311 Fan Spotlight – Introducing Mr. Kevin “Kevendust” Gentile!



Happy Monday 311 peeps and welcome to the latest fan spotlight on Kevin Gentile!

I met Kevin for the first time down in Miami before the third cruise. I was talking to someone at a fan gathering and when they found out I was from Massachusetts they said, “You have to meet Kevin! He’s from Mass too!”  Of course as soon as I met him I recognized him because, as it usually goes in the 311 fan world, I was already friends with him on Facebook. So it’s my pleasure to introduce you to one cool individual from my neck of the woods!

The first thing Kevin wrote to me about being a 311 fan is that he had to be honest, “I’m not the most ‘old school’ fan, but I’m an old school fan the way Nick says it.”  Kevin’s introduction to 311 came when “Down” and “All Mixed Up” were released on the radio airwaves back in the mid 90’s. He also had heard a few other songs off of Music and Grassroots and liked what he heard, but was more into metal then. What really got him into 311 and listening to them more was his friend from high school Justin.  Justin was listening to 311 a lot and Transistor had just been released. It was that album that hooked Kevin. “I was playing it non-stop. That was my first 311 album that I bought and then I kind of went backwards from there and discovered everything else. Then Soundsystem dropped…still my favorite album by them.”

Two of Kevin’s favorite songs come from Soundsystem  – “Strong All Along” and “Can’t Fade Me.”  He has faced a lot of adversity in his life and says that he doesn’t believe in himself enough. These two songs help keep him moving forward with the knowledge that no matter what he faces, he has the strength in him to conquer it. One of his favorite lyrics comes from the song “Speakeasy” though – “If there’s a shadow in your life then there’s sunshine.”  A great lyric that I can see why he likes, especially with his outlook on finding the strength within to get by what is troubling you. Kevin also has some 311 ink like a lot of us fans, so he carries with him everyday the positivity that the band and their music provide for us. He has a tattoo of the 311 star symbol with reggae colors, surrounded by lyrics from “Strong All Along.” As he told me, “It’s a constant reminder that 311, the band that has gotten me through so much, as well as all of the fans that I have met and shared some of the best moments of my life with, that you have my back and that I have always been ‘strong all along’ no matter how much I doubt myself!”

One day Kevin was bored and decided to go through every show he has attended and see how many it was, as well as which songs he has heard live. Since then he updates it every time he sees the band. His tally so far is 34 shows and it will soon be 35 when he heads to Nola for his fourth 311 day! He’s also been on all three cruises and to Pow Wow. His very first show of 311 was the 10th anniversary of their first show and they played the whole blue album in its entirety! It was also his birthday, what an awesome gift! This is by far one of his favorite shows, and then he says his first 311 day back in 2008 was simply magical. However he claims that the beach show on the second cruise really took the cake as his favorite. Kevin had been saying he wanted to see a mosh pit during the song “Amber” so he and few others started spreading the word that it should happen during the beach show and it did! A huge “splash pit” erupted in the water. He says that while the setlist was amazing, it was the splash pit moment that really made it for him. In his words, “Did I just say my favorite 311 experience was seeing ‘Amber’? What is wrong with me?”

Kevin has lived in Massachusetts his entire life in various towns, and while he has thought about moving away a bunch of times, he just can’t seem to do it. “I love it here in Boston.”  He started out as a quiet kid who was often picked on up until he was midway through high school. He was a wallflower at that point but says that he managed to start opening up and became a social butterfly, the Kevin that we all know and love. Since doing that he says he has become one of the most reliable people his friends know. “I always want to meet people, always want to help, always want to be in the know.”  Kevin loves planning things and has a knack for it. He claims that he is a jack of all trades when it comes to work. He has been working hard since the age of 12 when he was a paperboy and continued to work all through high school and college. He’s worked in a variety of industries and currently works as a sales associate for an awesome travel company that he just recently started at. He also manages an upscale bar in Boston a few nights a week. So Kevin do you actually have any free time? “Yeah I have no time, but I always say work hard, play hard. That is what fuels my 311 obsession.” He is now known at work as “that kid that likes that band” and is even starting to convert a few people to being fans of 311! Go Kevin, spread that 311 love!

Want to know something really interesting about Kevin? His name is spelled wrong on his birth certificate. His mother signed his birth certificate with his name spelled Keven and he didn’t know about this until about eight years ago when he was going to apply for his passport. Funny enough, he had already created an email that was “Kevendust”, a play on Sevendust which is another band he loves. Kevin credits his dad for raising him on music that made him who he is today, such as The Beatles, Aerosmith, The Doors, Phil Collins and Billy Joel (all fantastic artists!).  Some of his other favorites are Sublime, Coheed & Cambria, The Mars Volta, and Led Zeppelin. Kevin says he is always willing to open up to new music and the cruises help him do that. He discovered Bad Rabbits because of the cruise and says he is really now one of their biggest advocates!

If Kevin could say one thing to 311, it is “Thank you so very much for bringing us all together.”  His experiences and the fans he has met have provided him some of the best times in his life and he knows that it is because of 311 and their music. Kevin mentioned to me that he usually throws it all out there and doesn’t have any secrets, so I just wanted to say thanks to him for being so honest and forthcoming for this fan spotlight! It’s great to hear other peoples experiences and everything that they take away from them. I leave you all with a personal message to all of you”

“I have to say this – I’ve never experienced something quite like what I have the last 5 or so years.  I have friends in almost every state, and probably a couch to crash on to boot.  Many of my “311 friends” have become some of my closest friends.  I thank you for being there for me, for making me laugh, for partying with me, for giving me the hospitality that you’ve shown.  I say this to all my friends that don’t understand what we are.. and I said it’s like we’re the new “Dead Heads”.  It’s not even about the music anymore, 311, however much I love them, are like background music to what I get to experience when I am at one of these big events.  The love, the friendship, the good times.  Don’t take this for granted… this moment is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.  I told myself I was going to stop after the 2nd cruise.  That translated into a 3rd one, as well as visiting friends all across the country this summer and a 4th 311 day in March.  I just can’t stop loving this awesomeness.  See you all in NoLa!!!!!”

Thanks “Keven”! 🙂 As always, stay positive & love your life! Until next time!




311 Fan Spotlight – Excitable one Mr. John Dawkins!



New week and it’s time for a new 311 fan spotlight! So without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you all to the one and only John Dawkins!

I’m sure many of you know John – he is a prominent member of the 311 community and you may have rocked out with him at one of the shows! John hails from Denver, Colorado where he has lived his entire life.  Like so many of us, he was introduced to 311 when he heard “Down” and “Don’t Stay Home” on the radio back in the 90’s. The blue album was one of the first CD’s that he ever owned. John went to visit his brother in college one time and put the CD in after his brother left for class. He had the music blasting when suddenly his brothers roommate, Rusty Lyon, threw open the door. John at first thought he was mad that he was playing the music so loud, until Rusty looked at him and said, “You’re listening to 311?! That’s my favorite band!”  Rusty then ran back to his room to grab the Grassroots album to play it for John. From that moment John was absolutely hooked on 311! He says they call Rusty “The Godfather” because he is the oldest 311 fan that he knows!

John is lucky to have seen 311 live 48 times over his years of being a fan. He’s been on all three cruises, Pow Wow, the 2010 Halloween Show in Atlanta, plus the 2010 and 2012 311 Day shows. Next up will be show number 49 for John when he makes the pilgrimage to New Orleans for this years 311 Day festivities! Out of all the events that John has been to he said that the cruises were some of his favorite memories. “It’s hard to pick which one was the best, because they were all so special in different ways.”   However, John said that his favorite show is definitely the second indoor show on the very first cruise. “There was soooo much energy there…insane show!”

I was at that indoor show, and I can attest to the amazing energy that was in that room as the boat swayed side to side. I’m sure it was even more special for John as they played what he told me is his all time favorite song, Strong All Along. He said that song means the most to him because, “It embodies the band and all their talents. It’s also kind of like a theme song to me. It says just do what you feel, just get out there and enjoy life! It really makes my soul happy!”  John also said it reminds him of one of his most favorite people ever – Gustavo Chavez Jr.! Shout out to Guslifter!

One of John’s other favorite bands is Passafire and he credits 311 for introducing him to them since he learned about them on the cruise. His love for music doesn’t stop at 311. Some of his other favorite bands are Tool, Rebelution, Incubus, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, and the Deftones! He listed more, but I figured with these few examples you get the point that he loves music and a wide variety of it!

John grew up in Denver surrounded by a lot of supportive family. He mentioned the importance of family to him and that it transferred to his second family, The Excitable Ones. John started working at a hospital over ten years ago and when he was promoted five years ago, he really was able to take the time to attend more 311 shows. He knows that if it wasn’t for his company, he wouldn’t have been able to take the time off that he has to “visit the world” and meet so many great 311 fans! Even if you’ve never been to Denver, you know it’s surrounded by mountains and John is completely in love with them! He adores spending time in the hills. “I go backpacking and camping as much as possible. Give me a cold beer, a nice mountain view, and I’m set!!”

311 has the power to impact each and every one of us in a different way. If John could say just one thing to the Nick, SA, Pnut, Tim and Chad, he would say, “Thank you for exposing me to outstanding music and amazing people! You have truly changed my life for the better!”  One of John’s favorite lyrics is, “It’s alright to feel good, It’s alright for nothing to be wrong. The deepest dream that we have could be tomorrow’s song.” I love this lyric and think it really represents the positive vibe that John exudes. He loves 311, loves the community of fans, and knows that, “The only thing true, we gotta love each other. Try to keep a positive vibe!” (Another favorite lyric of Johns!)

Here is John’s message to all of the excitables in the land:

“I just want to say to all the other fans – “It’s been a wild ride, I wouldn’t change a minute” Thank you all for being such amazing friends. I’ve never met such a dedicated, passionate, fun loving group of people! My life is soo much better with all of you in it. Don’t stop rockin’, because I sure won’t. See you out on the Road! ONE LOVE!!”

Thank you John for taking the time to let us learn more about you and your love for 311! Until next time people, stay positive and love your life as always! 🙂






311 Fan Spotlight! Meet 311 Cheerleader Kristina Gregory!



It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write up a new fan spotlight, but I’m back and this week we focus on a person that I’m sure many of you know. She is one half of the famous 311 Cheerleaders duo – meet Kristina Gregory!

I’ve had the honor and privilege of getting to know Kristina over many events that we attended together and she truly is one of the sweetest girls I’ve met!  She and her best friend Amy have been long time fans of 311 and their love began with the blue album and grew from there. As Kristina says, “We became obsessed!”  Kristina’s first concert ever was 311 and while she took a hiatus from attending live shows for a bit, she returned and instantly reconnected with the amazing feeling you get from the live shows. While she has no idea how many shows she’s been to, she knows that each one has meant something special to her, especially her first one ever. “What I would give to have the ticket stub from my very first show at Nations in DC, which no longer exists!”

When asked what show she attended that ranks as her all time favorite, she mentions that this is a tough question to answer since she’s experienced so many wonderful events thanks to 311. If forced to pick one, Kristina doesn’t believe anything can top the very first deck show on the first 311 Caribbean Cruise. “Hearing your favorite band play such amazing music as you sail off into the ocean…there might not be anything better!” This particular event also holds a special place in her heart because it is where she met Ricky, who is now her fiancé!

Every 311 fan has songs or lyrics that mean something special to them, and Kristina is no exception. While there isn’t one particular song that is her favorite or means the most to her, there are certain lyrics from songs that mean a lot to her. Different lyrics and songs have spoken to her over various times in her life. A favorite quote of Kristina’s is “Every time you will ignore your heart it will come back twice more.  Never deny your own instincts; reconsider everything.”  Another lyric that has become sort of an anthem for her and Amy is from Mix it Up – “We’re just two misfits that no one else gets.”  It’s only proper that the 311 Cheerleaders have a lyric that seems to be tailored to them! 🙂

Many of us have developed a love for other bands thanks to 311 and Kristina is no different. Two of her other favorite bands are Ballyhoo! and Bumpin’ Uglies (many of you may know that she lobbied hard to get Bumpin’ Uglies on the Cali-Roots Festival line up and it worked). Kristina mentioned that she likes a plethora of genres! Some of the artists she shuffles on her Pandora are Sublime, G. Love, Garth Brooks, and Justin Timberlake. She’s also mentions Pasadena is a Maryland band that she really enjoys.

Kristina was originally born in New Jersey, but moved to Virginia when she was two and grew up there. She obtained her degree in English from James Madison University of Harrisonburg, VA and moved to Richmond after that. She still resides there today.  Kristina has been an Executive Assistant for CEO’s of various corporations for the past seven years, and currently works for a pharmaceutical company. She notes that she funds her 311 habit, “Any way possible!  I have a professional organization business on the side and Ricky and I also rent out our guest room on Airbnb for extra money. I’ve always believed that people do what they want to do, and if you want something bad enough you make it happen!”  Kristina dealt with a tough time in her life when she went through a divorce and she credits Amy for being her rock, helping her put her life back together. She also says that re-discovering her love for 311 made her feel alive again. “I still remember our summer tour road trip before our cheer shtick started; it was the most fun i could remember having in so long. Then of course after cheer started, it’s been a whirlwind of great times and great people!”

While some may think that her cheer shtick is just for 311, what you may not know is that Kristina actually was a dancer on her high school dance team and made the All American Cheer & Dance team back in 2001. Her reward for this? She got to perform with 98 Degrees during the halftime show at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii!

If Kristina had the opportunity to say one sentence to the members of 311, it would be, “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!” 311 has brought so many great times to her life that she knows there is nothing more to say to them than this. She loves the band, the music, and the fans that make each and every show a truly positive and energetic experience. She truly is a 311 Cheerleader – rooting for the band every chance she can get whether in uniform or not! Going to Nola for 311 day? Keep your eye out for Kristina and make sure you say hi! I leave you with her personal message to all of the excitable crew:

“Love of 311 is not a competition!  It’s not about how many shows you’ve been to or how many times you’ve met the band.  It’s about being together and sharing the love of this amazing band.  I’ve met so many amazing new friends a long the way – thank you to everyone who embraced me as part of this community!”

Thanks for reading and thank you Kristina for being this weeks fan spotlight! As always, “Stay Positive & Love Your Life” 🙂