Released for the first time on CD is the long awaited retrospective of South Africa’s legendary original punk band, Wild Youth. This massive 23 track set includes all of Wild Youth’s late 70`s seminal singles, live and demo tracks plus several songs from the band’s alter ego outfit, The Gay Marines. Wild Youth are prominently featured in the film documentary “Punk in Afrika”, currently showing in key US and European film festivals.
Volume 3 of our acclaimed Astral Daze series find us in the company of some well known ‘underground’ bands (Freedom’s Children, Abstract Truth, The Bats) and some lesser known luminaries of the psych rock era (The Gentle People, Finder’s Keepers, 004’s, Wakeford Hart). The compilation is rounded off with some real classics including engineer Peter Pearlson’s 2011 remix of Hawk’s ‘Here comes the sun’ and Sharon Tandy’s psych collaboration with UK rockers Fleur De Lys.
Woman please be gone You’ve stayed here much too long Don’t you wish that you could cry Don’t you wish I would die
Seamy, seesaw kids Childwoman on the skids The dust will choke you blind The lust will choke your mind
I kiss the floor, one kick no more The pig and hose have set me free I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
I kiss the floor, one kick no more The pig and hose have set me free I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree
The inner city birthed me The local pusher nursed me Cousins make it on the street They marry every trick they meet
A dime, a dollar they’re all the same When a man comes in to bust your game The turnkey comes, his face a grin Locks the cell I’m in again.
I kiss the floor, one kick no more The pig and hose have set me free I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree I’ve tasted hate street’s hanging tree…
[Song published by Interior Music (BMI)]
This song was not actually written by Rodriguez, but sure sounds like it could have been. It was written by Gary Harvey, Mike Theodore (‘Cold Fact’ producer) and Dennis Coffey (guitarist on ‘Cold Fact’). “Hate Street” actually refers to the famous “Haight/Ashbury” area of San Francisco, the famous Hippie hang-out during the late 60’s “Summer Of Love”.
…for years the title ‘Hate Street Dialogue’ has been bothering me, when I listened to the song I gathered the lyrics were referring to the famous hippie street in San Francisco: Haight/Ashbury, however the title on the album is spelt “Hate”. Rodriguez said (on a SA radio phone-in show in March 1998) that although the lyrics of that particular song were not written by himself they did refer to the Haight and not to the opposite of love.
– Stelios, 1998
PIG AND HOSE
In this song Rodriguez sings about being set free by “the pig and hose”. Could this mean a policeman (“pigs” was hippy slang for cops) and a piece of hose-pipe?
The quote: “pig and hose to bust our game” from the song “Hate Street Dialogue”, refers to the continual harassment of the hippy-subculture by the San Francisco police department on the Haight-Ashbury youth in 1967. “Pig” was the referrel to the POLICE, and “hose” was in reference to the length of “garden-hose” used to beat the citizens into submission [usually in the confines of the police station. The title was changed in spelling from “Haight Street”, to “Hate Street” to further emphasize that feeling of alienation, by both sides of the establishment, at that time.
– Gary W Harvey, June 2002
BLACK EYED SUSAN
South African Indie melodic grunge-rockers Black Eyed Susan recorded the album ‘Back Stabbers & Money Grabbers’ in January 1998 and released it in May 1998. Included on their album is an uptempo remake of this classic ‘Cold Fact’ song. Not actually written by Rodriguez, this song of urban decay and loneliness fits perfectly on Black Eyed Susan’s album of otherwise original material. A great version on an even greater album. If you like your rock modern-but-retro, grungy-yet-tuneful, this album is for you.
GARY W. HARVEY 4th September 2001, Darin J. Harvey wrote:
I was amazed that I finally found something about Sixto Rodriguez on the net and that I could finish a long quest with the help of your website.
Two years ago my father, Gary W. Harvey, mentioned while I was visiting him in Detroit, that he received a check for percentage for the lyrics of a song he wrote some thirty years ago! He wasn’t sure about the facts and he could only tell me the name of the song (which he thought was “Haight Street Dialog”) and that he originally wrote that one for a guy named Rodriguez. But the check was for a cover version from a band of South Africa!
Back in Germany, where I live, I started my search with the weak information I had! As I couldn’t find any hint for Rodriguez or that song I stopped my search after a few weeks! Now nearly two years later, I remembered my search and tried again! And yep, I got some hits!
My first hit was, that the song wasn’t named “Haight Street dialog” but “Hate Street Dialogue”, which brought me on the trail of “Black Eyed Susan” and finally lead me to “Sixto Rodriguez”!
So I read the facts you collected in your website and after all I could buy me a copy of ‘Cold Fact’ through Amazon.com, Germany (which was amazing that they could supply it in Germany). Two days later I received the album and now I really love it – as it’s interesting, unique and simply good music!
It turned out that my Dad also wrote the lyrics from the song “Gommorah”. He really was amazed that I could find the stuff we talked about two years ago and as I forwarded the links to him, so he could surf through by himself!
If you ever have the chance, get yourself a copy of the first Rare Earth Album “Dreams/Answer” on Verve Records! You might find some parallels as it was produced by the same team back then!
28th September 2001, Darin wrote again:
I would be pleased if you quote my e-mail on your website and your e-mag!
I’m so happy that I could expose some old stories and connection with the help of your work and website!
Meanwhile I got contact with Francois Bredenkamp from the “Black Eyed Susan” and even with Mike Theodore, the Producer of “Cold Fact”.
Francois Bredenkamp was very surprised and pleased to receive my mail and promised to send me a copy of their album. Unfortunately his band doesn’t exist anymore!
This is what he wrote me:
It’s a great surprise and pleasure to hear from you. We fell in love with the song lyrics and decided to make a remake. We are a South African based independent band, but unfortunately Black Eyed Susan does not exist anymore. I don’t know if you are aware of this but Rodriguez is an legend in our country. He is currently touring here till the end of September and I will watch him in Pretoria this Sunday.
This was definitely the most rewarding mail we have ever received for our efforts as a struggling rock band. (Francois Bredenkamp)
A few days later I received a mail from Mike Theodore (who’s still working as a producer in New Jersey, USA) and I was very amazed, as I didn’t try to contact him! He got information through my Dad, that I searched for Rodriguez and Black Eyed Susan!
Since I have the Rodriguez album ‘Cold Fact’, I introduced it to some friends and co-workers and everyone liked it and thought it’s very unique! They’ve been surprized that he’s totally unknown here, and that he’d never made it in Germany.
I often joke with people in the UK that I didn’t leave South Africa of my own free will, but was actually kicked out because I was not fanatical about rugby and I didn’t drink, both activities that white South African males are meant to excel at. I could also have said in 1996, when I moved from South Africa to the UK, that a further reason for my being exiled was that I did not own a copy of ‘Cold Fact’ by Rodriguez. However no one in the UK would have understood what I was talking about.
But now with Malik Bendjelloul’s brilliant film ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ bringing Rodriguez to the world’s attention, I can mention the omission in my music collection and not be met with question mark faces. I am still not a huge rugby fan and have not taken to drinking alcohol, but I did rectify the lack of ‘Cold Fact’ problem on one of my early trips back to SA a couple of years after moving. I had been familiar with the album’s distinctive cover from many an hour spent flicking through the albums at my local record shop, but as a teenager in the 80’s I was hell bent on finding the next big New Romantic band and had no interest in ‘fossil music’ as I thought of it back then.
A further reason for the lack of ‘Cold Fact’ in my collection was that I managed to avoid military training (where a lot of guys were introduced to Rodriguez’ music) and counted my days working at the Receiver of Revenue, which I regarded as the lesser of two evils. Purchasing ‘Cold Fact’ became almost mandatory when I was lucky enough to befriend Brian Currin and Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman, both of whom played a part in discovering the fate of Rodriguez. I was drawn into the world of the SA Rock Digest, an online music magazine focussing on South African Rock music, which Brian and Sugar had set up. With two such music aficionados as friends, I quickly discovered gaping holes in my music knowledge, especially regarding the rock scene in South African in the 70’s.
I began to correct this problem so as not to look foolish in front of my new found friends and part of the polyfilla (spackling paste to those not familiar with this brand) to mend the gaps was purchasing a copy of ‘Cold Fact.’ I don’t recall ever having heard the album before that and, given its banned status on the radio, could not have unknowingly heard it there, but as the first chords of ‘Sugar Man’ wafted through my speakers, I knew the song. It was as if it was a part of the ether in South Africa and had just soaked into me whether I had heard it or not. ‘I Wonder’ was also familiar to me and the rest of the album, although less soaked in, was also striking a nagging familiar chord.
Yes, unless you believe in the collective consciousness, I must have heard the album somewhere before that ‘first’ listen, but I cannot for the life of me remember where. That said, a part of me does like to believe that the music was just in the air we breathed in SA, that it was, and will always just somehow be there, as essentially part of life as oxygen and sunshine. This image, to me, seems to fit in with the mystical and almost mythical character that is Rodriguez.
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.
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.
ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE AND SOUNDTRACK BRINGS RODRIGUEZ’S INCREDIBLE LIFE STORY AND 1970s MUSIC TO A NEW GENERATION
Soundtrack available everywhere starting August 13, 2012, through Columbia/Legacy
“The buzzworthy Sundance documentary” – Yahoo!
“An acclaimed new documentary goes hunting for the lost Dylan” – Grantland
“The tale is better than the telling – and the soundtrack’s better still – but music this monumental demands its moment. Now go and buy the album” – Matt Glasby Total Film UK
“I found the story in 2006. I was looking for stories, travelling around South Africa and America, and thinking the purpose was to sell them to Swedish TV, because I’d been working for Swedish TV before. I found this story and it was the best story I’d ever heard in my life and probably ever will; a great, great story.” Director, Malik Bendjelloul
We all know the lyrics, we may even have been a fan, but who knows what happened to the musician who brought us Sugar Man? SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is the most improbable but true story you will ever witness on the big screen. Rodriguez, a mysterious Detroit singer-songwriter, became a source of hope and inspiration to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and then he disappeared – until two South Africans set out to discover what happened to one of the biggest music sensations this country has ever known. The thought-provoking new documentary film, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, will be screened exclusively at select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau theatres on 31st August and is not to be missed!
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells a story that begins with the 1970 release of Rodriguez’s debut album, Cold Fact.
Discovered in the late 1960s, Rodriguez impressed producers with his Dylanesque songwriting. As a charismatic and mysterious artist he built a strong local following and became a true folk hero in the purest sense.
While Cold Fact was critically acclaimed, it did not succeed commercially, and despite the release of a second LP, Rodriguez drifted into obscurity. Rumors of his fate were widely and wildly exaggerated, ranging from reports of escalating depression to a sensationally gruesome suicide onstage, involving self-immolation.
Meanwhile, the LP had made its way around the world to South Africa, where it was banned by an oppressive government. Copies were bootlegged and circulated, and Rodriguez inadvertently became the soundtrack of an emerging liberal youth, including many liberal Afrikaans musicians for whom Rodriguez became an inspiration for their own music.
Over the next two decades, Rodriguez became a household name in the country, where the number of copies of Cold Fact would have earned it platinum sales status.
Both sides of the story, Rodriguez’s life in Detroit and the subsequent impact of his music in the smoldering Apartheid era proved fascinating to Stockholm-based documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul.
His subjects have included Kraftwerk, Björk, Sting, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, Kylie Minogue, Prince, and others. His short documentary films for Swedish Television’s international cultural weekly show Kobra, became the basis for such films as Men Who Stare At Goats (George Clooney) and The Terminal (Tom Hanks).
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, a Red Box Films & Passion Pictures Production in association with Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, premiered in New York on April 24th at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on July 27th and will open in other markets throughout the month of August. For a complete release schedule, visit the film’s website at www.SearchingForSugarManMovie.com.
Searching for Sugar Man release cinemas:
1. Rosebank Nouveau
2. Gateway Nouveau
3. Cavendish Nouveau
4. V&A Nouveau
5. Brooklyn Nouveau
6. Garden Route Mall
7. Mimosa Mall
8. Somerset Mall
Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Tracklisting
1. SUGAR MAN
2. CRUCIFY YOUR MIND
4. I WONDER
5. LIKE JANIS
6. THIS IS NOT A SONG, IT’S AN OUTBURST: OR, THE ESTABLISHMENT BLUES