Hey there my friends out in 311 nation! It’s my favorite time of the week…we get to meet a new fan spotlight. Let’s read all about the lovely Jessica Ferguson!
Flash back to when Jessica was a junior in college and her friend Jeremy introduced her to the blue album. “From then on I couldn’t get enough. They sounded completely different from everything else I had heard and just made me feel good instantaneously.”
Since then Jessica has been to 38 shows. She lived in Montgomery, Alabama, which wasn’t the most convenient location for seeing 311. However when she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2005, she was able to see them pretty much every summer. “And then after the 2013 Cruise (my first) it was ALL 311, ALL THE TIME and my summer vacations became consumed by their tour and hitting as many stops as I could. I keep a spreadsheet (yes, I’m a nerd) of every set list I’ve seen. The only one I’m missing is from my very first show- September 16, 1997, at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL. So if anyone has that set list, please help a sister out!!”
Jessica’s favorite event? She actually said it’s really a five way tie! First up was her first 311 Day in 2000. “I had no idea anything special was happening. I thought it would be the normal hour and a half show. Boy was I wrong. It was the first time of many that my face has been completely melted off by them.” Second was Halloween Atlanta 2010. “My first real time witnessing the glorious Familia experience instead of just attending a normal show.” Then there was the 2013 cruise. “The amount of good vibes, love and genuine happiness that surrounds you for four days is simply amazing…and I just so happened to meet the love of my life on that boat.” 311 Day 2014 was special since they rented a beautiful house in New Orleans and had the most amazing time. “I’ve always had a love affair with that city and am so blessed my favorite band seems to love it just as much as I do.” Finally to round this out was the kickoff to the summer tour of 2015. “My favorite concert buddy and I flew from CLT to Phoenix to see the first show and then drove to Las Vegas for Red, White and Boom. Had a little reunion with my 2013 Cruise roomies, some amazing food (In-N-Out, I’m talking to you) and not to mention some amazing shows with my toes in the sand. Can’t get any better.”
Very favorite song for Jessica is “Purpose.” “It reached out and grabbed me in a special way the first time I heard it- I can’t explain exactly why. I lose my mind every time they play it- sometimes screaming, sometime sobbing, every time loving it. Since I knew it was coming up in Vegas when they played Blue from start to finish, I got a great video of it that I cherish. On a related note, do you realize how lucky we are to have a favorite band that keeps it fresh from show to show, and doesn’t play the same old set list every night? That is extremely rare nowadays from the vast majority of bands out there and much appreciated by me.” One of her favorite lyrics is a fan favorite, “Stay positive and love your life.” “What a great message for us to live by and spread to all the non-believers out there. It hangs in the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC for everyone to see, courtesy of me drinking 200 different beers.” She also really loves the lines, “Let’s think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times,so much better that way” and “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it.”
Born in Houston, Texas, Jessica moved to Gulf Shores, Alabama at the age of 10. “And no, I am not an Alabama fan. War Damn Eagle!” She graduated from Huntington College in Montgomery in 1997 and worked at a bank for 8 years before she moved to Charlotte. There she worked for an investment company in their compliance department. “I am fully FINRA licensed- 7, 24, 63, 66. I absolutely LOVED my time in Charlotte- great friends, great city, great beer- but remember that “love of my life” that I mentioned earlier? Well, somehow he- Mike Morel- convinced me to move to Wiggins, MS, in October of 2015, and life has been splendid from then on, as I was blessed enough to keep my job and work remotely from the house. The 311 Love Connection is a real thing!” Jessica said that the fact she and Mike were friends for so long and having their love for 311 in common made a big difference in the development of their relationship and she couldn’t be happier. “I never thought I would ever live in Mississippi, but it’s just geography, right? It has brought me much closer to my Daddy, one of my favorite cities and my new family. The entire trajectory of my life has changed all because of one band, and I cannot thank them enough.”
An interesting fact about Jessica is that she is a complete Anglophile. Don’t know what that means? “I can’t get enough of anything British. I took my first trip to London in 2013 by myself to watch soccer and check out the city a bit. The next trip is already planned- Mike loves the New Orleans Saints, so when I heard they were playing a game in London next season, I started the planning. We recently purchased our plane tickets- now the waiting begins. Luckily we have the cruise and summer shows to bide our time until we hop across the pond.”
Unique attribute comes in the form of useless information, Jessica said her brain is just crammed full of it! “Mike’s kids call me Jessi-Goog. Whenever I start a sentence with fun fact, they know they are in for a random nugget of uselessness.” Guilty pleasure is one many people have. “I love TV way too much. I watch way too much. I think I’ve seen every House Hunters on HGTV that has ever been made.”
Jessica is very thankful for so many of the other great bands that 311 has introduced her to like Full Service, Rebelution, RDGLDGRN, Passafire, and Dirty Heads. As for other bands she likes, she said she loves a little bit of everything. “Pop (when the kids are in the car), modern alternative, 70’s/80’s old school country, classical, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Jim Croce, Dierks Bentley, just give me all of it! Music is good for the soul- especially live music. I’ve seen at least one live show a month for the last two years and bucket-lister Billy Joel is up next- so excited!” She also has a goal to own every Harry Connick Jr. and REM album. “I’m getting there, slowly but surely.”
To 311, Jessica would like to say, “A simple “thank you” seems inadequate for all the love and positivity they’ve brought to my life, but that’s what I’ve got. I’m also grateful and blessed that they’ve stuck around for so long- same lineup, continuous music that is so varied and challenging and inspiring and uplifting. Sometimes we forget how good we have it as 311 fans.”
To all the other amazing fans:
“I am so blessed to have met such wonderfully wild, diverse, interesting and lovely people on my 311 journey. I’ve never felt so at home with complete strangers before. You are all beautiful, awesome people!!”
That wraps up the tale of Jessica Ferguson! What another great fan story. You all make my job to easy by being such wonderful people. Thank you all for reading each week. Keep coming back and I’ll keep writing. Until next week!
Much love! – The Runt