This story begins 17 years ago, in the year 1995. I was graduating high school. I was 18. I was having a blast with my friends. I loved music and going to concerts. Then one day on the radio came a song. “All mixed up, don’t know what to do” – the voice singing those lyrics sang out to me. Who was this band that seemed to be drawing me in and that I felt a connection with? The band was 311, and this is where my love for them began.
There are a few things you might be thinking right now, depending on who you are. One, you might be thinking, “311? Never heard of them.” You might be thinking, “311? They’re still together?” If you personally know me, you might be thinking, “Good lord here we go again with the 311 talk.” Then again, you might also be a 311 junkie like I am, and be thinking, “Hell yeah, its about time someone blogged about 311!!” Since not everyone is like me, I’ll give the non-311 fans a quick run down of who the band is.
The five members of the band – Nick, SA, P-Nut, Tim, and Chad – all grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. These five guys have been making music together as 311 since 1991 and are still going strong to this day. It was in 1996 that they released the song “Down” and it went to #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart. After years of recording and touring, the media was finally paying attention to the band and they were getting the recognition they deserved.
So what happened after 1996? Well they’ve released a lot more material and developed a large following of devoted fans. They’ve made March 11th a holiday for all of those loyal followers aka the excitable crew. They’ve hosted 2 cruises to tropical islands and held their own multi-day outdoor festival. They start their 10th consecutive summer of touring amphitheaters on July 4th, 2012.
Some people reading this may think I haven’t given enough background on the band or enough details. Let me explain something – that really isn’t the point of this post. I’m simply trying to give sort of a cliff’s notes version to anyone reading that has no clue about the band. This post is more about my love…ok, we’ll say addiction to the band and all that they represent. So forgive me for the brief history. If you want more background on the band read on here… http://www.311.com/band/band-history. That is where the information came from.
So lets retreat back to me discovering the band in 1996. I ran out and bought the blue album. Then a friend played the album Grassroots for me. I heard it in 1996 while visiting Virginia Beach. It was January and unusually warm – it made it into the 70’s the whole time we were there. Suddenly the song “8:16 A.M.” began to play. The lyrics instantly struck me – especially where it says “its 73 degrees, January easily glides.” It just made that moment of me first hearing it magical because it was January…and in the 70’s. I could feel myself falling more and more in love with this band every song that played. Needless to say, I ran out and bought my own copy of Grassroots, along with the first album Music. Hooked.
Years passed by and with each new release, I fell in love more. The lyrics…the musicianship…the live shows – it was all magical and enchanting. More so was the energy that the band as a whole emits to their fans. The messages that they spread are uplifting and motivating. They speak from the heart and provide listeners a connection like no other. “Stay positive and love your life” has become one of their most famous lyrics and really has become every true fans motto at this point. Who wouldn’t love a band that spreads peace, unity, love and respect?
27 shows later and my love for 311 is so deep rooted in my life that I carry it with me every day. It isn’t just about the band themselves, it’s so much more to me. 311 has taught me so much over the years and the vibe they exude energizes me from day to day. The band hasn’t just provided me with a way of living, they’ve introduced me to a collection of people that I may not have met if they didn’t exist. I’ve made friends from all over the country and some out of the country, all because of 311. I’ve honestly met some of the nicest people and we’ve all bonded over our love for 311, but its stemmed to become so much more. “I’ve got a clique, but it’s more like a family”, as 311 so perfectly puts it.
So here begins my blogging about my adventures & addiction with 311 and stories of some of the great people I’ve met along the way. I’ll do my best to post as often as possible – just bear with me when school starts again in August and my free time dwindles down to nothing. If you love 311, then hopefully you’ll love my blog. If you love music – well keep reading too because not only am I a 311 junkie, but my husband and I love all kinds of music and I’ll post about that too. After all, as 311 says, “Musics what I need to keep my sanity.”