Searching for Sugar Man, the story of Sixto Rodriguez
Amy Billing | On 29, Mar 2014
Searching for Sugar Man is an awe-inspiring tale of American unsung musician, Sixto Rodriguez.
Rodriguez released his debut album Cold Facts in 1970 and his second album Coming from Reality in 1971; both were monumental flops in the U.S. However, the story goes, a girl from the U.S visited South Africa in 1970 and brought with her Cold Facts. Within months, Rodriguez was bigger than the Rolling Stones but they knew nothing about the man behind the records. Back in Detroit, his popularity was unknown to Rodriguez, and like a modern day John Keats, Sixto Rodriguez returned to his job in construction and believed himself to be a failed musician.
Searching for Sugar Man follows two of Rodriguez biggest fans (and South Africans), Stephen â€˜Sugarâ€™ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew-Strydom on their search to discover the truth about the mysterious and illusive Rodriguez. The film is mysterious, and heartbreaking as it discovers a man who is undoubtedly one of the greatest musicians, and poets of the 1970â€™s. Itâ€™s a mysterious, modest, heartbreaking and inspiring journey to find Rodriguez and his remarkable music.
â€œIn dilapidated city of Detroit, a city that tells you not to dream big or expect any moreâ€Â
Of course shortly after watching Searching for Sugar, I purchased Cold Fact, and Coming from Reality. Cold Facts begins with the track â€˜Crucify Your Mindâ€™, and itâ€™s both lyrically beautiful and well before itâ€™s time. Rodrigues sings each lyric with such conviction and emotion, and itâ€™s hard to imagine itâ€™s taken almost thirty years for his music to be realized for what it is â€“ truly extraordinary.
â€œWhat heâ€™s demonstrated very clearly is that you have a choice. He took all that torment, all that agony, all that confusion and pain and he transformed it, into something beautifulâ€¦heâ€™s representative of the human sprit.
I canâ€™t tell you if they find him, or what they discover, all I can say is itâ€™ll leave you in a state of wonder for days.
Â March 6 1998, Sixto Rodriguez
â€œThanks for keeping me aliveâ€