Happy Thanksgiving week to all! Time to meet 311 fan Ron Ivanjack!

Ron Ivanjack

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



Ladies & Gents, folks of all ages, it’s time to meet Kevin Joseph LaBella!!

image3 Good morning excitable people! Another week and another spotlight has arrived! This week we meet one of the members of the Unity Allstars – Mr. Kevin Joseph LaBella! Kevin’s story takes us back to 1995 when he was in the sixth grade. He heard “Down” on the radio, then saw the video on MTV, and was blown away by the music. It was when “All Mixed Up” was released that he became hooked. “Still probably the song that will always put me in that place that only certain songs can. Definitely love all the double guitar riffs and the harmonies. Plus the two distinct vocal styles between Nick and SA is a perfect combo.” Fifty to sixty is the rough estimate of shows that Kevin believes he’s attended. Those shows include the cruise shows and he sees them now at least 3-4 times a summer. His favorite? He’d have to say 311 Day 2014. “We got to play an amazing show 2 nights before, then throw in Ballyhoo and Full Service the night before, playing on the Brigade Brunch cruise, helping out Bruice3 and TJ as well as J Randy….jamming on the street w/ Windex Pete and his washboard. Finally getting to play Saints Go Marching in on my horn on the street in NOLA…..plus we had a 200 year old house we rented right on Bourbon street. Everything was incredible and having my crew there with me took it to another level. Then seeing 311 play w/ the Unity Orchestra literally brought me to tears. That was the most intense thing I have ever seen at a concert. I can’t wait for that live album!” “Trouble” is the song Kevin says he really related to immediately when he heard it. “I really feel like I’m always tiptoeing the line of going too hard sometimes, but then I remember that I need to chill out a little bit and keep my shit together. It’s always a good reminder for me.” One of his favorite quotes though comes from the song that hooked him for life – “You’ve got to trust your instincts, and let go of regrets.” As he said, no explanation needed. Kevin grew up in Port Chester, New York, which is about a half hour north of Manhattan. He loved sports and music and excelled at both, becoming a jazz trumpet player and baseball pitcher. “I learned trumpet in the 4th grade, bass guitar in the 5th grade, and taught myself guitar in the 8th grade. Our band program in Port Chester was top notch. We did the Macy’s Parade my freshman year, won multiple championships at Giant’s Stadium, and our band is in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street and Spiderman 3.” He then went on to college at SUNY Albany where he met some friends that he still plays music with today – Brian Sweeney and Aaron Zuckerman, who are also members of the Unity Allstars. After college, Kevin was hired to work in a stats position for MLB.com and has been with them for 10 years now. “My job with them now is running the pitch trax system from the stadium for the Colorado Rockies(used to do it for the Yankees and Mets….did some Red Sox and Phillies, then a season with the Texas Rangers). I basically get paid to watch baseball from the stadium. I get to meet players, go on the field and know when every pitch is or isn’t a strike. It’s pretty fn sweet!” Kevin currently works for Comcast in Denver, Colorado, running master control for the NHL network. This year his job sent him to the Stanley Cup Finals where he ran into the one and only Nick Hexum! Kevin told his boss he should thank Nick for Kevin working for him. Here’s why – after the first cruise, Kevin joined the Familia and met a bunch of awesome people he became friends with. Then on the second cruise he befriended Brandon, Eileen, Mike and Melanie – otherwise known as “The Big Heads” (the people with the cardboard cutouts of the heads of 311). Then after the third cruise he was looking to move from New York and his plan was to head to Denver, since he had family there and knew it had the awesome Rocky Mountain Excitable crew. He ended up getting a better job offer from Eileen in Dallas so he headed there. It was short lived though because after getting there, Eileen’s office shut down. Kevin scrambled to find something and that’s when he found the job in Denver with Comcast. He packed up his stuff, crashed on an air mattress at Kyle Knox’s place for a month before he got his own place (right across the street from John Dawkins) and then his girlfriend Jamie moved out as well.  “Now I am in an excellent situation, with 2 amazing jobs (watching baseball and hockey), have an amazing crew, and everything is awesome. In a strange twist, that was all a year ago, now Kyle sleeps on my couch! Oh sweet irony! So when Nick came back in for the 3rd period, My boss said “Hey Nick, Thanks” Nick looked dumbfounded as he had no idea what my boss was thanking him for and he just looked at me in my Rangers jersey and said “Hey good luck in the 3rd period guy!” Kevin can play trumpet and bass at the same time! “Did it in jazz band back in high school. Can’t be anything ridiculously hard but I can do it. Left hand on the bass, right hand on my trumpet.” He also says he has an impeccable memory. “I can remember everything as long as it is tied to a sporting event or music event. Anything that happened on a day the Yankees did anything special I can always remember. Now if I could just remember the things that went on during cruise 3…” Guilty pleasures? “I own every Def Leppard album on vinyl from back in the day. One of my faves growing up, love all that hair metal – Skid Row, Motley Crue, Ratt…then onto GnR, then Nirvana changed the world!”  His favorite band of all time though is Sublime. He even got to meet Bradley Nowell’s sister, who showed Kevin the grave site. “My guitarist Brian Sweeney and I played a little acoustic sesh @ his grave which is some all time, bucket list shit for me. It was absolutely amazing playing for the man that has influenced me so much.” The first time Kevin played in a band he was just 10 years old and they were called Negative Upbringing (which later became Gov’t Cheese).  He played bass while his brother sang and played guitar. “We were mostly a Nirvana tribute band but did all the good 90’s stuff like Silverchair, Spacehog, Toadies, etc…”  As I mentioned above, Kevin now plays with the Unity Allstars. You may have seen them in New Orleans this past March or at other various venues. They even made a theme song for the upcoming cruise! (See the video here… http://youtu.be/1ctLvni8QUo) Are you headed out to sea with us on the next cruise? You may just get lucky and get to see their song live on the ship! 😉 The band is also playing a pre-party before the cruise – check out the event page! https://www.facebook.com/events/393071107517325/ image1 image2 It’s obvious that 311 has had a major impact on Kevin’s life. He’d like to express his gratitude to the guys: “Play “Too Much Too Fast” more!!!!! (This is what I always tell them, and they played it as an encore on cruise 2) But seriously I would just like to thank them for being so dedicated to their fans and having all these cool events. Cruise 1 and the events following changed the direction of my life. Thanks for all of it!” Now his message to all the awesome people that make up the 311 fan universe: “I want everybody to come out and see their Unity Allstars play the night before the cruise in Miami. We will be playing like 55 songs, we will have a full horn section and plenty of surprises for the crew. If anyone saw our show in NOLA you know how we throw down. That was the best show we ever played and seeing all the excitables singing along to every song we played was an absolutely amazing experience.  CJ’s Crab Shack Feb 24th, 10pm till whenever!!!! Let’s kick this Cruise off right!” ——- As Kevin said to me, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it! Glad you could join us for another edition of the fan spotlight my friends. Until we meet again…rock on! Much love – The Runt

Time for the new 311 fan spotlight! Meet Charles Haskin!


Hello again excitable people! Happy Monday! November is rolling right along and we have a new 311 fan to introduce! You met his best friend Tony last week. This week the spotlight aims at Charles “Wafer” Haskin!

Chuck’s love for 311 begins the same way that Tony’s did. It was the 89X Festival on September 5, 1994. Their friend Dan M. told them they had to see this band 311, so they did. “They played a 8 song set, we ripped out a street light cause it was in the way of the pit, Tony ended up with a bloody nose, and it was the first time I heard FTBS as they closed with it. I was hooked.”

How many shows has Chuck been to? “July 6th, 2014 in Detroit was my 50th show since that first one in 1994.” He keeps a spreadsheet so he can keep track of the shows he’s attended and the songs that he’s heard. He’s tracked all but 4 of the 50 shows. Out of the 50 shows, he’s been to all of the cruises (and will be on the next) and five 311 Days. Forced to pick a favorite, Charles says that the Lido deck show on the first cruise is up high on the list. “Met a lot of good people.  311 Day 2008 holds a lot of importance for me in my life. November 23, 1999, 311 at the Orbital Room in Grand Rapids, MI is up there as well. Tiny venue, lots of energy.”


It was tough for Chuck to pick one song that means the most to him. His all time favorite live song is FTBS. “As evident in my 311 Day 2014 video when they played it, I may have lost my mind a little.” To pick a favorite studio recorded song, he’s going with “Come Original.” He also added that every time he hears “Rub A Dub” he thinks of the first cruise. Some favorite lyrics of his are, “From chaos comes clarity,” “Fuck the naysayers,” and the popular lyrical motto of most fans, “Stay positive and love your life.”

Michigan is where Chuck was born and raised and he said the first eleven years he was living off of 8 mile, “Just the nicer part of it.”  He moved to Indiana for four years, then back to Michigan for another seventeen. In 2006 he hit rock bottom, ending up unemployed, in a rocky relationship, and battling with depression. Then in 2007 he packed his bags and took off to Sweden. He went there to work for SAAB and the next fifteen months he was there he turned his life around. “I found myself, ended that bad 9 year relationship, sold my house in Michigan, cut out any negative in my life and became closer to my true friends and family. I flew from Sweden to New Orleans for 311 day 2008, and regardless of jet lag, that was one hell of a weekend trip.”

After Sweden, Chuck ended up in Arizona for a few years and then transitioned to Maryland where he still resides today. He funds his 311 fun by working as a CAD Designer. “For the last 2 & 1/2 years I have been design support for unmanned drones.”  He says one question he constantly gets asked is why he sees 311 so much and doesn’t it get old. His reply is, “Never. Every show is different. Yes there are the handful of staple songs that will get played almost every night, but until you are there at the show and feel the energy of the crowd as they are playing you just will not understand,  and most recently I am getting watch my girlfriend experience these things for the first time.  311 Day 2014 was her 2nd 311 show,  before we met she knew of 311 briefly but Dave Matthews Band is her obsession. I am reminded how I felt when I first saw them 20ish years ago.”

While his job is mainly sitting at a desk all day, Charles mentioned he loves working with his hands. Most recently he built a 320 linear foot fence around his yard! He’s also in the process of converting the attic into a livable space. If you don’t know Chuck, you may not get his sense of humor at first. “Very quick witted and can turn any comment into something dirty. Your mom jokes are also still very funny. Very blunt and honest, I do not have the ability to sugar coat anything.

Chuck loves listening to the Eminem Pandora station, watching NCIS and CSI, and he collects a ton of 311 merchandise. “I have over one hundred 311 shirts, which were featured last 311 Day when 311 tweeted my pictures of all of them on my bed. Posters, so many posters. Last Christmas my girlfriend said to me, ‘I looked to get something 311 for you but it seems you already have everything.”

311 is actually not Chucks number one musical artist. That spot goes to Suzanne Vega. 311 is second and Ani DiFranco comes in third. “I have seen Vega live in Norway, Germany, Sweden, west and east coast, and in the midwest about 16 times. Yes she is still touring and releasing new music, and yes she knows me on sight and we talk after every show I have been to.”

Chucks’ message to the band is simple: “Thank you. Thank you for everything you do and the messages within the music, it gets people through things. Personally the music got me through a very dark place and time in my life and I probably wouldn’t be here or who I am if not partly because of your music.”

His message to all in the 311 universe: “Don’t forget to have a good time, it’s a Ani Difranco lyric (one that will be added to my tattoo soon). People get worked up over things and you just have to step back, find the good in your life and focus on that. Dwelling on the past or holding onto the bad is no way to live,  I was like that for half my life, now I live with no regrets.”


tattoo tattoo2


There you have the story of Charles Haskin! I hope you were entertained and it helped pass this Monday by a little quicker. Until we meet again my friends, have a kick ass week!

Much love – The Runt

Attention one & all, the spotlight takes aim at Anthony Perazzo!


Good Monday morning my fellow excitable friends! Welcome to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight!! This week we feature a friend of mine that I met at the pre-party before the first cruise.  Let me introduce you to Mr. Anthony Perazzo!

Back on Labor Day in 1994, Tony went to the 89X Fest at the Phoenix Center in Pontiac, Michigan. He went to check out Weezer and MC 9000 foot Jesus when one of his friends said they should go check out this rock/reggae/rap group from Nebraska that was on one of the other stages. While he wasn’t really into rap or reggae, he decided to check it out thinking there would at least be a pit. “We were in the front row but there was no barrier, just a couple of security goons and a lamp post. The show started with “Taiyed” and things were pretty chill and groovy. Then “Freak Out” started and I was hooked.”  The pesky lamp post became quite wobbly and was going to become a problem, so with the help of Tony and his longtime friend Chuck, they and the security guards took the whole thing down, wires and all. Then during the song “Homebrew”, Tony & the girl in front of him ended up butting heads, resulting in a mass of blood from Tony’s nose. Even with the blood flowing, Tony and the girl continued to party on with 311 playing in the background. It was when the guys played FTBS that Tony said he knew his “musical horizon had been broadened more than ever in his life.”  He even still has the setlist from that show…


Since that fated first show, Tony has seen the band 53 times, including five 311 Day’s and all three (soon to be four) cruises. He’s also been to every Red Rocks show since 2006. His favorite show so far? “Lido Deck on the first cruise was probably the most charged 311 show ever. We “borrowed” beers from the deck boy with our new great friends whom we met the night before, Chris and Chrissy, and the show was astounding.  I’ve been to every 311 Day since 2006 and they keep getting better.  Every show is a very different experience for me. Every night a different song is my new favorite.”

When asked what song means the most to him, Tony said, “Amber, because it has a Pavlov effect and I have to urinate every time I hear it.”  In reality though, I know his real favorite is “Creatures (For A While).”  As he says, “It reenergizes me after I’ve been jumping for an entire show. When it’s played my legs find the energy to jump wildly for the rest of the show.” Tony also said that the beginning of “Silver,” when Nick says, “Ok, let him in. Bobby, you be quiet out there,” reminds him of his pup Darwin every time.

Tony grew up in Oxford, MI, about an hour north of Detroit.  His father played him Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” when he was still in the womb by putting headphones on his mothers belly. Then on the night he was born, they were hosting a party to watch Alice Cooper’s The Nightmare television special.  He only listened to one cassette tape a year because it was all he could afford to buy in those days. It started with Huey Lewis and The News Sports and ended with Pearl Jam’s Ten. Then he got a job and was able to buy more music. It was that first time he saw 311 though when his music genres started to vary.

Per Tony, Oxford was the gravel capital of the world until a Japanese company took that title over. When the economy bottomed out in 2006, he moved to Denver, CO and has been there ever since. “I love it here. In the winters I ski. In the summers I take my jeep off road. All year I go to concerts of many bands. I fund my 311 habit with a career in land surveying. I sit on my ass in the office and analyze history, law and math to figure out who owns what.”

Some other music Tony is in to: Beethoven, Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Slayer, and AJ Croce. Even his pup, Darwin, loves Beethoven. “My dog barks along with Beethoven’s 9th in tune.”  Guilty pleasure? Tony listens to the Harry Potter books on tape at least two times a year. And if you know Tony at all, you know his shenanigans can sometimes lead to injury. “I have fractured my skull after Fireball shots. I’m not sure how exactly but I woke up with a shiner and pricker bush in my underwear.”

Tony’s had the opportunity to meet the fellas but he sometimes clams up when around them. So one thing he’d like to tell them is: “You should release every show like Pearl Jam and Metallica do. I go to Live311.com every day hoping that something has been posted.”


And to all of you out in the 311 universe:

“Just let me jump and if I bump into you nudge me back to wherever I came from.”


That my friends is Mr. Anthony Perazzo! I met him on the eve of my first big 311 event. It was like it was meant to be and we ended up hanging out all night and then throughout the entire first cruise. One thing I can say is he has a good heart and is very loyal to his friends. And he’s fun to drink with…just look at this photo of him wearing my shirt the first night I met him..


Thanks for reading my friends! Until we meet again, have an amazing week!!

Much love – The Runt