Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Searching for Sixto

Would you be willing to wait almost 50 years for your 15 minutes of Andy Warhol-inspired fame? Most people wouldn't, but then, most of us will NEVER get our fifteen minutes or even close to that.
Sixto Rodriguez didn't bother waiting for fame, but it has found him almost fifty years later.
Of course, being me, I was almost the lat person to know...but most Americans weren't too far ahead of me in finding out about this man's incredible talent.
Signed by Motown in the 60s as a Bob Dylanesque singer/songwriter, Rodriguez made two albums, his first being Cold Fact. Both were critically acclaimed, but audiences weren't interested so he just faded away and worked at manual labor all his life, living in a rundown neighborhood in Detroit.
But it turns out that in South Africa, he was a bigger music sensation than Elvis or The Beatles! Sixty Minutes compiled a documentary on the man, and I was stunned. To people in South Africa, he was, "the voice of our youth"in the face of apartheid and social unrest (did I say Dylanesque?), but in no other part of the world was he even a blip on the musical radar screen. It was rumored that he had died a self-immolation on stage death (better than Hendrix lighting a guitar on fire) so when he was "discovered" recently and made a trip to South Africa for sold-out concerts, it was akin to Lazarus returning from the dead. Concert goers wept, screamed and sang along to every song.
At 70, he doesn't see well and has an unsteady walking gait, but he can still play and sing. A young Swedish movie maker looking for a story found this one in south Africa, tracked the man down and made a movie ON HIS iPHONE that even led off the renowned Sundance film Festival. It's an amazing story.
Spotify has everything he's ever done, and some videos are on YouTube.
Searching for Sugar Man. Check it out when NetFlix releases it. I have it on "Save."
What a story!


Post a Comment

<< Home