Zera from "Crvena Jabuka": Bebek refused to give me an autograph, Zdravko is a gentleman

Photo: Private archive

The frontman of the Sarajevo group "Crvena jabuka", Dražen Žerić - Žera, with his band will hold a concert in Skopje, on October 10, in the "Jane Sandanski" hall. Gera is, in fact, the only member of the first composition of the cult group, who still performs today. Although with interruptions, according to him, the group has survived since 1985 only because of the good songs and the soul of Sarajevo that is in each of them. Even after 40 years, with the same energy as before, Gera still knows how to get the audience on their feet.

Zera was in Skopje before the concert. He wore "starki", which are his trademark, and in the conversation he mentioned that his daughters also dress in the same style when they go to his concerts - "starki" sneakers, leather jackets...

Throughout all these 40 years that he has been on the music scene, Gera says that he tried to never let fame go to his head. The attitude towards his audience is especially important to him, because when he was 11 years old, he asked for an autograph from Željko Bebek, and he refused.

– I know how I felt then. Not nice. And that is exactly why I never refuse to take pictures with my audience. Fame didn't go to my head. First, you must remain sane in what you do. You have to be grounded. I never get carried away. I don't get up in the morning and shout to myself in the mirror: "You are so beautiful and popular." That's why Zdravko Čolić is a gentleman, who never got carried away by being a star - reveals Zera.

The musician is the father of two teenage daughters (twins). He is married to his wife Barbara, who is 24 years older than him. When asked what it's like to have a younger wife, he says: "Well, Bebek's wife is 38 years younger than him. But here, it happened spontaneously and love makes me happy."

Gera says that he is not a strict father and that he is close to his daughters.

– Their mother is strict. They can't wait for me to come home so they can do everything. When they have to come to my concerts, then it's crazy. They wear leather jackets, "old women", dance, sing - reveals the frontman of "Crvena Jabuka".

Dražen Žerić Žera "Red apple"/Photo: Private archive

Žera has lived in Zagreb for 30 years and lived in Sarajevo for the same period. The spirit of Sarajevo is in its genetic code, but it says that there is no definition of what is the secret of the city that is the cradle of many famous artists. With a smile, he says that when he goes there, he first goes for burek, then kebabs, then burek again.

- The Skopje simit is not bad, but a burek is a burek. I love Croatian cuisine the most, but in all these years I have not found a place that has kebab like Sarajevo's. And, when I'm at your place, in Macedonia, you know, I go for stew, and then for salad and barbecue - reveals Zera.

In a whole plethora of songs and hits, maybe "Violio bi da si tu" is his favorite. Gera also revealed why she sings "Bjezhi kisho s prodora" in the feminine gender, saying: "You know, hardly anyone asks that. We recorded it completely spontaneously, we don't know why either, but, well, we were ahead of our time. Today, it is not known which is female and which is male. You don't know which gender is which anymore," jokes Zera.

Dražen Žerić Žera Photo: Private archive

The singer also recalled the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he spent in Sarajevo, and most of the time without water and electricity. The old line-up of the group broke up before the war in 1991, and since 1995, Žerić has founded a new band operating from Zagreb, where he also lives.

- During the war, we often had no water or electricity, we gathered in basements and played acoustic guitars. When I left Sarajevo, I was a refugee in Germany for six months, and then I went to Croatia. I haven't heard from the guitarist Zlatko Arslanagić - Zlaja, the founder of the group and the author of the old songs, since 1995. He retired from music, lives in Canada and works in a bookstore - says Žerić.

The musician also revealed to us that he does not have social networks and that he is happy that he functions well without them.

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