Hello my excitable friends and welcome to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight! Time to start the week right…let’s read about our fellow fan Mr. Charley Kellum!
Charley’s tale takes us back to good ole 1995 when a friend of his played a cassette tape of Grassroots for him. When Charley said he liked it, the friend threw on the blue album CD and that sealed the deal. “The beat of ‘Random’ really drew me in, then once I heard ‘Loco’ I was capital H Hooked! Chad’s drum work was so syncopated and amazingly tight. I couldn’t stop listening!”
Atlanta in 1997 was the first time Charley saw 311 live and since then he’s been to 10 shows. Last year he attended his first 311 Day and he was completely blown away by the experience. “Hearing ‘Damn’ live was one of my bucket list songs and I had just told someone I’d love to hear that or ‘Rolling.’ Then I heard the opening chords of ‘Damn’ and went ballistic!”
Favorite quote of Charley’s comes from the song “Homebrew” – “In the end, revenge sends ends to the defendant.” Then there are multiple songs that mean a lot to Charley. He said “Beyond the Gray Sky” always makes him cry when hearing it live. Then the song “Hive” is the first song he heard them play live, so that will always have a special place in his heart. The prize for favorite song though goes to “Visit.” “The message is great and that’s what I want to do. Visit the world with my time on this world.”
Charley grew up in a small town named Osage City in the state of Kansas (he said the population there is around 2300). Then in 1997 he moved to Georgia shortly after the death of his mother. “For the next few years, 311 became my life and was my guidance through my pain.” Then in 2000 Charley joined the Navy to better his life situation. “I was broke, unemployed, and crashing on couches. The Navy changed my life.” From there he spent time in Charleston, S.C., Kings Bay Sub Base in Georgia, and then Atlanta where he recruited for 4 years. Charley is now out of the Navy and living in Statesboro, Georgia where he works for GA Power. “I am trying to earn a Reactor Operators license at a nuclear power plant.”
Music plays a special part in Charley’s life. He was once a Vocal Music Education major so he used to just sing at the drop of a hat. He even performed the National Anthem to open for Craig Morgan, and then sang it again a month later for a Christian Labor Day concert in front of 15,000 people! Charley is also super smart – so much so that he is a member of Mensa, the high IQ society. Aside from 311, Charley’s musical interests are quite eclectic. He loves Alice in Chains, Primus, Rebelution, Eminem, Ludacris, Pantera, and Garth Brooks. “I love all music: rock, rap, and reggae take the lead though.” Guilty pleasure? “I love Sons of Anarchy!”
In 2012 at the Atlanta show meet and greet, Charley was lucky enough to tell the guys just how much they mean to him. He simply said to them, “Thank you for creating the music that has helped me through the darkest times of my life, as well as punctuated its celebrations.”
Now here’s Charley’s message to all the fans out there:
“To my beloved Familia, keep filling up venues and loving each other. Maintain the positivity and let’s keep it going as long as possible!”
Thanks for reading peeps about another awesome member of the 311 nation! Keep that positive attitude flowing and spread it to those around you. Have a great week!
Much love – The Runt