~ http://wp.me/prH9G-cm ~
Friday, January 01, 2013 ~
“Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 Swedish/British documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul, detailing the efforts of two Cape Town fans, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, to find out if the rumored death of American musician Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him.”
~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Searching_for_Sugar_Man ~
This afternoon I just saw Searching for Sugarman at the Crest Theater around the corner from where I live here in Downtown Sacramento. I had read a little news clipping about him in this movie, he had been a guitar player and performer in the 70s, but did not know much else. I am so glad I checked it out today. It was an awesome movie. I recommend all my family go see and even ‘experience’ it. Are you experienced?
I want to type up this short spin about the Movie and Señor Rodriguez while my impressions are fresh. I want more people to know about him and what a rare, humble and remarkable man he is.
VIDEO Rodriguez: The rock icon who didn’t know it
~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0VI7TLLV3o ~CBSNewsOnline
When he was younger Rodriguez had been a performer with his guitar, singing at some seedy places on the dark side of Detroit. He did hard physical work at jobs and also played his music and sang. When performing, he would play with his back to the audience. Early in the movie there was a report about him being booed or jeered for turning his back to the audience, then it was said he doused himself with petrol and lit himself on fire and died. Then there was another report that he had pulled out a pistol onstage and shot himself in the head. So for a while the movie kind of let the viewer wonder about whether he was even alive now or not!
He came out with a couple of albums called Cold Fact and Coming From Reality that came out in the early 70s. Those were crazy times in the U.S.A. back then, though, it is more crazy insane in these times. The strange turn of events was that back then his albums did not really blast the charts here, he was largely unknown here.
However, he was widely famous in apartheid South Africa at the time, more than the Rolling Stones! His music helped to give the anti-apartheid movement background music for its struggles and was par of its musical culture. Many copies of his stuff were taped and bootlegged, not sold at regular music stores at the time, to my understanding. Thousands of copies of his albums were circulated like contraband. Recall: at the time the South African Fascist Regime was against any music or cultural works that could inspire rebellion.
“In 1997, Stephen “Sugar” Segerman set up a website, called ‘The Great Rodriguez Hunt’, with the intention of finding any information about the mysterious US musician of ‘Cold Fact’ fame. In the same year Brian Currin established ‘Climb Up On My Music’, a tribute site to the life and works of Rodriguez.”
Official Rodriguez Website ~ http://sugarman.org/
During a good part of the movie I was not sure whether he had committed suicide or not. So the scriptwriter keeps the viewer in suspense for a good part of the movie. A few great Latino/a performers have suffered tragic deaths.
Finally these cats who were searching for him tried to backtrack his whereabouts, follow the money trail, talked to the recording company with no tangible results. In desperation they put up a website using Internet Power and eventually were contacted by Rodriguez thanks to his daughter.
I got so involved in the whole movie and wondering what the hell happened to Rodriguez. I was so glad to find out he is ALIVE and WELL in Detroit living in the same house he has had for 40 years and has beautiful grown daughters. The Movie had me wondering for a while. Whew! I love happy endings! Go see it!
VIA Peter S. López AKA @Peta_de_Aztlan
P.S. Please feel liberated enough to leave a comment. Let me know if you are alive. Feedbac!