311 Fan Spotlight – 11/28/2016 – Joshua Shelton!


Welcome back 311 nation!! I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving (if you’re livin’ and rockin’ in the U.S.A. of course). Now it’s time to kick off the holiday season and what better way to do it than with the new fan spotlight! It’s time to meet Joshua Shelton! 

Summer of 1997 is when Josh’s love for 311 begins. While watching MTV, on came a video with a spinning, future-like minimalistic T.V. He said something just connected to him at that moment. “Metal guitars, vocal effects, chill beats, then back again with a heavy finish… the song was Transistor and that was the first time I know of that I actually heard 311.” A few days later while riding in the car with his father, he asked what that song he had heard on MTV was…something “supersister.” It was that same day that the universe aligned and Josh happened to stumble across the Transistor cassette tape at Best Buy. “I put that tape in my old-school stereo and it was immediately confirmed *this* was a vibe I wanted more of. Then Galaxy>Beautiful Disaster played and I was forever sold. Since I was just 11 years old at the time, I don’t think I was really prepared to digest what I was hearing content-wise: lyrically and musically. Yet I was hooked, and a few months later I got the Blue album. I listened to both of these damn near nonstop for around two years (Beastie Boy’s Hello Nasty and The Offspring’s Americana was in that rotation too), until Soundsystem came out. It’s like 311’s been in my blood ever since that first time in ’97.”

Four states and ten shows is where Josh is at for seeing 311 live. “The thing about being a 311 fan is that whether it’s your 2nd show or your 100th show, we’re all one in the same- we the 311 Nation all share the unity, appreciation, and dedication. Can’t wait for show #11 though!” Josh said that each experience is special in it’s own way. 311 Day 2012 in Vegas and then 2016 in New Orleans are high up the list. However he said Grassroots Fest 2014 was like a family reunion…literally, since he was in the VIP section with many of the bands family members. “The last time they were in Minneapolis I was front and center on the rail. Times like that, and anytime you get to meet one of the guys, whether backstage or outside the venue, always makes for a real memorable experience.”

When it comes to favorite songs, Josh says he has a list of his “Top 11” songs that he is constantly re-evaluating. One that he keeps coming back to and that has personal significance is “Strong All Along.” “As an impressionable young teenager at the time it was released, that song gave me the freedom to explore who I was, who I was going to be, and just the confidence to grow into that. More recently would be Simplify– before my daughter was born I included that song on a mix I made for her, as an encouragement to life as she would soon be starting hers.” As far as favorite lyrics, he said the possibilities are endless but in the end it all comes down to “Stay positive and love your life.”

Twin Cities, Minnesota is where Josh grew up. Then he attended college in downtown Chicago and after that moved out to the great city of Seattle, Washington for a few years with his wife. They are currently back in MN. When in Seattle, Josh was a barista and would use his tips to fund his 311 adventures, but now he says it’s all about careful planning and making sure his amazing wife is okay with everything! 

One thing Josh loves is being a daddy to his almost one year old daughter. “When she was born preemie, she literally weighed 3 lbs 11oz. (the band signed her birth announcement which is now obviously proudly displayed).” Josh has been happily married to his wife for almost seven years and they enjoy family walks around the lake, making their daughter laugh and dreaming big dreams together. 

Some things Josh personally enjoys is creative writing, as well as reading, art, design, shooting on his GoPro, mentoring students, snowboarding, wake boarding, fitness and working out. He also loves to travel, stargaze, listen to live music, watching the Seattle Seahawks, and all things X-Files (as well as Twin Peaks and Grey’s Anatomy). When not listening to 311, Josh can be found listening to other favorites like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, U2, MuteMath, Project 86, Mae, Tristan Prettyman, Bob Marley, and Jason Mraz. 

Things that make Josh unique are as follows: He used to play rugby in high school and after college; the sustained a spinal injury from a wake boarding accident; While working at the flagship Gap in Chicago, he sold President Barack Obama (then senator) a pair of jeans; And finally he can rap just about anything while driving alone. Guilty pleasure comes in food form – he loves a good doughnut (like Top Pot in Seattle, Glam Doll in Minneapolis or Voodoo in Portland). He said it also compliments his black coffee addiction. He also said he goes to Target about “9 days a week” and spends a small fortune on Starbucks coffee every month. 

Josh’s message to 311 is a simple and meaningful one: “Much gratitude for forever following your passion(s)- your impact on me personally has been truly life-changing!”

Now to all the other awesome fans out there:

“Something recently that’s been on my mind is the idea of only giving energy to the things which matter most… I encourage you to consider what this might look like in your life. The other thing I would say, and I say often, is “Stay Fresh” :)”


That is the story of Mr. Joshua Shelton my friends! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you all for being the wonderful, positive human beings that you are. Until we meet again…simply “Stay Fresh” as Josh would say! 🙂

Much love – The Runt


311 Fan Spotlight – 11/21/16 – Megan Lynne Crucet!


Happy Thanksgiving week excitable fans! Shall we kick it off right by giving thanks for a new 311 fan spotlight? Let’s meet this weeks amazing fan – Megan Lynne Crucet! 

Back in 1995, when Megan was around the age of 10, is where her 311 tale begins. She and her friend Alec went to after school care together at their elementary school. Alec’s dad picked them up and Megan would hang out at his house until her mom got out of work. “I  have fond memories of the two of us playing Sega and listening to the blue album. I believe it was his older brother who introduced the band to him and then share it with me. Once I saw the music video for “Down” on MTV, my love for the band, especially Nick, was solidified.”

Show count is unknown for Megan but she does remember that her first show was on 3/13/2002 in Sunrise, Florida. She has been on all of the cruises and will be on the one in 2017 (with Alec and his wife). She’s also attended 311 Day in Nola in 2008 and 2014, been to Pow Wow, and was at the Halloween show in West Palm Beach back in 2003 with Alien Ant Farm. “I never ended up getting a shirt from that show which I regret to this day!” Favorite show is tied between 311 Day 2008 and the beach show from the second cruise. “311 day was the first major event I had attended and first I had to leave the state for. I remember getting chills and feeling emotional when they closed with Paradise.”

Favorite song is a three way tie between “Eons,” “Jackolantern’s Weather,” and “Electricity.” Megan loves the beat change up at the beginning of “Eons”” baffles her mind and she even had a conversation with Pnut about it. “He tried to explain to me that it actually isn’t that difficult, but I still couldn’t catch on, and I was also busy staring lol. He mentioned that Offbeat BareAss has a similar change up, but that one doesn’t confuse my brain as much.” Then there is “Jackolantern’s Weather” which is the inspiration for her tattoo (see photo further down). “My birthday is in October and Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.” Then the song “Electricity” and the line “The soul you have is electricity” hold a special place in her heart.  “When my grandfather passed away several years ago, we had people over the house after the funeral, which I suppose is tradition. It was a perfectly sunny Florida afternoon and about 30 minutes into it the lights started flickering. This went on for the next few minutes and even lead to a couple people leaving. I truly believe that was his soul letting us know he was there and saying goodbye one last time…tear :(“

Megan was born and raised in South Florida and has never lived anywhere else. She has traveled though, she and her sister used to spend their summers with their grandparents in various places such as Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. Flying is something that Megan has never been particularly good with and she said 311 has become somewhat of a security blanket for her. “As long as I had my CD player and some 311 CDs I was okay. I still remember sitting there and holding the rewind button to get to the Transistor Intro. That was the coolest thing for some reason lol.” Funding her 311 habit is relatively easy – she just doesn’t go on other vacations besides 311 related ones or family related trips. 

As mentioned above, Megan has a 311 tattoo relating to “Jackolantern’s Weather.” What most people don’t know is just how big the tattoo is. “Started with just the 311 star with the space theme below it. The center is my Jackolantern’s weather scene with the quote from electricity below it.” While no band besides 311 has ever come close to being as important to Megan as 311 is, she does love Sublime, Incubus and Nirvana. Plus she said her parents had a role in shaping her musical tastes as well. Guilty pleasure for Megan is “Spongebob.” Even as an adult she still stops and watches it. She’s also still obsessed with the show “Friends” and says she probably can’t make it through a day without quoting it. 


The question about what makes Megan unique was difficult for her, but it was a friend who reminded her of an amazing skill she has – pumpkin carving skills. “Don’t get me wrong, I just use those stencil packs that they sell everywhere, but I guess since I pick the hard ones and am pretty accurate he thought it was worth mentioning. This friend also happens to be the first 311 friend I made via the internet before the days of Facebook and the Familia. I think it was around 2002 or 2003 in an AOL chat room. We ended up meeting in person after chatting almost daily for a few months when he lent me his ETSD VHS(I know, right) and a 311 shirt since I decided I wanted to wear a 311 shirt to school everyday that week and I only had 4. We are still friends to this day even though he moved to Alaska, and he is also coming with me on the next cruise as a first timer! So everyone be sure to say hi and give all the high fives you can!”

To 311, Megan’s message is: “And when the day is done, what you receive is the sum, of what you took out from what you put in.” I hope you guys are getting as much out of this as us fans are. I don’t think any of us would want it any other way, but please don’t ever stop!”

To all the other fans:

“I’m only outgoing and somewhat crazy around people I know, but until then I’m pretty shy and not likely to initiate conversation. So if you happen to see me at a show or on the next cruise, come say hi! High fives and hugs are also welcome. Thanks for creating a community I am proud to be a part of! PLUR.”


Nice to meet you Megan Lynne Crucet! Thank you for being a part of the 311 fan spotlight project. Thank you to all of the other fans who keep reading. Thank you to 311 for being amazing and bringing all these positive people together. Without you, our lives would all be drastically different I believe. Now go, give thanks for the love in your life, be positive, spread the PLUR. 

Much love my friends – Happy Thanksgiving! 

The Runt


311 Fan Spotlight – 11/14/16 – Virgie Mestas!



Welcome back excitable friends! Our next fan spotlight has arrived. Time to meet Virgie Mestas! 

The age of 19 was when Virgie (short for Virginia) was introduced to 311. A boyfriend told her about them and they would occasionally make an appearance on her playlist off and on. It wasn’t until age 21, while going through a rough patch in life, that she rediscovered them and “the amazing positive energy that they pump through their lyrics and music.”

Show tally so far is at 30, including 311 Day events from 2008 to 2014, and the 2015 cruise. So many of those 30 shows stand out in Virgie’s mind and it’s hard to narrow it down to one favorite. Her first show was in 2005 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. “311 and the electricity blew me away!”  Other notable shows were 2006 Avila Beach because it’s her home, 2008 311 Day since it was her first, and of course the cruise to Jamaica. But the show that will always mean the most to her is the private concert she attended in 2009 in San Pedro, California. “My buddy Steve Siebold was lucky enough to win a free concert and I was blessed enough to be among the few he took along! EPIC is the best word to describe it. I mean come on, a private concert of your all-time favorite band with 20 of your close buddies , NEVER dreamed that would happen. Every moment felt surreal. They were only 10 ft away from where I was standing and put on an awesome show ! And then afterwards getting to meet them and chat and get pictures was just the cherry on top. Thank You Steve! Thank You!!”


The song “Strong All Along” will always be one that she holds dear to her heart as she said the lyrics remind her to just be herself and love who she is. “This song replayed and played at a time in my life when I was going through a huge personal life change and at that same time one of my dearest friends passed away suddenly.  So many lines in this song spoke life to me again!She even decided to get the song title tattooed on her arm as a reminder that it’s who she is. 


Obviously some of her favorite lyrics come from her favorite song such as “Reevaluate what makes you laugh, stand apart, makes you feel good what’s in your heart” and “You could make a mean hand out of what you been dealt.” Other favorite lyrics are the mantra “Stay positive and love your life” and “You might as well forgive yourself, that means more than someone else.” She said hearing the song “Don’t Dwell” also came at a crucial time in her life when she needed to hear those words the most. 

Virgie states that her family is a bit different than others. She and her sister were adopted (for which she said she is blessed) and they grew up in a Christian home with parents involved in ministry. This led them to South Dakota for 5 years during her childhood. “It was quite a change from the Sunny California weather but we adjusted well and loved it.  Some great childhood memories were made freezing in the snow lol.” Then in junior high they returned to the central coast of California. She still currently resides there, now with her boyfriend, and she is a student and works part time as an UBER driver, amongst other things. She hopes to be done with school in the next few years with a degree in recreational therapy. “Over the last few years I have been working with children and adults with limited mobility and learning and behavioral disorders. I really want to have a non-profit one day that brings the local community and its Disabled tourist together. There are so many beautiful things to experience in this life and the great outdoors and if I can be a part of helping others achieve that and live full happy lives , that would just be amazing.”

Music was important in Virgie’s home growing up and she said her father is an amazingly gifted and talented Spanish and Classical guitarist. She would go to coffee shops and watch him play and listen to him at home for hours at a time. This influenced her love for a variety of artists including Santana, The Gypsy Kings, Paul Simon, Ottmar Liebert, James Taylor, Enya, Mariah Carey, and Sheryl Crow. She was never a guitar player but she did have a passion for singing and spent over 8 years in the school choir. She said this was heavily influenced by her love for musicals. “You would have found me dancing and singing away most of my childhood.” Top of her list for current bands is Passafire. “Talk about an amazing Band, extremely talented. Seriously cant get enough of them.” Other all time favorite band is Incubus. “I’m a sucker for words. And Brandon Boyd is a lyrical genius! Not to mention an amazing singer.”

Fun fact about Virgie that ties in with her singing talent is that in the 10th grade she auditioned to sing with the all women’s California ACDA Choir. “It was an awesome experience that I will cherish forever. I competed against many other young ladies on the central coast and was chosen with 3 other ladies from school. We then learned 7 different songs from Italian Arias to acapella Spanish songs. It was sooo cool!! We then met up with the other ladies from the area that made it, had a few days of practice together and then put on a concert in a Mission in Santa Clara, CA.”

Virgie has earned the nickname “311” from her local beach buddies because she has 311 ink and she’s always bumping their music on the beach. She has two 311 tattoos, strong all along on her left arm and the blue album design on her back. Guilty pleasure for Virgie is spending as much time at the beach as possible. “Spending as much time at the beach as possible in the sun and surfing are part of who I am. I love the water, the sand , the sun, the salty air, I love it all. I find such peace and balance at the beach.” She also said that ice cream and watching “Gilmore Girls” or old musicals is right up there on the list of guilty pleasures as well. 

Something most people know is that she is adopted, however most don’t know that she met her biological parents when she was 17. “It was a moment that I will never forget and is hard to put in words. I always knew I was adopted but meeting your birth parents, well its an outer body experience. I have been lucky enough to meet a few of my biological siblings and still hope to find the others someday.”

Her message to 311 is this: “I never expected Your Music to bring such joy, love, unity, friendship and adventures into my life.Some of the most dearest people and most exciting adventures were brought into my life because I found your amazing music. Thank you so much for reminding us all how beautiful it is to grow, learn, loose, forgive, travel  and embrace the many differences amongst each other!!!”

To all the fellow fans:

Hello My fellow slinkys and brodels!! I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the wonderful friendships we have made over the years. Tho the music brought us together it is each and every one of you that I have been lucky enough to embrace in hugs and share in the amazing electricity that keeps me coming! Ive made such amazing memories with you, and have made many beautiful bonds that unite us from all over the country. Your friendship, and positive attitudes and lifestyles are so contagious and encouraging and have made going to shows that much more amazing. I look forward to our reunions at all our events and talk endlessly to anyone who listens about the amazing individuals who influence me to live positive. You are all my family!!”


That is miss Virgie and her story! So glad we all got to learn more about this awesome girl. Thank you all for reading each week. Go out and be awesome today, like you always do! 

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 11/7/16 – Megan Colby!


Hey hey hey excitable brodels and slinkies! Welcome again to the 311 fan spotlight. This week we meet the lovely Megan Colby!

Just like many other fans, the blue album is where Megan’s love for 311 began. “Hearing Down on the radio – how completely different it sounded from other music that was out there at the time – I was enthralled and eventually hooked!” It was winter 1995 and Megan received the CD as a Christmas gift from the family she babysat for. “I listened through it a zillion times, read through all the liner notes, stared at the photos in the CD booklet, and it quickly became a favorite.”

Amount of shows she’s been to, well she hasn’t really kept count, but her guesstimate is somewhere between 25 to 35. First show was back in 2000 when the band toured with Incubus. She saw them at the Pine Knob Amphitheater in Clarkston, Michigan. Like many, she had trouble narrowing down a favorite show and said there are many faves for a variety of reasons. “311 Day 2010 because it’s the day Chris and I got married and the entire day was pretty magical. The very first show on the first cruise was exciting and fun because it was so special – I mean, who else gets to see their favorite band on a freaking cruise ship surrounded by a bunch of other Excitables?!  Pow Wow was amazing because we met soooooo many new friends on that adventure. However, I’ve never rocked out harder than at the Atlanta Halloween show in 2010 – that was hands-down the best last-minute spontaneous trip of all time.”

The song “Electricity” means a great deal to Megan. Every time she hears it she gets goosebumps! “That song truly expresses how I feel about the human race. We are all one. We are all the same. We should treat others with respect and be open to others’ experiences.” Some of her favorite lyrics are this – “Life’s not a race.” “It’s a great reminder to take time to dream, to meditate, to take things slow, and to stay grounded.”

Southern California is the location of Megan’s birth, then right before her 2nd grade year, her family moved to Michigan. “Our house was on the outskirts of the bustling metropolis of Mt. Pleasant, which is smack dab in the middle of the mitten and at least 2 hours drive to anywhere you’d want to see a good band back then.” Megan attended college at Central Michigan University, where she met her now husband, Chris Colby, through mutual friends that are also 311 fans. “I still remember the day my friend Ron Hegenauer told me that 311 was going to be playing at CMU – that was CRAZY!!” Megan graduated and moved to Florida with Chris and their dog Bella. In 2010 they were married and they now have a 4 year old named Nicholas, whom she says is the most exciting part of their daily lives. For work, Megan is at a audio/video marketing business based in Tampa Bay. “I’m proud to be a part of a company that’s grown so much over the 11 years I’ve worked there.”

A fact most people don’t know, Megan used to be a cheerleader! She’s also pretty crafty and can sew. “I’ve made lots of jewelry, purses, clothing, costumes, curtains, and other crafts throughout the years. This year my big project was a blanket out of dozens of 311 shirts that Chris and I have collected over the years.”  Guilty pleasure for her comes in two forms – she loves Michael Jackson and wandering the aisles of Target by herself!

When not listening to 311, Megan can be found jamming out to artists like Rebelution, Beastie Boys, Beats Antique, Rage Against the Machine, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, CAKE, The Prodigy, Dirty Heads, DJ Shadow, Black Keys, Tool, Radiohead, Pretty Lights, Incubus, Beck, Jurassic 5, Gorillaz, Jack White (in any form), Silversun Pickups, Stick Figure, Weezer, lots of different 80-90s punk.

Megan’s message to 311? “The couple of times I’ve had an opportunity to talk to them, I’ve always said, “Thank you.” So I’ll say it again – thanks for doing what you love and including all of the fans on your adventures – it truly means the world!”

Megan’s message to all the other 311 fans:

“I never thought I would be so close with people I see only once or twice a year. I’m so glad to have made friends as amazing as all of you, and I can’t wait for our next adventure together!”


That was the story of Megan Colby! Very much thanks to Megan and the readers. You are all amazing and give me something to look forward to every week! Until next time…

Much Love – The Runt