Rainy saturday gave us an superb experience at the cinema, we watched the movie/documentary about Sixto Rodriguez, Searching for Sugar Man.

Sixto Rodriguez has been called “the greatest 1970’s music icon that never was”. Now with the release of an award-winning documentary about his incredible story, could it finally be time for the 70-year-old singer-songwriter to make it big?

ONE evening in Detroit in 1968, two music producers went to a dark and smoky bar. A man stood in the corner, playing a guitar and singing, his back to the crowd. Named Rodriguez, this singer was an eccentric, perhaps a drifter, with a lyrical style similar to Bob Dylan’s, but a mellower voice. The producers decided he deserved an album, which led to two, “Cold Fact” and “Coming From Reality”. But they both flopped, and Rodriguez disappeared back into the obscurity from which he had briefly emerged.

Although Rodriguez came to nothing in America, some bootleg recordings made their way to South Africa, where their melancholic defiance touched a nerve among white liberal youths during the apartheid era. “Every revolution needs an anthem,” says Craig Bartholomew-Strydom, a journalist. “‘Cold Fact’ was South Africa’s.” Rodriguez sold perhaps half a million albums in South Africa, where he was bigger than Elvis. Because the country was isolated by sanctions, South Africans had no idea that he was nothing anywhere else.

But some there noticed that they knew little about their hero. There were gruesome rumours about Rodiguez’s death, but not much else. So Mr Bartholomew-Strydom and Stephen Segerman, a jeweller, set out to learn what had happened to him. Their quest is the subject of “Searching for Sugar Man”, a documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul.

(Source: the economist)