JR Green was born in Vienna, Austria. He grew up in Fort Riley, KS and then Los Angeles, graduating from Garfield High School. He graduated from Old Dominion in Virginia. He came to Athens in 1980, and worked as a DJ (“JR Superstar”), music promoter and venue owner, investing in the area’s first outdoor music festival with Michael Collins, starting with one at the fairgrounds in 1983, starring the Indigo Girls with Michael Stipe, and later he put on Superjam in 1991. He owned and promoted at several music venues, including One Love Music and Dance Hall, and Rockfish Palace, and was involved in several businesses, including Cookies and Co., the Flamingo Room and Cabs Coconut Grove Cafe. Currently he drives for the Athens Community Council on Aging and has for the last 8 years.
What is your favorite restaurant in Athens, and what do you love there?
I like them all. I try not to go anywhere twice, but there are exceptions. Seabear on Mondays, Heirloom on Wednesdays, and I go to Ted’s Most Best almost every day. As soon as I get off work, I go to Ted’s to have my beer and sit outside. I like the Five Bar. I have been a waiter on Thanksgiving there for the last five years now. Then, there is The Last Resort, one of the most consistent restaurants in Athens. Then, there is The Taco Stand. Can’t beat it. One of my favorite kind of bar restaurants is Loco’s Deli & Pub. I started a beer club in both of those back in the day. It started out with four or five people and ended up being like twenty people.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
Cuba. I like Latin music. Any country where people dance in the middle of the afternoon and drink rum is alright with me.
Do you have a favorite movie, or do you remember the first movie you saw in a theatre?
The first movie that I ever saw that I can recall was when my parents took me to see When God Created Woman with Bridget Bardot. That is the first movie that I can remember. Wait, Fantasia! I saw it in Austria as a kid. Mickey Mouse doing his thing.
What advice have you received that has stuck with you?
Never believe your own hype.
What three bands would you like to see, dead or alive, at The Foundry?
I would love to see Jeff Beck at The Foundry or the whole Yardbirds group. I would love that. I would like to see Colonel Bruce Hampton one more time. And Lightnin’ Hopkins, an old blues man.
What current or former local business makes you most nostalgic about Athens?
I get kind of nostalgic about the whole thing like back when there were no condos downtown. I miss the whole getting started scene. I miss that scene. I miss the energy. I miss seeing the same 200 people you used to see everywhere you’d go.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
That I used to publish an independent newspaper, The Ghent Press. I belonged to the Underground Press Syndicate. And, I know the man who hosted the first party for Barack Obama. In Chicago, William Ayers.
What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
Where? Is one, because where is home really? Family. And, got to get back. To where I don’t know, though.