Hellllloooooo again my friends out there in 311 nation! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start this week off right with our new fan spotlight. It’s time to meet Gerry Alfred!
Trinidad is where Gerry comes from and it was around 1993 that they got cable there. He was really into Green Day at the time and he was looking for some “bad ass bands” that were original and captivating. In comes MTV which was starting to show the video for “Down.” His brother didn’t like the song so for awhile every time Gerry saw the video start he would change the channel. Then one day he decided to see why his brother thought it was so horrible. “I watched the vid….my brain exploded! I loved the mix of rock, rap, reggae, funk, jazz. 311 was always too rap for the metal heads and it was too satanic for the reggae heads where I came from. It just didn’t fit in (kinda like me). It was the most brilliant band I ever heard and no one got them.”
Shows Gerry has been able to see are all great ones: 311 Day 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, plus Pow Wow. “I loved the long ass shows.” Favorite of these events he said was hands down Pow Wow. “I got to see Sublime back on the scene, my fav bands Deftones and 311, Transistor and Universal Pulse in entirety, the campy vibes was epic! 311 outdid themselves with that show….I’m still in awe!”
Picking just a song wasn’t an option for Gerry, he said the whole Transistor album cemented him as a hard core fan. “It is so ahead of its time, I listened to that album so many nights and days and car rides. I love the whole journey. it is by far my fav album of all time…it never gets old!” Some of Gerry’s favorite lyrics include, “Fuck the naysayers cuz they don’t mean a thing, cuz this is what style we bring.” “All Mixed Up was such a sic ass vid and the vibe was intergalactic. I liked the lyric cuz it jus meant that you should just do you no matter what people think. know yourself and don’t compromise! i carry that msg with everything that I do.”
Born in Trinidad and Tobago (the bottom of the Caribbean), Gerry grew up listening to musicians like Michael Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, and Boys II Men. So when Green Day released Dookie, he realized he loved “fast paced, in your face music, with cool melodies.” It was 1996 that he says his life changed when he first heard the Deftones and then 311’s Transistor. “I got into a lot of heavier punk, metal and hardcore bands but 311 and Deftones were the loves of my life!”
Gerry got a part time job while still attending school at a record store called Just CD’s. During that gig he started researching anything 311 related. “I had all the ETSD vids and all!” He was able to attend the Warped Tour back in 2003 and got to see Glassjaw, The Used, AFI and Thrice. “It was one of the greatest concert experiences I ever had! I got introduced to a lot of sic bands at that show – Less Than Jake, Poison the Well, Brand New, Story of the Year, The Starting Line, Andrew WK, etc. I had to continue the concerts, so when i got back to Trinidad I got a job at an insurance agency and started saving.”
Gerry said his brother introduced him to a huge brodel named Landon Thomas, who ended up migrating to Orland but prior to that saw that Gerry was a huge 311 fan and told him he was as well. “I found my concert soul mate! We made a plan to go to 311 day in 2006 Memphis! I love 311 more than words can explain and I thought that Landon might get fed up after a while and that would be the end of me seeing them. Every time a big show came around he asks if I’m game and we have been hitting the shows hard since 2006.I don’t think 311 themselves know how much they mean to me and how much their music shaped my life. I remember dates by album releases since the blue album…..it would be a dream come true to meet them and tell them how much they affected me. I have PNUT on FB though….lol. PNUT RULES!”
In 2016 Gerry was introduced to the 311 Familia in Orlando. “I didn’t know there were people that felt the way i felt about 311 at all! It was frowned upon in Trinidad. when I went to their big shows, sold out arenas, it brings me to tears to see the love being shown to the band and I feel like the bumble bee girl from the BLIND MELON – no rain vid. 311 are my heroes! I love that band to no end and all the fans I’ve met along the way – Brian “HOMEBREW@ mcspadden, Sean Starr (let me crash by his pad in Vegas), Jay Scott, Lauren Scott……geez i love them all!”
Gerry carries the Trinidad flag to all shows that he attends. “It appears countless times in the center of the crowd in the live recordings. I think I will be on the ETSD!! Look out for ya boy! Red, white and black!” What makes him unique is that being born of mixed ethnicity, and not really knowing where he fit in, he didn’t have a route to follow so he made his own. “I didn’t know who I was supposed to be like….that drew me to 311. They did music on their own terms…some like it…some don’t…..but the people that do like it!!! WOW!!! I feel sorry for people that don’t know how amazing 311 really are!” Guilty pleasure for Gerry is playing competitive fighting games. “Like Street Fighter and Tekken. Look me up on PSN – gerry311!”
Gerry’s message to 311 is a request: “Time for a Pow Wow 2! 311, Deftones, Wiz Khalifa, Cypress Hill, Ritchie Spice, Dirty Heads, Skindred, JR Gong, Snoop Dogg and Incubus?? Make it happen! You know it will be Godlike!!!”
For all the other fans out there, his message is this:
“Love your life, be positive, pass on 311 to the younger generations. Let’s make our heroes into the Rolling Stones/RHCP, U2 or Led Zeppelin! Let’s show the naysayers that 311 are amazing and they will carry on into the great beyond!!! I love all you guys! 311 rules yuh dun know!! BOOM!!”
And that my friends is Gerry’s story! A fun one and great to learn about a fellow fan in another country! Thank you all for reading, you are all so amazing. Until we meet again…go spread the love and the good karma.
Much Love – The Runt