Welcome again my friends in 311 nation! As we rapidly approach the holidays and a new year, let’s take a moment to recognize another fan. This week we meet the lovely Stephanie Marie!
When Stephanie was younger, she would raid her brothers old cassette tapes by rummaging through his closet. One day she stumbled upon 311’s Music and played it, she’s been hooked ever since. “How can you NOT be hooked after hearing that? Once I heard it, it was on constant repeat. I had even overheard some seniors talking about 311 in the hallways one day and just giggled that I knew EXACTLY what they were talking about.” She also said that she used to hear them played on KROQ since they were a local band. “I remember trying to call in and win tickets whenever they were playing at Irvine or Anaheim so I could go see them.”
Live show count is unknown for Stephanie. She said had she known how much her love for 311 was going to grow over the years she might have kept better track. “Sometimes just knowing you’ve been to too many to count is a good enough estimate. I’ve been seeing them since the late 90’s, so I can honestly just say a lot.” She said the cruises so far have hand down been her favorite experiences because it’s always like a giant family reunion. “You get to see all the friends you’ve made over all the years at all the local shows, 311 day and connect with new people you meet on social media. Getting to be in one spot with all the people that you love is just an amazing feeling. It’s almost overwhelming at how full your heart can be by being in this 311 bubble with all the beautiful people you miss over the years.”
When asked what song means the most to Stephanie, she said it’s the most impossible question to answer. “I have always been an Eons kind of girl. But, then I think of so many people when I hear so many other songs. I think of the people who sat next to me at a show and when I hear a particular song, I get transported back in space and time and then THAT song means so much to me.” She said she was just in a Lyft recently and the driver started blasting “8:16AM.” “John & I were on our way to see our friends and we started singing at the top of our lungs. I think of all the friends that “concert called” me and left me voicemails from a show because I simply popped into their minds. I think of Bonni-Sue Ambering me at a show we were at together but sitting separately. It’s almost like every song has a memory or a person attached to it, so a lot of the songs mean something to me on a deeper level because when I hear them, I feel the unity.”
One of her favorite lyrics is, “Music! You’re my constant companion” because she said it’s really the truth. “I couldn’t imagine my life without the people that music has brought in it. I also couldn’t have gotten through the most difficult parts of my life without music by my side and the people music has blessed me with having in my life.” Another lyric she loves is “If there’s a shadow in your life then there’s sunshine” because it reminds her to see the good in people. “See the good in people, in situations and in life to get you through until the sunshine is on full blast both in and out of your soul!”
New York born, Stephanie moved to Southern California when she was 10 years old. She lived there until 2015 when she made the move to Denver and she’s still there. She’s traveled a ton and says she couldn’t picture it any other way. “As a lover of 311, you ALWAYS have a place to stay and a hot meal waiting for you, among many other indulgences our kind have to offer. I have been fortunate enough to be able to establish these beautiful connections with the Excitable Ones over all the years and have amazing trips to continuously look forward to. From 311 days to cruises to summer tours… we are surrounded by our love for music and friendship that just continues to enhance our lives.” Stephanie works in a psychiatric facility with eating disorder patients, and while she says it doesn’t really fund her 311 habit, it does give her a reason to buckle down and have something to look forward to on a regular basis. “I always have the next show on my mind, or, I’m looking forward to that next city I get to see with all of my friends from around the country and the globe. I am currently FREAKING OUT that the cruise is right around the corner. Cozumel…get ready!”
Stephanie also dabbles in the artistic world making custom pieces for some artists and bands that she loves, and also friends and family. “I have been doing oil on canvas work since I was a teenager and love to create and inspire others. In Las Vegas for the Red, White and Boom shows, I got to give SA and Ryan 2 Los Stellarians custom drumheads that I made for them. SA was taken back by it and I will never forget the gratitude he showed me over that piece. I love combining art and music.” She even makes art out things when bad things happen to them. “damaged and crushed somehow. A month or two after the original was crushed, it made its way to me and I decided to make it into something new and create something beautiful from it. It was by far one of my personal favorite pieces of art I’ve made.”
Stephanie believes her unique gift is being a positive vibe merchant and she tries to “keep shit real and see the best outcomes possible.” She loves to write and has been writing through her own experiences for the past five years. “I have seen a lot in my days and have a lot of perspective to shed, so I write. Every time we connect with another person, we are helping them in ways that we will never know. We are walking this path essentially together, so I find that communicating our experiences helps us understand things on a different level. We might feel less alone, or we might feel more capable based off of just one person’s insight, so, why not share life with your fellow beings? I love being able to identify with others and see that we are all perfectly imperfect and all of that is leading us to who we are constantly evolving into. We are not bound to circumstances and I love that I have the ability to connect to others with what’s inside my soul.”
Some guilty pleasures for Stephanie are old “B” horror movies and she’s seen most of the most amazingly terrible ones you could think of. “My favorites are Return of the Living Dead and Evil Dead 2.” She’s also a huge Star Wars nerd. “I can’t get enough of it. My Star Wars vans are a favorite material possession of mine.” She also loves getting tattoos and is currently working on a piece with her artist Danielle Freund and hopes to finish in 2017. She also has a Neverending Story piece on her back that she adores!
Other music Stephanie listens to includes Passafire, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Seedless, Rx Bandits, Rebelution, Fiona Apple, and Paramore. She also is a huge 80’s fan and grew up listening to tons of classic rock like Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Steve Miller Band, and The Who. “I wish I was born just a little bit earlier to see even more of my favorites growing up like Janis!” She also constantly has Los Stellarians in her mix. “I have an overall appreciation for SA and his cosmic presence and have had many chances to chat with him over the years about so many things so I value him as an artist as well as a daddy, a cosmic star and an overall badass human being.” Finally she is hands down in love with Stick Figure. “Almost all of my musical dreams came true when I heard that they were added to the lineup. I have so much love and respect for the path they are on! I also love how they treat kids at their shows. I had Nick (my son who’s 11) go to a show with me. I was on the rail waiting for Stick Figure to come on and when they did, some folks didn’t realize that they blocked Nick’s view. So, security sees this and pulls Nick up on the side stage to hang out with Cocoa and jam out for the rest of the show. I love when a band goes out of their way to allow the kids to REALLY experience the music like that. There’s nothing cooler as a momma.”
Stephanie has been lucky to meet 311 over the years and has told them how much they and their music means to her. “I have been blessed enough to have crossed paths with all of them as well as their amazing families many times and cannot convey enough in words how much they mean to the universe and what they’ve contributed to our lives. I will always express the utmost respect and adoration for those guys and support them in and outside of what they are doing with 311.”
Stephanie’s message to all the other excitables out there:
“If you’re new to this commUNITY, we welcome you! Get ready for the most amazing musical and friendshipical, hypnotical journey of your life! If we’ve met, hugged, crossed paths or rocked out and danced together at a show…I ADORE you all and thank you from the depths of my soul for being MY uplifter! You keep me from foreverrrrrrr driftin! I cannot wait until we are all reunited in Tampa and headed for the most amazing Cruise to Cozumel. See you soon Excitables… until then, stay positive and love your life!”
That my friends is the story of the darling Stephanie Marie! Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story. If you see her at a show make sure to say hi! She is a wonderful human being to meet. Thanks as always for reading about your fellow fans! I hope you all have an amazing holiday!
Much love – The Runt