Posted in Music Research, Playlists, South African Music, Updates

From The Archives: Rodriguez and his place in The Story Of Rock | August 2012

A post I wrote 10 years on SugarMan.org

Willem Moller, Rodriguez, Brian Currin, Sugar Segerman | 2 March 1998
Willem Moller, Sixto Rodriguez, Brian Currin, Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, 2 March 1998

Almost all the recent fan messages on the SugarMan.org website are from people saying they have never heard of Rodriguez before. Many even apologize for not listening to him in the 1970s.

I can’t remember when exactly I first heard ‘Cold Fact‘. For me, his music just always seemed to have been there. A number of the mixtapes from my teenage years show “Sugar Man”, “Rich Folks Hoax” and “I Wonder” as being from 1973/74 when I was about 14/15.

I was wrong, of course, but didn’t know that until much later.

A long time ago, I compiled a series of C90 mixtapes called The Story Of Rock, with all the information lovingly catalogued and hand-written in hard cover books.

Page 13 of Book 7 shows the track listing for “The Story Of Rock 1973 to 1974” and includes the following songs:

  • Long Train Running – The Doobie Brothers
  • We Live – Xit
  • Sugar Man – Rodriguez
  • Radar Love – Golden Earring
  • Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
  • Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Ballad Of Casey Deiss – Shawn Phillips
  • Rich Folks Hoax – Rodriguez
  • We’re An American Band – Grand Funk Railroad

Other artists include Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, Yes, Focus, Chicago and more. And Rodriguez was the only one that got two entries! The next page shows “The Story Of Rock 1974 to 1976” and includes “I Wonder” alongside songs by Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, Pink Floyd, Genesis, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Uriah Heep, Nazareth and others.

Cold Fact
Cold Fact

I am finding it impossible to imagine what it must be like to not grow up listening to his music alongside all those other well-known classic rock bands. I know I never heard him on the radio, but that wasn’t that strange as a number of my “Story Of Rock” artists didn’t get much radio play any way.

But that he wasn’t famous in the rest of the world, didn’t cross my mind. When I first discovered the internet during the 1996 Festive Season, I could find information on Pink Floyd and Deep Purple, however I could find nothing on Rodriguez. And that started me on a quest, that just seems to be continuously having happy endings.

Without trying to sound too melodramatic, I would not be living the life I do now, and earning my income from doing what I love, if it was not for Rodriguez and all the sparks that he ignited.

Brian Currin, August 2012

Posted in Playlists, Reviews and Interviews, Updates

It Was 24 Years Ago Today… That I Saw Rodriguez Play!

Rodriguez and Brian Currin on the 7th March 1998... with just autographed, rolled-up set list clutched in his hand!
Rodriguez and Brian Currin on the 7th March 1998… with just autographed, rolled-up set list clutched in his hand!

The Set List

  1. I Wonder
  2. Only Good For Conversation
  3. Can’t Get Away
  4. Crucify Your Mind
  5. Jane S. Piddy
  6. To Whom It May Concern
  7. Like Janis
  8. Inner City Blues
  9. Street Boy
  10. A Most Disgusting Song
  11. I’ll Slip Away
  12. Halfway Up The Stairs
  13. I Think Of You
  14. Rich Folks Hoax
  15. Climb Up On My Music

    Encores:

  16. Sugar Man
  17. Establishment Blues
  18. Forget It

Scan of the sound engineer’s set list, dated and autographed.

Set List 7 March 1998

From Sweet Songs To Street Songs

Review by Brian Currin

From the simplistic, yet instantly recognisable bass guitar intro of I Wonder, to the last fading echoes of Thanks For Your Time, this was a show that enthralled everyone from the die-hard old fans with their balding heads and beer paunches to the new virgin devotees.

From sweet songs to street songs,
from bitter to beautiful,
from minor keys to metal mayhem,
from tear-jerker to tear-it-up,
from disgusting songs to rock anthems…this was truly a magic show of vast proportions.

Rodriguez has not released new material in over 25 years, he has no chart-topping singles, yet he opens to a standing ovation – and everybody sings along to all the songs.

Colin Taylor from KFM radio opened the show by shouting with great enthusiasm:
“Cape Town, put your hands together and welcome a true legend on stage – Rodriguez!”

Reuben Samuels started a slow drum beat and when Graeme Currie introduced that classic bass line (de-de de-de de-dum) the crowd went wild in instant recognition and when The Man slipped quietly onto the stage, the Velodrome stood up in adoration for this long-lost legend. I Wonder was wonderful and after the song, Rodriguez just stood and stared at the audience in awe.

Only Good For Conversation was done hard and heavy with great guitar from Willem Möller.
“..you’re so proper and so cute” sang Rodriguez with a smile in his voice.

Can’t Get Away was superb and when he started to sing the second verse again by mistake, the band supported him and the audience forgave him.

All the favourites followed with the arrangements staying very close to the originals and the crowd hanging on every word. Tonia Selley from The Pressure Cookies and Big Sky provided superb backing vocals throughout.

A highlight was the solo rendition of “A Most Digusting Song” sung with great humour. “There’s someone here who’s almost a virgin I’m told” was met with much laughter.
And when he sang “…your government will provide the shrugs” a responsive chord was hit, even though this song was written in 1970!

Rodriguez doesn’t say much, he lets his music and words speak to us, but he did give us one message:

I want to wish you the best of luck
in everything you do,
you’re gonna do it,
you’re gonna solve it,
you’re gonna heal ’em,
you’re gonna do it

– perceptive and profound words from this poet and prophet.

And then into an absolutely incredible blues-rock version of Climb Up On My Music. Willem Möller burnt up his fretboard with a classic rock guitar solo and Russel Taylor played a jazzy-blues keyboard solo which left us breathless.

Rodriguez slipped away as the band ended the song, but soon returned to perform a 3-song encore starting with Sugar Man, then Establishment Blues and ending with the perfect show-closer Forget It with those poignant words “Thanks for your time“.

Thank you, Cape Town” sang Rodriguez.

No, thank YOU, Rodriguez – the mystery and myth may be gone, but the music and memories will live forever and the magic of that night will stay with us always.

Originally posted on SugarMan.org

Posted in Music Research, Online Marketing, Playlists, South African Music, Updates

Current Web Project: Steve Louw

I have been very involved since the beginning of April 2021 with re-establishing the Online Presence for South African musician Steve Louw

Steve has been around since the early ’80s and he released his new album Headlight Dreams on the 7th May 2021 and it has been attracting a lot of positive attention.

I have done a number of things including revamping his website, regular blogging, setting up a Facebook Page, creating various Playlists, and being his Media Strategist.

Posted in Cover Art, Online Marketing, South African Music, Updates

A Few Of My Recent Web Projects

I love building websites! I have been building them since 1997.

Here are just a few of my recent web projects.

Let’s build something together!

Posted in Playlists, Updates

20 Shades Of Gray, feat Pink Floyd, The Cranberries, Nirvana, Mumford & Sons, Bob Marley, The Kinks

A mix compiled from a list of songs supplied by my old school mate, Barry Gray.

image: https://www.pexels.com/@nika-akin

1. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
2. Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
3. I Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats
4. Lady In Black – Uriah Heep
5. Me & Bobby McGee (live on Sessions @AOL 2003) – Pink
6. The Man Who Sold The World (live 1994) – Nirvana
7. No Woman No Cry (live 1975) – Bob Marley & The Wailers
8. Live Is Life (live 1985) – Opus
9. Zombie – The Cranberries
10. Question – The Moody Blues
11. Diamonds & Rust – Joan Baez
12. I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash
13. Lola – The Kinks
14. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
15. I’d Rather Go Blind – Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa
16. Parisienne Walkways – Gary Moore feat Phil Lynott
17. Holy Mother (live 1996) – Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti & East London Gospel Choir
18. Amazing Grace (live at Bonnaroo, 2011) – Mumford & Sons with Friends
19. Let’s Start A Band – Amy Macdonald
20. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses

Posted in Playlists, Updates

Space Hymns Revisited, A Ramases-inspired Mix | Mixcloud

Space Hymns Revisited
Space Hymns Revisited

One of my all-time favourite albums revisited. Remixes, out-takes and cover versions all taken from the ‘Ramases Complete Discography‘ 6CD set.

— Brian Currin, August 2020

1. Life Child (remix 2012) – Ramases Incarnate
2. Hello Mister – Blonde From Fargo feat Casey O Day
3. And The Whole World – Martin Ekman
4. Quasar One (out-take version) – Ramases
5. You’re The Only One – Hugo
6. Earth People – The NoMen
7. Molecular Delusion – Douya
8. Balloon – Ethan Gold
9. Dying Swan Year 2000 – Haroula Rose
10. Jesus Come Back – Julia Othmer
11. Journey To The Inside – The Space Monks feat The Subatomic Alliance

www.SpaceHymns.com