Sunday, February 17, 2013
Sugarman: Sixto Rodriguez
Sugarman...I first heard of Sixto Rodriguez while I was searching around for stuff having to do with surfing, being a newish fan and all. I came across part of a film called "Lost Atlas" by Kai Neville, about some young cutting-edge blokes surfing remote locations. It was just a snippet of the film, but the soundtrack intrigued me. "Woman, please be gone/ You've stayed here much too long..." It sounded old, like from the 60s, but I had never heard a voice like that, or words that scorched in just that way.
Thanks to the internet, I was able to type those words into Google and voila: it was a song called "Hate Street Dialogue" by Sixto Rodriguez. I discovered that he was from Detroit, that his music was (and still is) awesome, and that if I'd heard of him at that time, I would certainly have bought his records. He only made two that went nowhere in the States. But in South Africa, and Australia, he was huge.
I finally just watched the documentary film about Rodriguez, "Searching for Sugarman". It made me cry. What a humble man. He still lives in Detroit, still plays some of his music, still works hard every day. What little money he's made from his music he's given away to family and friends. Here's a sample of some of his songs: