Introducing 311 fan Mr. Jay Crawford!


Another Monday is here my excitable friends and that can only mean one thing…tis the time to meet a new 311 fan! I know many of you are giddy with anticipation for the upcoming cruise (or trying to forget that you can’t be there) so distract yourself for a bit by reading all about Mr. Jay Crawford!

It was thanks to a friend of Jay’s that he was introduced to the sounds of 311, even if the first listen didn’t leave him completely hooked. He was at a small party and his friend put the Music album on. No one seemed into it and people actually asked him to turn it off. Then a week later Jay saw the video for “Down.” “Whilst in a medicinal state…and my mind was blown!”

The last show count Jay was at was 22…then he lost track after Vegas. However he does know which show out of he ones he’s seen is his favorite. “311 Day Nola 2014, because of the beautiful people that have now come into my life. But 311 Day 2012 two day set list was a monster.”

Everyone has that song that resonates deeply into their soul, and for Jay it’s “Strong All Along.”  “The riff, vibe and message have so much power in that song.”  His favorite lyrics are harder to pin down because he says they change pretty much every other day. When he answered this though his favorite line was, “Nothing to see shows over, people just move along.”

Jay doesn’t believe that everyone stands out from one another, he feels that 311 fans stand out from everyone else! Currently living in Cumberland, Maryland, he says he’s had a love of music since a young age. “I grew up listening to 80’s rap but MTV introduced me to bands like The Scorpions and AC/DC.” Once Jay heard Blood Sugar Sex Magic he said everything changed. “Seeing a band fuse two of my favorite genres kind of set me up for 311’s style.”  A little later on in life Jay introduced a friend to 311 and when he heard him sing, he was asked to join the friends band. “First day of practice, the bass player showed up with a 311 sticker on his bass amp, and we’ve played for 10 years.  With “Down” and “Homebrew” being two of our signature songs, we covered a total of seventeen 311 songs over ten years.”

You already know that Jay is into music and some of his other favorite artists include Tool, STP, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, Tribe Called Quest, Pink Floyd, Ballyhoo, and RDGLDGRN. He just recently found a new love in the RX Bandits.

Interesting fact about Jay – he played the viola until high school. Then in 2002 his home became the practice space for the band so when they weren’t rehearsing, he’d play around on the gear in the basement and ended up teaching himself how to play drums!  Jay also coaches baseball. He has three summer teams and one fall travel team. He’s also coached soccer since 1994.

When not busy doing the things above he occupies his time with the T.V. show “24,” anything Stephen King, and “Game of Thrones.” Unless it’s baseball season of course, then he says the Orioles, Giants and Dodgers own his life!

Jay’s simple message to the guys of 311 is this: “Thank you!” But to all of you magnificent people out there in the 311 nation, his note to you is this:

“Always have an open mind and an open heart and always …………..
fight like a girl!”


That, my friends, is Jay’s tale of his life & love for 311! As always, thank you all for reading. You’re all the reason I do this! I’m happy to share your stories with the world and appreciate all of you who want to divulge them. Until next time!

Much love – The Runt

311 fan spotlight on Bob Barr!

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Hello again my wonderful fellow fans of 311! Welcome back to another edition of the fan spotlight. This week we feature a guy that was nominated by his wonderful wife Jen. It’s time to meet Mr. Bob Barr!

From the very start of Bob’s life music played an important role. He was just around the age of 3 when he received his first album, Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was also right around this time that his parents divorced and music became the thing he could turn to when times were rough. “As far as I can remember, music has always played an integral part in my life, as I was always listening to records, the radio, and yes MTV (remember when they actually played music???).” It was in 1995 that 311 made their grand entrance into Bob’s life when he heard the song “Don’t Stay Home” on the radio. “Immediately I was intrigued as the song demonstrated a style of music that had pieces of what I enjoyed from each genre, but seemed to flow in a way I couldn’t imagine possible.  A very short time later, the single and music video for “Down” hit the airwaves, and from that point I knew 311 was a band I need to seriously get into.”

Get into them he did.  Bob says his obsession became vocal in the summer of 1996 when he went to see the band live for the first time. “From there I made it known that 311 was no doubt my favorite band, and that it was all 311, all the time.”  His first show was a local radio event and the band only played for about a half hour but it didn’t take long for Bob to realize how incredible they were. One of Bob’s best friends Jim is also into the band and they’ve seen over 30 shows together, performed 311 karaoke together, and even covered songs like “Hive” and “Brodels” with Bob’s brother Joe’s band. Bob also has a crew of friends (they call themselves “The Perks”) that love the music and their bond grew because of the band. “Still working at the stadium throughout high school and college, I was able to get my friends jobs and we all worked together, which led to us reciting 311 lyrics and communicating out our obsession to anyone and everyone in our paths.”

Since 1996, Bob has seen 311 live 39 times and even has most of the ticket stubs to prove it. He’s been to the last four 311 Day events as well as seen shows in various states such as New York, D.C., and Virginia. His favorite event so far has been the 2008 311 Day in Nola. “I never knew what I was missing until I got there, and was completely overwhelmed by the 10,000+ guys and gals that were all together as one, celebrating not only the day (in this case the entire week), or the band, or the music, but the years of passion and devotion to the 311 “be positive, and love your life” mantra that we all adapted thanks to the message portrayed and lived by the 5 individuals who we have grown to admire.” Bob’s favorite regular tour shows include the Atlantic City show back in 2010 and his #39 show at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. This was the area that all of “The Perks” met and grew up in. “Not only was it cool as hell to see Upper Darby on a 311 shirt, but the set list was absolutely incredible (opening with Welcome to Omaha Stylee to Do You Right AND no Amber!?!?!?!).  It was truly a show for the diehard fans!”

Bob was raised in two different states because of his parents divorce. South New Jersey is where he spent his weeks and attended school, then on the weekends he stayed at his fathers place in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Bob said that most kids would be upset that their parents weren’t together but for him it was a blessing. “If it wasn’t for them separating, I would never have met my best friends, including my wife – and I absolutely had the best childhood I could imagine thanks to those guys.”

Since Bob has been a fan of 311 for almost 20 years, he can correlate most moments in his life to their album releases. “I guess you could say 311 has always been “there for me” without even knowing.”  Bob said that as he grew and transformed it seemed that the music of 311 did the same. He met his wife Jen right around the time From Chaos was released, which he says was fitting for their relationship. They went through a rough patch but they saw things through and he said she’s been by his side ever since. Jen is also a fan of 311 and has seen them over 20 times at this point.

The album Evolver was released right around the time that Bob’s grandmother had a stroke, yet another major moment in his life. After she had her stroke she had a lot of memory loss and no longer knew who Bob was. “I was going through a tough time. I left my job that I loved going for a “more responsible” career with a mortgage company, broke up with Jen, and was dealing with the sickness and death of my grandmom.  With all this, I was abusing drugs and alcohol to deal with the issues, to the point where I was alienating the most important people in my life.  Evolver came out just when I needed it, not only as a distraction but a healthy alternative to dealing with the issues at hand.” The songs on the album helped Bob refocus his energy to a more positive path. He got back together with Jen, left the mortgage company, and ended up getting a full time job with a company in the sports and entertainment industry. “I got my life back together from a person and family standpoint.  A few months after getting back together, Jen became pregnant and the most amazing life moment I could ever imagine transpired with the birth of my daughter Samantha (undoubtedly a gift from my grandmom looking down on us).”

Bob is now married to Jen and has two beautiful children, Samantha and Robbie. He shares his love of 311 with the kids and they have their own favorite songs. Bob has even gotten his mom and stepdad into the band and they’ve gone to the last two 311 days!  Bob funds his 311 habit working at Aramark in the sports & entertainment division as the Director of Operations. He oversees the food and beverage operations and gets to travel all across the country supporting 600 stadiums, concert venues, national parks, etc. He’s even been able to meet some great artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, The Hives, and Bruce Springsteen!

Other bands that Bob loves are Pearl Jam (he has been into them ever since Ten was released), Grouplove, Cage the Elephant, Weezer, Rage Against the Machine, Foo Fighters, and a lot of other 90’s alternative. He also credits 311 for getting him into bands like The Urge, 2 Skinnee J’s, and RDGLDGRN. Something he says many people don’t know about him is he’s had to replace his 311 CD collection, not once, but twice!

“My first car was a 1990 Chevy Cavalier, a starter vehicle to get me to school and work in the late 90’s, nothing glamorous to say the least… but it was broken into while I was at work and my CD player and case were stolen, much to my dismay when I returned to my car!  About a year later, after I spent a great deal of time and money to replace my music collection, my car was stolen.  While my car was eventually located, of course – my “collection 2.0” was nowhere to be found.  Lesson learned?  Be thankful for digital media!”

Bob grew up bowling and participated in a league throughout his teenage years. In early 2002 he managed to bowl a “300” perfect game. “I was only the 7th person to ever bowl a perfect game at the bowling alley (which was over 50 years old).  It was a memorable experience I must say!  I haven’t been to that alley in years but I hear my name is still up on the wall – which is pretty cool.”  His current hobby, or guilty pleasure, is collecting posters and vinyl records. “However, I only collect posters from shows that I have been to.  I still have some work to do in completing both collections as it relates to 311 shows/albums, but I am definitely making progress, with owning all 4 311 Day show posters and some of the show-specific concerts as well.”

A great deal of thought was given to Bob’s answer for his favorite song. He chose “Eons,” saying it’s had the most impact on his life. “I literally get goose bumps every time I get surprised at a show hearing the initial guitar riff into “you got a wishing well within, that’s ready to begin…” and nothing beats singing along with “Nobody knows just what you’re battling inside you can hide” which I feel is an extremely impactful line that holds true for many of us.” He also said he wants to throw in the song “Do You Right” because it’s Jen’s favorite song, and she was awesome to nominate him for this spotlight. Bob’s all time favorite quote though comes from the song “Paradise” – “Music  what I need to keep my sanity.”  Bob said, “There is no doubt that music has been the medicine that continues to guide me through life’s daily challenges.”

Bob has yet to meet 311 but if he did he has this simple sentence to say. “Thank you for sticking together, never selling out, giving it all that you’ve got every time you hit the stage and studio, and for impacting my life for nearly 20 years!”

Now to the awesome fellow fans that are reading this, here is Bob’s message to all of you:

“I don’t think any of us thought that 20 years ago when we heard “Down” or “All Mixed Up” (or for those who were “lucky” enough to get into them in the earlier days) for the first time that we would have transcended as a fan base to the level where we are today.  Deep respect to those who have dedicated their spare time over the years to bring the 311 community together – between community chat rooms, online radio stations, social media groups, trading posts, support groups (and last, but certainly not least, the Runt Rant!).  Thanks to all of the excitable ones out there that keep us connected as a group and hold the keys that open doors to amazing events such as 311 Day, Pow-Wow, the Cruise, and having the boys just plain rock out every year (not just for an album tour like just about every other band out there).  Keep livin’ and rockin’, and I’ll see you all at 311 Day 2016!”


That’s Bobs story my friends! I hope you were entertained, I know I was learning all about his love for 311! Keep on being the awesome people you all are and thanks for reading as always.

Much love – The Runt



Charley Kellum – this week’s 311 fan spotlight!


Hello my excitable friends and welcome to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight! Time to start the week right…let’s read about our fellow fan Mr. Charley Kellum!

Charley’s tale takes us back to good ole 1995 when a friend of his played a cassette tape of Grassroots for him. When Charley said he liked it, the friend threw on the blue album CD and that sealed the deal. “The beat of ‘Random’ really drew me in, then once I heard ‘Loco’ I was capital H Hooked! Chad’s drum work was so syncopated and amazingly tight. I couldn’t stop listening!”

Atlanta in 1997 was the first time Charley saw 311 live and since then he’s been to 10 shows. Last year he attended his first 311 Day and he was completely blown away by the experience. “Hearing ‘Damn’ live was one of my bucket list songs and I had just told someone I’d love to hear that or ‘Rolling.’ Then I heard the opening chords of ‘Damn’ and went ballistic!”

Favorite quote of Charley’s comes from the song “Homebrew” – “In the end, revenge sends ends to the defendant.”  Then there are multiple songs that mean a lot to Charley. He said “Beyond the Gray Sky” always makes him cry when hearing it live. Then the song “Hive” is the first song he heard them play live, so that will always have a special place in his heart. The prize for favorite song though goes to “Visit.”  “The message is great and that’s what I want to do. Visit the world with my time on this world.”

Charley grew up in a small town named Osage City in the state of Kansas (he said the population there is around 2300).  Then in 1997 he moved to Georgia shortly after the death of his mother. “For the next few years, 311 became my life and was my guidance through my pain.” Then in 2000 Charley joined the Navy to better his life situation. “I was broke, unemployed, and crashing on couches. The Navy changed my life.” From there he spent time in Charleston, S.C., Kings Bay Sub Base in Georgia, and then Atlanta where he recruited for 4 years. Charley is now out of the Navy and living in Statesboro, Georgia where he works for GA Power. “I am trying to earn a Reactor Operators license at a nuclear power plant.”

Music plays a special part in Charley’s life. He was once a Vocal Music Education major so he used to just sing at the drop of a hat. He even performed the National Anthem to open for Craig Morgan, and then sang it again a month later for a Christian Labor Day concert in front of 15,000 people! Charley is also super smart – so much so that he is a member of Mensa, the high IQ society. Aside from 311, Charley’s musical interests are quite eclectic. He loves Alice in Chains, Primus, Rebelution, Eminem, Ludacris, Pantera,  and Garth Brooks. “I love all music: rock, rap, and reggae take the lead though.” Guilty pleasure? “I love Sons of Anarchy!”

In 2012 at the Atlanta show meet and greet, Charley was lucky enough to tell the guys just how much they mean to him. He simply said to them, “Thank you for creating the music that has helped me through the darkest times of my life, as well as punctuated its celebrations.”

Now here’s Charley’s message to all the fans out there:

“To my beloved Familia, keep filling up venues and loving each other. Maintain the positivity and let’s keep it going as long as possible!”


Thanks for reading peeps about another awesome member of the 311 nation! Keep that positive attitude flowing and spread it to those around you. Have a great week!

Much love – The Runt

First 311 fan spotlight of 2015 has arrived – meet Vanessa Sena!


Happy 2015 my excitable friends! I hope everyone has kicked this new years off with a bang and are taking it by storm! Are we all ready for the first edition of the spotlight this year? I hope so because here she is – Meet Vanessa Sena!

Vanessa gives partial credit of her 311 discovery to MTV. During an episode of Alternative Nation, they played the video for “Down.” That was her first exposure but it was later on during a car ride that she heard the Blue album in full and was completely drawn to them. “The vocal pairing between Nick and SA was unlike anything else but it was the rhythms that drew me in. From there I transitioned to 311 chat rooms, joined the message board (in 97-ish before it blew up), the mailing list and bought any album of theirs I could find.”

10 live shows are in Vanessa’s repertoire so far and she has a great outlook on the ones she’s been to. “It’s not 20 or even 100, but it’s more than never and that’s good enough for me.”  Of the 10, she’s been to 311 Day 2012 and 2014. However her favorite so far was the Pensacola show in 2007. “It had been 7 years since I had seen them and given recent changes I had experienced then it was instant water works as soon as the lights dimmed out. I felt such immense joy that night, I’ll never forget it.”

The prize for song that means the most to her goes to “I’ll Be Here Awhile.”  “It reminds me to remain strong and that there isn’t a thing I can’t overcome.”  Some of her favorite lyrics come from the song as well – “But I’ll see it through in time.”  Other favorite lines from other songs include “Like having phone sex with a deaf girl” (She says it always cracks her up) and then these words from the song “Simple True” – “I’ve got a working title somewhere and I know one day I’ll get there, I’m grasping here.”  These lyrics really resonate with her right now because while she isn’t where most people the age of 31 are, she says she’s still here and fighting her way through all life’s rings of fire.

It was back in 1983 that Vanessa entered the world, the daughter of two wonderful parents who are sadly both gone from her life at this point. Her parents met while her father was in the Air Force. It took some time in Thailand and some distance in between, but they finally made it to the U.S. where they married. Vanessa has two older sisters and spent most of her time growing up in Northwest Florida (Fort Walton Beach). When her dad retired from the Air Force, he took a job with a company that eventually relocated him overseas. When Vanessa was in third grade, she, her mom and middle sister hopped a plane to join him there, while her oldest sister stayed behind to finish high school.

For the next three years Vanessa lived in Saudi Arabia. She says that’s an interesting fact that most people don’t know about her and that it isn’t what people think. “The majority of people I came across were very kind and welcoming. I did wear an abaya to cover my clothes but never anything covering my hair or face. I missed having pork and some other American fare but with authentic shawarmas and Kinder eggs at my reach I forgot all about it. It was a very humbling experience and would happily relive that piece of my childhood again if I could.”

Unfortunately in 1995 Vanessa lost her mother due to health complications. At the young age of 12, she travelled back to the U.S. to live with her sisters in a home her parents built in Niceville, Florida, and she says yes it is a real place! She went through a tough time dealing with the loss of her mother and handling the normal teenage growing pains. “I wasn’t used to cliques, wore glasses and until then my mom dictated my wardrobe. As a result, I saw no better thing than being gone because I felt it was my fault somehow that all this bad had come about. It wasn’t until years later that I would come to terms with it all but even now I’m hard on myself sometimes.”

Vanessa didn’t immediately enter college after graduating high school, choosing to work and experience life a bit more before heading there. It was in 2007 that she began working on her BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration. She now really wants to end up counseling young kids and while her education has been put on hold momentarily, she does hope to finish that chapter in her life eventually. She is just getting ready to relocate to Washington state, so she can add that location to her list of cool places she’s lived! As for funding her 311 habit, she works just like most of us do. She said once she’s relocated, she knows she’ll find something to help her start saving for 311 Day 2016.

Most people don’t realize that Vanessa is actually half Thai. As for her guilty pleasure it’s pretty simple – “I love food. Eating it, cooking it, and admiring it in books and TV shows.  For instance, just after Thanksgiving I had the most amazing strawberry preserves at a local Phoenix eatery called Matt’s Big Breakfast. I shamelessly scraped the tiny round dish with the remainder of my home fries so I could eat the rest. It was that amazeballs.”

Vanessa also has an eclectic taste in music, which she credits to the influences of her father, mother, and sisters. Her dad was a Led Zeppelin fan, mom had an infatuation with Julio Iglesias, and her sisters listened to a variety of Hip-Hop, R&B, and Pop. Her playlist on her iTunes goes something like this (besides 311 obviously): Deftones, The Airborne Toxic Event, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness, Incubus, Slipknot, Adele, Maroon 5, Tool, Foo Fighters, The Sounds, Coheed & Cambria, Taylor Swift, Minus the Bear, Justin Timberlake, Matt Kearney, Big Band Jazz, some Rap, straight up 80’s tunes and Rock Oldies.

311 came into Vanessa’s life at a time she needed some guidance the most, right after she lost her mother. So here is her personal message to them:

“Music and poetry became my escape and in my quest for something to drown out my sorrows, this band unexpectedly entered my life.  I would tell them thank you. Thank you so damn much for creating music together. You’ve opened my life to experiences I otherwise may not have had and I’ve met some amazing people in the process (including someone I’ve unexpectedly become fond of). If not for the countless albums and attendance at shows I don’t think I would’ve seen things through. In addition to everything else that keeps me held together, you five have aided me in seeing the positive in things and what I have to fight for. I love you all.”

Finally her message to the great people of the 311 community:

“No matter what our focuses, beliefs and opinions are in life those of you reading this very blog were brought together by this band and the brother/sisterhood most of us consider family. When I first became immersed in 311 groups I didn’t expect it to have an effect of this magnitude. Within months I found myself part of the Familia Secret Santa Gift Exchange then meeting some of your wonderful faces in New Orleans.It was while I didn’t bother to search for something that I was rewarded and I am forever grateful. I have found far more than just other 311 fans but genuinely kind people; friends. Thank you to everyone who has welcomed me with an open mind and an open heart. Remember to love yourself, respect others, live life to the fullest and for Pete’s sake don’t sweat the small stuff. Cheers and Happy New Year!!”


Well said Vanessa! Thanks my friends in the 311 nation for reading and learning more about this awesome slinky sister! Happy New Year to all and may 2015 be full of positivity and prosperity.

Much love – The Runt