Happy Thanksgiving week my friends in 311 nation!! I hope you all have fun plans for this week of gratitude. Let’s kick it off properly with the new fan spotlight on Mr. Ron Ivanjack!
1996 was the year that Ron’s college roommate introduced him to the wonders of 311. Then “Down” blew up the MTV world and he bought the Blue album. “I loved the combination of hooks, aggressive guitars and complex drum patterns. By the time we got to “Hive”, I was IN!”
Since he’s been hooked, Ron has enjoyed seeing the band live. How many shows has he been to? An amazing 158 in 35 states! “I don’t see it as a competition. With that being said, I’m proud of this accomplishment. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and passion. My first show was December ’97 in Chicago. It was a radio show and 311 played early on a bill that included The Cure and Duran Duran.” Obviously he’s seen some amazing shows with the number he’s been lucky to attend, so it’s hard to choose one that means the most. He said though a popular answer, cruise number one gets “the slightest nod.” “I’d never been on a cruise and had no idea what to expect. We knew we were seeing historical shows and that’s when I came out of my shell a bit and realized just how many friends I was making.” Of course, he holds a dear spot for the 2011 Atlantic City and Uncasville shows, because they were part of an “elaborate first date” with his now wife Becky Graziano! “We were married 11/23/13.” Happy 1st Anniversary Ron & Becky!
Ron mentioned the song “Hive” earlier, saying he was hooked on 311 by the time he heard it. It also happens to be his favorite song. “It connected the strongest to me initially, it was the first song I heard live, it was played for me once at a soundcheck in Hawaii and Nick even dedicated it to me at my 100th show in Ventura, CA.” One of his all time favorite quotes is, “Love is a stream that will find it’s own course, making due is a thing I think I will do no more.”
Chicago is the city where Ron was born and raised. “Yes, actually in the city on the south side which is also why I love the White Sox.” Then after college, Ron spent about ten years in the northern suburbs before heading to Orange County, California for three years. He is a human resource manager and worked from home while in OC, which allowed him to take on the heavy traveling to shows. Ron and Becky dated long distance (she was living in South Carolina) until they decided to move to Chicago together. It didn’t take long for the Chicago winters to make them realize they wanted a warmer climate though, so now they reside in Dallas, Texas.
Ron has played drums since he was 4 years old (which he says is why he is always air drumming at shows). While he doesn’t drum much anymore, he is quite good at it. He hasn’t played in a band for about 15 years but he did have the privilege of jamming at 311 fan parties in Denver and New Orleans. Ron is a quiet guy, which he says causes some misunderstanding that he is a jerk. “I’m not a jerk. I’m usually not very talkative while waiting in line because I am extremely focused on getting my spot.” And while he loves 311, he admits he’s terrible at getting the lyrics right. “You’d think I’d have them all memorized but SA especially throws me into fits. I often wonder if they see me on the rail and wonder why I’m not singing all the words.”
While 311 is Ron’s favorite band now, he says KISS was his first love at age 4. “In general, I am a metalhead.” Some of his favorites include Slayer, Mastodon, and Anthrax. He also loves music from St. Vincent, Soundgarden, Goatwhore, King Diamond, Genesis, The Cure, The Beatles, Juliana Hatfield, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Breeders, Deftones, and Faster Pussycat. Since he loves 311 and music as a whole, plus you know how many 311 shows he’s seen, can you guess his guilty pleasure? “Concerts!! Duh.” He has been to 570 overall!
With all the shows Ron has rocked out at, he’s been lucky enough to meet the guys on numerous occasions. One thing he hasn’t said to Chad that he’d like to though is, “When are you gonna let me play your drums or join in on ‘Applied Science’?”
And his message to all the magnificent people in the fandom of 311:
“The music of 311 has changed my life in so many ways. The friends I’ve made and experiences I’ve had as a result of this band are almost incomprehensible. I am so thankful.”
There you have it folks, the story of Ron Ivanjack! Thank you all for reading the latest edition of the fan spotlight. My gratitude is overflowing as always! Now go enjoy your Thanksgiving week and remember, always “Stay positive and love your life!”
Much love – The Runt