Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview with Robert Sherer, Green Star Produce

Robert Sherer is one of our supporters and represents Green Star Produce which is a family owned produce company in the Salinas Valley, California. He and his parents, Bill and Faye Sherer founded the company in 1994. I recently visited their site and I can tell you that the produce they sell looks amazing...from the typical Basil, Parsley, Green Cabbage, and Watermelons to more unique produce like Daikon, Chard, Dandelion Greens, and Kohlorabi. Another unique feature of their business is that once their produce is harvested in the field, it is loaded seasonally out of Yuma, Arizona and Salinas, California. Great care is taken to make sure the produce is cooled on its way to the consumer. Also, if you go to their contact page, you will see a picture of Nick Rhodes next to Robert's name...and clear sign that there is 'Something You Should Know' about him....that he is an avid Duran Duran fan.

Robert, thanks for taking the time to interview with us. You are actually engaging in our first 'dynamic interview' experiment which means (to those who are reading) that I will send you questions and I will build off your answers. Sounds fun? Here's your first question...

Kirk, DDTTRH: How have you introduced Duran Duran to your kids and do they like their music?

Robert, Green Star: Yes I have introduced Duran Duran to them. There was a time that they would have said that Duran Duran was their favorite. Lack of a Pop exposure has pushed them to the back in their minds, but they do listen to them on their own. They don't complain when they are on in the car. They do LOVE them in concert and ALWAYS say yes when I plan on attending a concert. My son's first Concert was WAY back in 1998? We lived in New Jersey. They wife and I saw them and I took my son to see them at Jones Beach on Long Island a few days later. He hasn't missed a tour since (yes even the Club/House of Blues tours). My daughter's first was in Santa Barbara May of 2008 and her short stature, got her and her mother moved up 6 rows right in front of John (Attached Picture) and was able to get a coveted set list (other attachment)... not bad for her first concert.

Kirk, DDTTRH: What has inspired you about the band over the years and why do you think their contribution to music is so integral?

Robert, Green Star: Just enjoying the music from different aspects... Almost as needed in a sort.. Sometimes its just the instrumentation whether a studio or live recording. The lyrics, if they fit a current mood or just enjoying the sound of Simon's voice. Every event that matters to me they were there. I wanted them there or they just fit in the situation. You've heard "they have and app for that?" I always have a Duran Duran for that! They are so integral to music.. they way they experiment yet always come out Duran Duran. Maybe if they "sell out" over promote and over produce they would be vaulted up there with U2. I have nothing against U2, I just think they are more famous than they should be.

Favorite song is hard.. it really depends on the time of year.... Serious off of the Liberty Album (Actually the Live performance on MTV's Unplugged)... The Chauffeur (Live) .. Late Bar... really Guys, we love this one live...really enjoying Safe and Leave the light on off of AYNN... Box full of Honey, (I just like it)... and Dirty Great Monster. What happens tomorrow and Chains... you see its hard to nail it down, I have favorites off of each Album.. I'll have a favorite singled out when they stop writing new music and I'm dead. Maybe you should have asked what my favorite was off of each album.

Rio - Hold back the Rain
DD - Friends of Mine
Seventh and the Ragged Tiger - Reflex (I was at the Oakland Coliseum, my first concert)/ New Moon on Monday
Arena - The Chauffeur
Notorious - Meet El Presidente/Hold Me
Big Thing - Drug and flute interlude/the Edge of America/Lake Shore Driving (which was awesome Live)
Decade - well nothing new, but enjoyed the Remix off the vinyl.
Liberty - Serious and First Impression
Wedding Album - Breath after Breath and None of the above
Thank You - White Lines (Extremely entertaining Live) Lay Lady Lay
Medzzaland - Out of my Mind and So Long Suicide, Sinner and Saint of "b" side of remix
Night Versions - My own way
Greatest- View to a Kill
Strange Behaviour.. Skin Trade
Pop Trash - Last Day on Earth, Hallucinating Elvis
The Encore - July 16th... Disk (I was there) Still Breathing
Astronaut - What Happens tomorrow, and Chains
Live from London DVD live CD... Sunrise... GREAT INTRO
Red Carpet Massacre - Box full of Honey and Dirty Great Monster
All you need is now - Safe and Leave the light on

Kirk, DDTTRH: You picked some great songs! Thanks for sharing! We have similar taste when it comes songs on these albums. Leave a Light on is my favorite song from the new album.

I thought it was interesting what you said about U2. As you know, U2 was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What do you think Duran Duran could do more to become more recognized in the music community and among the generations of people today? I don't know about you, but I am real disappointed I have not heard more of their newer songs on the radio...its almost as if everyone is stuck on Duran Duran in the 80's and have not embraced as much their 90's to NOW.

Robert, Green Star: I think what would have helped is all in the timing. I admire John Melloncamps career, but why is he in? I think he deserves to be in, but how many people only know "Jack and Diane"? What was his timing? Maybe we get the process going after an event like they had with Astronaut. All 5 members coming back together. Just something to bring them to the frontal lobe of the thought process. I am disappointed too in the lack of radio play. I've "sold" people on the new album, all they had to do was listen. I understand the pop culture and what is "in" but think there are other influences jamming Lady GaGa down my throat on SirisXM's channel The Pulse. I know a there are a lot of fans that are stuck with Duran Duran in the 80's... I see them at the concerts, but those fans don't slow down when the band shifts from Hungry Like the Wolf to Red Carpet Massacre! The fan base is broad and we support, we just need to support a little more. I've got my mental ticket booked to Cleveland when that announcement is made.

Kirk, DDTTRH: So, please tell us about Green Star Produce! I read some about your company and it seems that some things that make you special are the logistics that keeps your produce fresh through their travels and the interesting assortment of locally grown vegetables you carry. Please tell us more about this and anything else you would like to highlight.

Robert, Green Star: Well to start… Green Star Produce was started by my father and in 1993. It was a temporary set up for me because I had already took a job in Chicago. I eventually did come back. Our website was actually set up to be tongue in cheek kind of funny… a customer said we couldn’t be big enough for them unless we had one, so we had a guy from New Zealand (friend of my brother) set up the whole thing from his perspective. He was sure to match our personalities with unique icons… Such as my father’s Alana Alda’s persona of Hawkeye from MASH.

We specialize in the specialties. Logistics is very critical in produce industry. So sourcing shipping close to the product is key in our industry. What is not unique about our items is of them, if not all, are organic. We don’t market them as such because it requires so much certification and regulation. Most is unnecessary double work and fees and no one wants to pay for it. (We’re about as anti-Wal-Mart as you can get) Always like the word of mouth business we get.

Just a side note… My daughter has started a music journal and listed “She’s too Much” as her 2nd favorite song…. Damn that Miley Cyrus!

Kirk, DDTTRH: Thats interesting about the New Zealand connection. Well, I hope your daughter's first favorite song is a Duran Duran! So, I tried reaching out to your father, your brother, and one of your co-workers about you, but I haven't heard back from them. Are your family and friends supportive of you being a 'Duranie', or do they sometimes treat you like an alien? Do you do anything to 'get your Duranie' on at work or home that gets peoples attention?

Robert, Green Star: I’m not sure I’m supported or treated like an alien. I’m definitely recognized as a fan ... I think it was 2 years ago Duran Duran came to the Mountain View Winery in Saratoga, CA. I got emails from everybody at work as soon as it was announced on the Winery web site. I had already known they would be there, but it was nice that I was thought of. Well it happened again this past month, same announcement same emails being forwarded to me. I already have my tickets. If you ever get a chance to see them in a very intimate setting as the Mountain view winery, I highly recommend spending a little more for the chance. In a previous job, it was known that Duran Duran was coming to town, my boss gave me the day off the day after the concert, I didn’t even have to ask.

I’ve missed some family functions because of concerts and no one was ever upset.

Kirk, DDTTRH: Thanks so much Robert for taking the time to interview with us at DDTTRH...and thanks so much for supporting us. Any advice for us as we continue to push for Duran Duran's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What advice would you give to the Rock Hall as they continue to make decisions on who to induct?

Robert Sherer, Green Star: The best advice is to just keep pushing. There are more of us out there. The littlest things will matter. Go after the business that support Rock Roll Hall of Fame functions. Let them know we will be there when the time comes. I will be. To the Hall of Fame…. Get off your rocker! Duran Duran has given you more than the minimum requirement to get in. They have something that several of the bands you’ve let in don’t have…. FANS that have stood the test of time… We are still breathing!

To visit Green Star Produce's website to see their out-of-this-world produce selection, go to:

-->if you click on the 'Contact' link, you can see Nick Rhodes' picture next to Robert's name

Picture of Robert and his family...

Donna, Robert, Zachary Taylor Sherer
Lily Sherer, Zoe Simon Sherer