed everything, I got to know the owner of the estate and he asked me to come back for other parties  I did, after one party he asked if I wanted to work for him, I said jokingly yeah sure you need a personal bartender full time? he laughed and said no I need a sharp guy like you to help me set up a new house I bought in the Bahamas,  I said yes and two weeks later I was on a private jet moving to harbor island in the Bahamas, I lived on a billionaires private estate and looked over his house, I managed that property, and also oversaw construction of a 4 unit guest apartment.  It was crazy I didn’t know anyone there but I was in paradise, I loved island life those 3 years I can remember dancing to golden sunlight on the beach at night and I could see the stars under my feet from the calm waters rolling up on the sand, the sky was so clear and the stars so bright it looked like a disco under my toes.  That was in 2008 I stayed working for that family for 6 years working my way up his private staff to finally becoming the head of estates. I was brushing elbows with so many cool people from Presidents of the United States to famous actors and singers, the stories I could tell, would fill up this entire blog.  But while working for that family we did a number of construction projects and I got to know a architect very well, he got me to leave that job and work for him, so now I work for a Architecture firm in nyc as a Owners Rep and I help families build their dream homes. It’s been I wild ride I wouldn’t change a minute.  If you meet me in person ask me to tell you a dirty joke Bill Clinton told me and Chevy Chase over cocktails one night at a fundraiser.”

Interesting fact about Steve is that he loves to dance! He was his older sisters dance partner growing up and he still loves it. “All forms, from lindy hop, to swing, to ballroom styles, electro and dance hall. I Love slinging my little lady around the dance floor. The ways different music moves you is always something I’ve enjoyed. Pants off dance off…yes please!” Unique attribute for Steve is his laugh! “Friends of mine always comment on my laugh, that it’s infectious, and I do love to be silly. I also really like to make others laugh, I don’t try to be a funny guy, but it’s more of something I always have done infused humor into everything, lighten the mood, try to get people to laugh, which in turns gets me laughing. They say it adds years to your life. Don’t be so serious it’s just a ride.”

Guilty pleasure for Steve is that he loves his Sunday Fun day! “Golf with the guys and Game of Thrones in the eve…Sunday fun days are the best!” Other bands Steve listens to, it changes from time to time, but for the most part its Bob Marley, Beastie Boys, The Dirty Heads, The Movement, Stick Figure, and CC Roots, a great local band in New Jersey/NYC.

To 311, Steve’s message is this: “I would first like to thank them for all the uplifting moments on my journey, my positive outlook on life that fuels me, they have been a major part in my life.. Then I would like to encourage them to say more in between songs!! I know that down is for the “old school fans’ lol Say something uplifting, or about the song, it makes the connection even better, and it feels personal for that crowd in that moment in time! I feel so blessed to have them in my life for 23 years!”

To all the other awesome 311 fans:

“I would really like to stress to all the fans and friends the power of unity. There is a reason chad has the symbol of the flower of life on his drum sticks and I have it tattooed on me as well,. The flower of life is the sacred geometry of creation that shapes all living things and is the visual expression of the connections of life that run through all sentient beings. Basically we are all connected, we are all one!  When realizing this, everyone becomes your brother or sister, everyone is part of you, this promotes peace and love and unity, as why would anyone want to do harm to a loved one or themselves. You can hear “one” in the lyrics of many 311 songs, and yes I do believe we are in fact all one, all coming from one source spirit.    Just try to take that out into the world with you. BE kinder to one another, be patient, be love, Try to affect your little universe in a positive way. We can all shape this world into a better place,. We need this now! You can easily see that the powers that be and the media push and try to divide us, by race, color, political views and religion. It’s all around us every day, fear and hate on every news channel. WE all need to be beacons of light and fill this world with the one thing we all know is a huge part of being a 311 fan Peace Love and Unity! ……Respect!!”

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Steve thanks for sharing your story and being a part of this 311 fan community! Such a pleasure to write this up and I love sharing all your tales of how you fell in love with 311. Like I always say, I’ll keep writing as long you keep reading!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/28/17 – Mike Benoit!

 

Hello again my friends in 311 nation! New week and a new fan spotlight, so let’s get this party started! Time to meet Mike Benoit!

Mike’s story begins when he heard “Down” on the local radio station in Vermont, he was immediately hooked. He was a big Rage Against the Machine and The Offspring fan, so 311 was a good mix of them. “I believe my exact words when I heard Down was: “who the hell are THESE guys???” It wasn’t until my freshman year of college (2002) where I really started to dig in to 311. I had a roommate who had a ton of their albums. Music and Grassroots pretty much changed everything for me.”

Show count is at 10 for Mike. “Living in Vermont forces you to drive everywhere to see them with the exception of the 1 or 2 times they’ve been here. My first show was 11/13/2003 in Providence, RI at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Still one of the best 311 shows I’ve experienced (Jackolantern’s Weather, Gap, Freak Out, Don’t Dwell?!?!?!)” Favorite show so far was the Hampton Beach, New Hampshire back on 7/19/2016. “First time I heard Stealing Happy Hours and Jackpot live, both were amazing! I’ve yet to experience a 311 Day or a cruise…. hoping to change that when the next cruise is announced.”

Song that means the most to Mike was hard to choose because they have gotten him through many good and bad times in his life. “It’s really about what’s going on at the moment. If I had to pick ONE song that means the most, it would have to be Unity. I love the songs by 311 that feel like an adventure. Ones that are unexpected and don’t follow the same typical structure. Wildfire is a good example of that as well. Unity has great lyrics and it crushes live – “My bros are down for the Unity, 311 is down for the Unity, Unanimity, of the Unity.” Aside from those lyrics, Mike also likes what has become the 311 motto, “Stay positive and love your life.” His favorite SA lyric is “You’re a power spot rotating, ever-changing, Transmitting like a radio wave frequently feeling, What’s goin’ on times are weird all this static, Things erratic seems like we lost the magic, See hear how clear is inner quality, A yin and yang type of thang sacred geometry, Ascending mad energy crazy bad, You’re something NASA fuckin’ wish they had,” Favorite Nick quote is, “How can you say that you’re blue, A rich rock star you are, Yet you still complain, that’s insane, Imagine if you had a child of two, You’re a single mom, son named Tom, You work a long hard day just to bill pay, With no time to play then what would you say.”

Mike grew up in Essex, Vermont, a suburb of Burlington. He was very active growing up, playing baseball, hockey, and running cross-country. The first two were his favorites though. He is a die hard Boston fan except when it comes to football, he roots for The Raiders because his dad is from Los Angeles. Mike lived in Vermont until he graduated high school and went to college for 2 years in Smithfield, Rhode Island, which is where he really got into 311. He found that city life wasn’t for him though and moved back to Vermont because he “preferred mountain views and easy living.” “Once I got my shit together and met what would turn out to be my wife, we moved to Fairfax, VT and then St. Albans, VT. I’ve visited Paris, France, Arizona, Ohio, all of New England, Canada, and most of Florida. My wife April and I traveled 15 hours to go see 311 and the rest of the Carolina Rebellion Tour in 2014. What a crazy ass show that was!!! 50,000 people. Never seen that many people actually get along. Despite being a heavy rock festival where I thought 311 was the odd ball out band, people really got in to them! Great to see!”

Mike was in a band for about 4 years, a cover band called the EMT’s which stood for Ed, Mike, and Tim, the members of the band. “I played bass guitar and put myself in debt trying to think I had some sort of future. Being in a band is a TOUGH job.” Mentioned above is Mike’s love for hockey, and he still plays even now that he’s in his 30’s. He has two daughters, age 2 and 5, and he considers being a dad to two girls a talent! He also brews his own beer. “You name the style and I’ll brew it! I’m a Beer Wench for a few ladies from the New England area who supply them with awesome Vermont beers!”

Guilty pleasure for Mike is the T.V. show America’s Got Talent. He is also obsessed with Batman. “May as well throw Batdad in to that mix as well.” Some other musicians that he loves are Sublime, Rage Against the Machine, Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, Twelve Foot Ninja, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Anthrax, Slayer, to classic rock – AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Rush, and Metallica.

Mike has never had the opportunity to meet the band, so his message to them is this:

“To P-Nut, thank you for inspiring me to pick up a bass guitar. Him and Victor Wooten are the reasons I started playing. To the rest of the guys, thanks for helping get through all the good times and bad over the last 17 years or so. You truly have a gift when a band with all original members can continue to make amazing music and evolve all while keeping your OG sound at the same time. Because of 311, I’ve met some amazing people who I can call good friends now from all over the place. I don’t know any other band I listen to where that has happened. You show up at a 311 show, you leave with friends or “I got a clique, but it’s more like a family.”

Now to all the other awesome 311 fans:

“To 311 Nation – Stay Positive, Love Your Life. We need that more than anything right now, be kind to each other. For the rest of this, I just want to give a shout out to my Hampton Beach crew (you all know who you are) and everyone else I’ve had the pleasure to meet over the years. Thank you for making me feel welcome and contributing to some amazing 311 shows. The band may put the music out, but the fans in the crowd help seal the deal when it comes to the overall experience! Cheers!”

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There you have the story of Mike Benoit (pronounced Ben-Wah just so you all know)! Thanks for being a part of this creation Mike, and thanks to all the fans who keep on reading. Such an amazing group to be a part of! Until next time.

Much love – The Runt