Happy Halloween 311 nation! Hope you are having a spooktacular day so far and let’s make it better by meeting a new fellow 311 fan – here is Bonni Sue!
High school era, Bonni was listening to KROQ, and that’s how she initially heard 311, but it was actually an ex who really exposed her ears to them back in 2002. “I enjoyed all of their music. But while scrolling through Facebook one day in August 2011, I came across the cruise promo picture listing all the bands and djs. I knew I had to be apart of this.” Bonni had only seen them live once prior to the cruise but she booked her cabin on the third cruise knowing absolutely not a single person on the ship. “Walking off that boat I knew I was a 311 fan for life! The friendships and bonds that I made were unreal!!! The positive message in their music with the reggae rock vibe mixed with the amazing fans fit perfectly with my lifestyle and the way I choose to live. I will be honest and say that 311 isn’t my #1 favorite band but 311 fans are my #1 favorite group of people! I get pumped for 311 shows because my ears get filled with beautiful music and my heart gets full of love seeing everyone from around the world!”
Number of shows she’s been to, well she doesn’t know, because she chooses not to count. “Music is such a huge part of my life there is no way I can keep up with how many shows I’ve gone to. My goal is to catch a live show of any kind at least once a week. I’ve traveled across the country following the bands Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, The Simpson Project, The Expanders and Soja.” Favorite place to see 311? “Red Rocks. I’ve seen them there twice now and both times my heart gets stolen! Red Rocks is magical to begin with add 311 and all the beautiful people they bring together! Words can’t describe the feeling it give me.” A close runner up is the 2014 Vegas show because during that trip she made some long lasting bonds with a few people.
Song that means the most to her is “Beautiful Disaster” and it holds a lot of memories for her. “It’s been my favorite for years! It’s one of those songs I love putting on repeat, turning the volume up super loud and sing at the top of my lungs while traveling the open road.” One of her favorite lyrics comes from “All Mixed Up” – “You’ve got to trust your instincts and let go of regrets.”
Huntington Beach, California is where Bonni Sue was raised an only child by her dad. She has a stepmom, two older stepbrothers, and a younger half brother. She was raised in the same house that her dad grew up in. Her free spirit and strength she says definitely comes from her mom. Growing up near the water she spent a lot of time in it. “I grew up with a pool in our backyard…I could swim before I knew how to walk. I was on the swim team in high school and our water polo team won CIF championship my senior junior year.” Her first job was teaching kids how to sail at Huntington Harbour Yacht Club.
When Bonni turned 21 she started to move around a lot which she said turned into a “2 year itch plan.” She has lived in Humboldt County, Seattle and Ventura. From 2014 to 2016 she lived out of her trailer, traveling all along the coast of California. She recently moved to Denver, Colorado after having dreamt of living there for over 10 years. During her travels, she worked on a cannabis farm in Northern California and realized what she would love to do for work. She now has a career as a budtender at a dispensary in Colorado. “love being able to help people and broaden their horizons when it comes to medicating with so many different types of cannabis products.” She has two fur kids known as “The Hounds:” Koda, a coonhound, and Marilyn Mae, a bloodhound. She said despite being mauled at an animal shelter in 2010, she still loves animals especially her dogs. “My experiences do not define me but rather strengthen me in life. My pups are my healers and help me get over my challenges being around the other dogs.”
Earlier this year Bonni lived in Rishikesh, India, where she studied to be a yoga teacher. She has since opened a yoga studio in her home and named it after a nickname she was given when traveling – “Traveling Gypsy Hippie.” She is also working on opening a boutique in November that will feature hand crafted items that she and other artistic “brodellas” have made. Next up for her regarding travel is heading to Thailand to study Thai Massage. “Trying to find more ways to educate myself so I can help people he’s naturally is something I get so much enjoyment from.”
As if Bonni hasn’t been interesting enough so far, here are some more tidbits of info that make her unique. She used to manage a live artist and they completed a national tour with the bands Fortunate Youth, Ease Up and New Kingston. She auditioned for the T.V. show “Big Brother” seven times while traveling across the country. She has been a diehard Denver Broncos fan since 1995 and was lucky enough to go to the Superbowl in 2014, even though they lost. Oh and she can blow glass!
Bonni is also a tough woman and fighter to get what she wants. Last year she lost her job, place to park her trailer and call home, and her life savings. “I literally had $200 to my name and nothing but dreams still left to live. I knew if I didn’t stay positive I would fall back into a dark place I didn’t want to end up again. I made a sacrifice to live out of my truck for 6 months, I put my trailer in storage. I was able to manifest abundance and funded my way to live in India for a month. I am a dreamer and I don’t let anything stand in my way. If there is a will there is a way. When I returned from India I started from scratch again trying to get the money to move to Colorado. I continued to live out of my truck another 4 months. My life in Denver is magical and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better move or home for myself and the pups.”
Mentioned earlier, 311 isn’t Bonni’s favorite band. So who is? “Sublime will forever be my number 1 band!!!” She also was lucky to have become close with a lot of bands from when she worked in the music industry, including a lot of musicians in the reggae community. “I am very grateful for Stick Figure and Fortunate Youth in particular. I met my best friend Michelle at a Slightly Stoopid show and shortly after meeting we bonded on a road trip to see Rebelution for 4 shows!! I truly believe that Soja saved my life. After I was mauled by a dog at an animal shelter in 2010, I feel into a very dark place. I thought about attempting suicide a few times and even came close, every time I would turn on something that would play music, Soja would come on and tell me “I’m not done yet”. Lights came on and I turned to music!” Her guilty pleasure also comes in musical form. “I’m a parrot head! My first concert I ever went to was Jimmy Buffett. My dad loves him and made me love him too! Lol.”
To 311, her message is this: “Thank you! My life would not be so rich and full of love if it wasn’t for you and the message you send, the bonds I have made with other fans whom I now call my family is something I cherish and hold very dear to my heart!”
And to all the other wonderful 311 fans:
“Don’t stop dreaming, anything is possible! When bad things happen in our lives it is because we are being tested at how badly we want those dreams to come true! Live the life you love! And listen to a lot of 311 music in the process!”
Wow what a story! Thank you Bonni for sharing your journey. As always, thank you to all the fans who continue to read. You are all truly amazing! Until next time…
Much Love – The Runt