Welcome again to the 311 fan spotlight! This week I get the honor of sharing the story of an amazing couple from down under – time for the story of Annie & David Butler!
Introduction to 311 came during Annie & David’s sons teenage years, in the late 90’s, when they would hear 311 on a daily basis, along with all the other music from that time. “It takes us back to a special time in our lives. We have three sons and they are all musicians and they play a wide variety of music. Even our grandson is learning drums now.” While Annie & David don’t play instruments themselves, music is a very big part of their lives.
Thirteen is the number of shows that Annie & David are at currently. It’s a bit difficult for them to see 311 since they live in Australia. 311 has only played there once during the Vans Warped Tour back in 1998. They unfortunately didn’t attend that show, but they did drive a car full of teenagers down to Sydney to see it, which is about 80 miles from home for them. So their first show ever wasn’t until they made it on the cruise back in 2012, and it was eventful since the sail away show was cut short by lightning!
While they love every show they have been to, their all time favorite is the beach show at Half Moon Cay. “Lying on a blow up tube sipping Miami Vices and listening to 311 and being surrounded by everyone having the time of their lives. (Hence photo!) Life doesn’t get much better than that!” Annie said it took an enormous leap of faith to go on that cruise and they didn’t know a soul. “ We had always celebrated 311 Day here and when they began streaming it live we would pay to watch it and take the day off work to celebrate and party at home. When we saw that they’d had a cruise we were like Wow how fantastic! Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would go on one. I kept looking online and kept threatening David I was going to book and we would both laugh but just one night I went through the whole process of booking and got to where I had to press the payment button. It was now or never! I pressed Send! I ran out screaming to David “I’ve done it I’ve booked the cruise!” I don’t think he believed me at first. We were exhilarated and terrified at the same time. What if it was all a terrible mistake. But from the moment we stepped on that boat we knew we belonged there, we had come home to the true believers ,our fellow excitables. We now cannot imagine a life without 311 and without the beautiful people we have met. They have enriched our lives. Everyone is so loving, warm and welcoming and we want to hug them all forever.”
Some of Annie & David’s favorite songs include “Use of Time,” “The Continuous Life,” “Life’s Not a Race,” “Taiyed,” “Inner Light Spectrum,” “Prisoner,” (which is where her Facebook name comes from) and “Don’t Stay Home,” which has become their mantra for coming to the U.S and traveling to see 311. Annie said when she say “Use of Time” played live with the Unity Orchestra in Nola, she seriously cried. “I had never seen it played live and willed it to be played that night.” Favorite lyrics? “David always jokes that his favorite lyrics are Eat smoked fish, that is my favorite dish!” All joking aside, the do love “I love it when the only sound I hear is your infectious laughter” and “The continuous life there is no end, moving through life, moving through death.” Annie also said she can’t bake a cake without singing the lyric regarding Betty Crocker!
Annie and David were both born in Sydney, Australia. In the late 80’s they moved up the coast, so Annie said as you can tell they are a little older than most 311 fans. “Most of our friends and family know nothing about 311 and think we are a little crazy to keep following a band around in the USA. We are sure some of them think we are in a cult,in fact some of my relatives thought we were going on “swingers” cruises because there’s so much talk of love and hugging and positive vibes and how much we miss each other.” To fund their 311 habit, David works as a psychiatrist and Annie studied and worked as an Occupational Therapist. David has his own practice now and Annie works as the manager for it.
Want to know how Annie and David met? It was at a psychiatric hospital! “We actually lived in a hospital house on the grounds when we were first married. Sometimes patients would walk past and hear the music we were playing and come in to tell us they loved it :)”
Annie and David have been around music for a long time and they said there are many, many artists that they love. “We have adored Tool since the 90’s and we see them whenever they come our way. The Cure,David saw them in a very small venue in Sydney in 1980 and we saw them do an almost four hour gig last year and they could’ve just kept playing they have so many songs.” Neil Young has always been an inspiration to them, plus they have some favorite Australian bands including Church and Midnight Oil. They also love to support local bands and they go to their sons gigs whenever they can. Some other favorites include Bjork, Talking Heads, Mars Volta, Rage Against the Machine, Sigur Ros, Primus, and King Crimson (especially for David).
Message to 311 for Annie and David is, “Thank you for your wonderful music and your positivity and including us in the 311 Nation. We were so honored to have our little videos we sent in played at two 311 days in a row and we were lucky enough to see it in NOLA on the big screen in 2014.”
Their message to all the other fans out there, across every country:
“We would just like to reinforce the positive message that the band promotes and just love the life you have been granted. Hari Om Tat Sat
We would like to especially thank the beautiful 311 people who were so wonderful to us on our two visits to Omaha. Especially on 311 Day this year.People looked after us all day every day we were there.They know who they are.We love you.And a special mention to Laurie Martinez ,SA’s sister for arranging for us to meet their parents,Helen and Ernie.It was such a humbling experience, we love the Martinez family, their hearts are gold.”
There you have it my excitable friends, the story of the lovely couple Annie & David! I’m so honored to have met them in person and want to thank them for sharing their tale! I love the diversity and love of this fan community. You are all amazing!
Much love – The Runt