The 311 fan base is a community like no other. We are more than just fans of the band, we are a family that has bonded over our love of their musical magic. When one of our family members is lost, a piece of us goes with them into the universe. Nick Stup was an excitable just like the rest of us, and tragically he lost his life far too soon. I only had just recently met Nick before he passed, and I’m honored to have even been in his presence for a brief moment in time. I was in Baltimore for the weekend and we were pre-gaming before the Slightly Stoopid show at Pier 6. Nick came and hung out with some of the MD peeps that I was with and I have to say he just genuinely seemed like a great guy. While I didn’t know him well, there are people who were very close to him and were kind enough to share their stories of Nick, to help keep his memory alive and breathing in this realm of the universe. Below is what I’ve learned from some of his close friends about the life, love and passions of Nick Stup. (Thank you to Colin, Kim and Josh for sharing their memories of Nick!)
Nick Stup was ,above everything, a devoted father and his kids were his number one passion – daughter Mary Beth and son Nick Jr. Nick held the unofficial title of “Team Dad” from his daughters cheerleading squad and he also coached Nick Jr.’s football team. No trip was too far for him to attend his kids events, and according to his good friend Colin, he doesn’t think he ever actually missed one of them unless they conflicted with each other. After reading many Facebook and Twitter posts, it was clear that nothing could hold a candle to the love Nick felt for his children. Based on what I’ve read, if you asked Nick what he did for a living, I can bet you he would say his real profession was being a father. Josh is another friend of Nick’s who knew how important his family was to him. There would be times Josh would try to convince Nick to hang out longer or come to a show that conflicted with other things, and Nick always responded that work paid for his kids sports and life, and that was all that mattered. Josh said that the way he talked about his family, you could just feel the love he had for them emitting from him. Being a father was a role that he filled well and I believe his enormous amount of love he had will be carried on in his children as they grow.
Nick was impassioned about many things in his life, Washington D.C. sports teams being one of them. He loved the Redskins, Nationals, Capitals and Terps. Nick and his good friend Colin shared a bond over their love of these teams and spent many hours attending games together. While Nick loved D.C. sports, his passion for live music was even greater. Colin and Nick really got to bond during shows that they would go see together. Colin and Nick met back in 2010 thanks to some mutual friends. They hung out all day at the Annapalooza Festival in Annapolis, MD that summer and instantly became good friends. Realizing they shared a love and interest in similar types of music and bands, they then discovered they had been attending the same shows for quite some time. Colin and Nick’s enthusiasm for music and live shows provided them a foundation that they built an amazing friendship on.
Obviously Nick had a love for 311, and one of his other all time favorite bands was 2 Skinnee J’s. In 2011 he heard that 311 would be doing a second cruise and that 2 Skinnee J’s would be on it as well. Knowing that Colin had been through a rough time that year, Nick suggested that they go on the cruise. Nick wasn’t even sure he was going to be able go on the cruise, but Colin convinced him that it was going to be the experience of a lifetime. Here’s the kicker – Nick’s first ever 311 show was the Lido deck show on the second cruise! Colin and their friend Kevin had talked up 311’s live show so much that once Nick saw them on the cruise, he was hooked. His love grew from there and he attended the third cruise as well.
Nick’s claim to fame in the world of excitable comes from the third cruise and the belly flop contest. Colin said that Nick had no intention of competing in the belly flop contest that day because it was picture day and there were a bunch of other events going on. Colin convinced him that he needed to participate, and to do it with the infamous inflatable whale “Phil”. Colin said it “took some serious arm twisting” but he managed to persuade Nick into going for it. They stood together by the pool, watching and waiting for it to be Nick’s turn. The first person who decided to jump from the balcony changed the stakes of the contest drastically. Nick looked at Colin and said that if one more person jumped from the the balcony that he was headed all the way to the top to jump. At this point, Colin started to get concerned thinking that he may have created a monster and didn’t want his friend to get hurt. Colin asked Nick if he knew what he was doing and Nick looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look at me, I know how to fucking belly flop! I’ve been off a 10M board before, this is nothing.” The rest as they say is history. They called Nick’s name next thankfully, so he ripped off his RG3 jersey, stepped up on the bar, grabbed Phil out of Colin’s hands and went for it. Nick was declared the winner and he has been famous among the 311 family ever since! Everywhere he went for the rest of the cruise, and even later on when he was off of the boat, people still recognized him as the bellyflop guy.
Nick was such a special person to so many people. Kim M. was also a good friend of his and shared some of her memories as well. She said he always brought positivity everywhere he went and gave some of the best hugs around. Every time he would see her, Nick would snatch her up, lift her up over his head and swing her around. The energy he had was undeniable if you met him. One experience that Kim & Nick got to share was attending a Redskins Draft Day and RG3 was there. Kim and Nick just looked at each other as RG3 came out on stage and screamed in each others faces. Both being huge Redskins fans, their enthusiasm at the experience just couldn’t be contained. After that they went to a Ballyhoo! show and Nick was buying everyone drinks without expecting anything in return. Kim said, “He was one of the most giving people I have ever met in my life. He just wanted everyone around him to have a good time.”
Nick’s first experience at a 311 show outside the cruises just came this past summer. Colin and Nick planned it out and got to see the Bristow, VA and Atlanta shows, and Nick made the excitable pilgrimage out to Red Rocks. Colin and Nick had a conversation not long before he passed about the adventures they had been on. Nick was truly happy and grateful that they had made it on the second cruise, saying it had opened up a whole new world to him. Nick said he had the chance to do so many things he never thought he would have done or ever considered doing. Nick was also excited about heading to NOLA for 311 day, and Colin said if you are one of the lucky ones that are attending, take a look to section 106 about 20 rows deep and you’ll see that Nick will still be there rocking out with the rest of us. In Colin’s words, “Trust me, you won’t be able to miss him!”
Colin mentioned to me that he believed Nick had some sort of super power to gain hours in his day that the rest of us didn’t. Nick did so much for so many people that it seemed impossible to be able to accomplish this in a regular 24 hour day and 7 day week. Yet somehow Nick managed to get it all done and be the exuberant, positive ray of light in so many people’s lives. He may not be in this universal realm anymore but I have no doubt that his energy is still burning bright on some other plane of existence. In the words of 311, “The continuous life, there is no end. Movin’ through life, movin’ through death.”
**As you know by now, Nick loved his family more than anything in the world and they are left with the loss of their father. He worked hard for them and they relied on him for everything. A collection has been created to try and help raise money to go directly to his children. If you have the means and would like to make a donation in Nick’s memory, please visit http://www.gofundme.com/4a2hkk. Every little bit helps! Thanks!**
Feel Free to add your own stories and memories of Nick in the comments!