A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 30 May 2014

Sixto Rodriguez

How come I never heard of Detroit singer-songwriter and guitarist Sixto Rodriguez until I saw Searching for Sugar Man tonight? Oh, man . . .





Ruth Mowry said...

I'll try not to be too embarrassed that I have not heard of him either, though I live just a short drive from Detroit. I really like his sound.

I'm not much into the music scene (how about not at all), but I'll ask my son if he knows of him.

Ruth Mowry said...

Oh! I just read about him at wiki, and now I recall hearing about him on NPR because of the doc film Searching for Sugar Man. Apparently he was a HUGE deal in South Africa, and he didn't even know it. How crazy is that? Even HE hadn't heard of himself. :)

Sabine said...

Amazing film, isn't it? The saddest thing is that Mailk Bendjelloul, the director killed himself earlier this month.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love it Robert, much to my amazement - didn't expect to.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I did wonder if you had heard of him, Ruth. Wonderful, his story — his humility, his principles, his labouring work in demolition and construction, his identification with the Detroit working class. With more push and publicity he could have been as famous as James Taylor or Carole King, whose style he reminds me of. But he seemed quite happy doing what he did, without the glamour and the fame. In the film his daughters related how good a father he was, taking them to art galleries and museums, encouraging and inspiring them. Now he's enjoying a latter-day popularity in the US.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I really enjoyed the film last night, Sabine. I did not know about the director's recent suicide. What hidden demons many of us have. The story of Rodriguez continues to darkly astonish.

The Solitary Walker said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Pat. It's an attractive song, but probably not his best; you must follow up some of the links for an overall appreciation. He was at Glastonbury last year!

Rubye Jack said...

I first heard of Rodriguez a few months back. I think on 60 Minutes actually. The film is very intriguing and inspiring in a way. It's odd how he is not as popular in America as he is in Australia. Go figure. I suppose you need to look like Bieber for people to pay attention nowadays when fame is more about looks than talent.

am said...

A few months for me, too. Thanks for the reminder. This afternoon I put a copy of the DVD of Searching for Sugar Man on hold at the public library. The DVD wasn't available there a few months ago. This is a music town. They have 11 copies available now!

Rodriguez' "A most disgusting Song" from:


sounds like a nod to "If Dogs Run Free" to my ears.

And here's something else to connect him with Bob Dylan:


The Solitary Walker said...

Nice to see you, Rubye and Am.

Yes, several of his songs are quite Dylanesque. And also recall other musical artists of the 1960s/70s. Maybe, talented as he was and is, he was just too much of an absorber and reflector of the times, rather than an innovator, to make it big — plus his own natural diffidence. Good luck to him in enjoying his present, unexpected revival.

am said...

My perception is that he is a poet. The music may be derivative, but his use of words is innovative and his point of view in the early 1970s draws my attention.

From "Sandrevan Lullaby":

America gains another pound
Only time will bring some people around
Idols and flags are slowly melting
Another shower of rice
To pair it for some will suffice
The mouthful asks for second helpings

Moonshine pours through my window
The night puts its laughter away
Clouds that pierce the illusion
That tomorrow would be as yesterday

Thanks for you your post. Looking forward to watching the DVD.

The Solitary Walker said...

I think you are absolutely right, Am. The lyrics struck me immediately.

The Solitary Walker said...

And that song, Sandrevan Lullaby, is fantastic. I've just listened to it again. But there are so many good ones.

Laura said...

Thanks for this post! I had forgotten all about Searching for Sugar Man but now it is on my must-see list.

I went to a James Taylor concert on Friday night - timeless grace and talent.

The Solitary Walker said...

Lucky you, Laura!