Hello again Excitable friends! Guess what day it is?? Hooray it’s new fan spotlight day! Are…you…ready? Let me introduce you to Mr. Ian Wheeler!
Twenty years ago in the year 1996 Ian used to spend a lot of time at his grandparents house when his parents would go out. He always loved going there because they had cable and he was able to watch MTV. “I remember when it was the top 10 videos and 311’s “Down” was always back to back with Bone Thugs N Harmony’s “Crossroads”. The first time I watched the video for “Down” I was addicted. The funky flows SA brought out and the way they jammed in that video was just mesmerizing. The flying buddha as well. Just all and all I loved that song so much.”
Having just returned home from 311 Day, Ian is now at a show total of 91. Number 92 will come in July when he attends the Chicago show. Picking his favorite of them was a tough one. He said overall that 311 Day is really the greatest event, although the cruise is a close second. “I was actually just discussing this with my girlfriend the other day. I mean all and all the 311 Days are the best without a doubt because they play all the rare songs we never get to see live. The 311 Cruise on the other hand is one hell of an experience. I mean you are on a boat with your favorite band. This band spoils us at every event.”
The song that means the most to him at the moment is “Tranquility.” Ian unfortunately lost a good friend back in September of 2015 and it reminds him of his friend. “My best friend Daniel Gast. It was a shot to the heart. This song reminds me of him constantly. When 311 played it live with the church choir during 311 Day 2016 I lost it. Lots of tears.” Ian said really most of Stereolithic means a lot to him. “Right before this album came out a few years ago, I got to do a live filmed interview with Nick Hexum which was a dream come true.” Favorite lyrics come from “Hydroponic” and then “Made in the Shade:” “I’m not going to waste life being hateful” and “You gotta keep on climbing the hill cuz if you think you’ll make it you will.”
Ian was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, but grew up just outside Chicago, Illinois in the suburbs. Pretty much before any 311 event Ian can be found working as much as possible to save up for it. “I think all the fans know to just have a 311 credit card going on tap. I pretty much paid for the bands kids college tuitions already (laughs).” Ian is a local radio DJ with his own show called Wheelers Weekend Jams. He works press at a lot of concerts, events and more. “I’m throwing my first official concert coming this August in Chicago with my good buddy J. Randy who has been on all the 311 cruises. Very excited for this one.”
Honesty is a trait that flows strong in Ian. “Whatever comes to mind I will let you know. Open-minded, loving, caring and will help out anyone who needs it. I’m lucky to have amazing friends and a great family. Give me a hug and I’ll hug you right back.” Drumming also flows strong and Ian has been playing since he was 8 years old. “Not only does drumming let you get out some aggression time to time but it has a meditation to it. I get to harness my chi. Drumming is good for the soul and drives a way the negatives. It puts life on a whole different beat. Ya feel me? (Go check out my band Coyote Man on our Facebook).”
Unique trait for Ian is that he LOVES drinking egg nog. “I think it’s the most underrated drink of all time. Why doesn’t it sell around yearly and not just Christmas and Easter?” Ian also is a huge movie fan, especially the horror genre, but he has a soft spot for romance as well. “I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure but some romantic stuff is not bad. Check out Sleepless in Seattle, The Notebook or The Princess Bride. Classics in my book. Deep down I’m a hopeless romantic.”
Being a DJ, there are many other artists besides 311 that Ian loves and he listens to many different types of music. Some of them include Led Zeppelin, Deftones, RX Bandits, Radiohead, Nirvana, Every time I Die, As tall as Lions, Passafire, The Beatles, Mars Volta, Die Antwoord, System of a Down, Enya, Miles Davis, Rage Against the Machine, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Beastie Boys, Ben Harper, Xavier Rudd, The Green, Van Halen, and Full Service.
Ian has a well worded message for 311: “Thank you for always being by my side with your lyrical genius swagger and (musical) sounds that bring out the best in my life.”
To all the other spectacular fans out there:
“It’s been a pleasure for all of these years seeing 311 live and meeting new faces every time. It’s been a wild ride but I wouldn’t change a minute. More than half of my good friends are 311 fans and it’s a beautiful thing. Other people who don’t understand will always ask me “Why do you go see 311 live so many times”? It’s simple. Not only does 311 put on an amazing performance every time but it’s meeting new people who are into what you are into. Thats something special. It’s like going to church every Sunday. 311 is my church. This is such a special click to be a part of and in the future there will be documentaries about 311 and this fan base. How it’s almost revolutionary in many ways. It’s funny when fans argue with each other on how many shows they have been to or how cool they are because they got a photo pass to shoot at the show. Thats cool and everything but all in all we are in this together. We are united as one. See you at shows! Everyone gather, the more the better. Peace, Love and Unity.”
Great message Ian!!! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope all you excitables enjoyed his tale of his love for 311. I’m so grateful to all who participate and those who read this spotlight each week! You are all amazing, positive people and continue to brighten my life each and every day. Until we meet again my friends…stay positive, keep smiling, and shine on!
Much love – The Runt