Posted in Album Covers, Books, Brian's Best, Entertainment, Favourites, Golden Oldies, Mabu Vinyl, Movies, Opinion, Resources, Rodriguez, SA Music, SA Nostalgia, SA Rock Digest

Rodriguez: The John Samson Story

Guest post by John Samson, author of Cold Fiction.

Cold Fiction
Cold Fiction
Cold Fact (SA)
Cold Fact (SA)

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.

Searching For Sugar Man
Searching For Sugar Man

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.

Searching For Sugar Man
Searching For Sugar Man
Posted in Album Covers, Books, Brian's Best, Cape Town, Deep Purple, Favourites, Golden Oldies, Opinion, Photos, Playlists, Radio, Resources, Rock Lists, Rodriguez, SA Music, SA Nostalgia

Rodriguez and his place in The Story Of Rock

Willem, Rodriguez, Brian, Sugar 1998
Willem, Rodriguez, Brian, Sugar 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.

Posted in Brian's Best, Festivals, Golden Oldies, Resources, Rodriguez, SA Music, SA Nostalgia, SA Rock Digest

‘Searching For Sugar Man’ To Open 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

‘Searching For Sugar Man’, a new documentary about Rodriguez by Swedish film director, Malik Bendjelloul, will be one of the three opening films at next week’s 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The film will have its international premiere next Thursday 19th January, at the Sundance Festival as a representative of the World Documentary section of the Festival.

‘Searching For Sugar Man’ was completed over the past three years and was filmed in Cape Town and Detroit, and other South African and US locations.

More Info:

http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/120073/searching_for_sugar_man

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118047898

http://www.indiewire.com/article/meet-the-2012-sundance-filmmakers-malik-bendjelloul-searching-for-sugar-man

http://collider.com/sundance-2012-film-competition-line-up/129488/#more-129488 – Searching for Sugar Man / Denmark, United Kingdom (Director: Malik Bendjelloul) — Rodriguez was the greatest ‘70s US rock icon who never was. Hailed as the greatest recording artist of his generation he disappeared into oblivion – rising again from the ashes in a completely different context many miles away. World Premiere. Day One Film.

For more info, please contact:

Sugar

Sugarman.org

Email: sugar@sugarmusic.co.za

Posted in Afrikaans Rock, Golden Oldies, New Music Now, Playlists, Resources, Rodriguez, SA Music, SA Nostalgia, SA Rock Digest, Virtual Collections

Top Downloads at Rhythm Music Store

Ray Dylan - Ek Wens Jy's Myne
Monique - Ek Val Vir Jou
Jakkie Louw - Gemaak in SA
Heinz Winckler - Ek Kan Weer In Liefde Glo
Gazelle - Chic Afrique
Die Campbells - Komaan Kom Dans
Romanz - Ek Sal Getuig
Die Tuindwergies - Die Tuindwergies
Juanita du Plessis - 10 Jaar Platinum Treffers2 (2/2)
Nicholis Louw - Energie
Elizma Theron - Gee My Meer
Zebra & Giraffe - The Inside
Kurt Darren - Uit Die Diepte Van My Hart
Albert De Wet - Die Vensters Na My Siel
Oorlog Frankenstein - Oorlog Frankenstein
Wrestlerish - The Rude Mechanical
Straatligkinders - Kan Ek Met Jou Dans
Fredi Nest - Dronkverliefverslaafaanjou
Die Radio Kalahari Orkes - Heuningland
Foto Na Dans - Die Vloed
Die Heuwels Fantasties met Laudo Liebenberg - Hyg Duiwel
Manie Jackson - MJ
Various Artists - South African Indie Volume One
Die Jakkie Louw Band - Alles In Een Glas
Bok Van Blerk - De La Rey
Bok van Blerk & Robbie Wessels - Ons Vir Jou Suid Afrika
Wasserfall - Asem In
David Kramer - Klassic Kramer
Rodriguez - Cold Fact (2008 US re-issue)
aKING - Against All Odds
Posted in Brian's Best, Golden Oldies, Resources, Rodriguez, Rodriguez Timeline, SA Nostalgia

A chronological history of Rodriguez: the man, the myth, the music

By Brian Currin

1942
10 July

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez born in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

“I like to tell people that I was born on Michigan Avenue, five blocks from the centre of Detroit.” – Rodriguez

1967
April Rodriguez records 6 tracks for the Impact record label in Detroit, most of which will be re-recorded for the Cold Fact and Coming From Reality albums.
August I’ll Slip Away, produced by Harry Balk, is released as a single by Impact Records in the USA and credited to Rod Riguez. This track will be re-recorded in 1972. The b-side is You Got To Admit It.
23 September “Rod Riguez could make a name for himself with this bluesy, mid-tempo rock ballad. Keep it in sight.” – Cashbox reviewing I’ll Slip Away single
1969
August/September Cold Fact recorded at Tera-Shirma Studio in Detroit. Arranged and produced by Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey.
1970
March/April Cold Fact is released on the Sussex label, but fails to sell. The album will be re-issued in South Africa in 1971 and again in 1974 and will become a cult classic among National Servicemen and University students.
18 April Billboard gives Cold Fact a 4 star review.
Mid-to-late 1970 Recording sessions for Coming From Reality held over 3 weeks at Lansdowne Studios in London during mid-to-late 1970. Produced by Steve Rowland.
“We spent 30 wonderful days recording the Reality album. We stayed in Belgravia, London.” – Rodriguez
1971-1995
April 1971 Cold Fact released in South Africa.
November 1971 Coming From Reality released in USA, but does not sell.
1972 I Think Of You/To Whom It May Concern 7″ single released in Brazil and both sides are played on Brazilian local radio.
1972 Coming From Reality released in South Africa.
1972 Steve Rowland (Coming From Reality producer) and Family Dogg release an album titled The View From Rowland’s Head which includes five Rodriguez-penned tracks.
1972/73 Street Boy, I’ll Slip Away and Can’t Get Away recorded at GM Recording Studios, East Detroit, MI.
1976 Coming From Reality re-issued in South Africa again, but now re-named After The Fact to capitalise on success of Cold Fact.
June 1977 At His Best released in Australia
May 1978 Cold Fact released in Australia.
January 1979 Coming From Reality released in Australia.
March /April 1979 Rodriguez tours Australia.Shows on 17th and 18th March are recorded for a live album.
October 1981 Tour of Australia with Midnight Oil.
October 1981 Rodriguez Alive, recorded during the 1979 Australian tour, is released in Australia and New Zealand only. Has not yet been released on CD.
1981 Rodriguez graduates from Wayne State University (Detroit) with a BA in Philosophy.
1982 The Best Of Rodriguez released in South Africa, with the same tracks as the Australian At His Best album, but with a different cover.
1986 At His Best and Cold Fact re-issued in Australia by Blue Goose Music.
22 April 1991 Cold Fact released on CD in South Africa.
1993 At His Best and Cold Fact released on CD in Australia.
1996
30 April Coming From Reality / After The Fact released on CD in South Africa with sleeve notes by Mad Andy Harrod and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman.
17 September Spurred on by the sleeve notes of After The Fact, South African journalist Craig Bartholomew sets off in search of Rodriguez.
November The Best Of Rodriguez re-issued on CD in South Africa with extra tracks.
1997
April The Great Rodriguez Hunt website is published by Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Alec McCrindle.
3 August Craig Bartholomew makes telephone contact with Rodriguez.
6 August The first post (by Alec McCrindle) appears on The Great Rodriguez Hunt message board.
12 September Eva Alicia Rodriguez Koller publishes a message on The Great Rodriguez Hunt Message Board: “Rodriguez is my father! I’m serious.”
15 September Stephen Segerman speaks to Rodriguez on the phone.
October Craig Bartholomew’s article “Looking For Rodriguez” published in “Directions” magazine.
25 October Brian Currin publishes the “Climb Up On My Music” website, a catalogue of information and trivia about Rodriguez and his music.
26 October Newspaper report on Stephen Segerman finding Rodriguez appears in The Sunday Times Cape Metro. This article refers to Craig Bartholomew as “a music detective”.
27 October The Great Rodriguez Hunt website becomes The Great Rodriguez Website as the hunt is now over.
November I’ll Slip Away, originally released as a single in 1967, is released on The Best Of Impact Records compilation CD
1998
11 February Eva announces on The Rodriguez Forum website that Rodriguez is coming to tour South Africa.
16 February Cape Times newspaper publishes an article announcing Cape Town concerts for March 6 & 7.
17 February The Star newspaper publishes a report confirming dates for the South African tour in March.
20 February The Mail & Guardian newspaper publishes an interview with Rodriguez by Craig Bartholomew.
2 March Rodriguez arrives in Cape Town, South Africa.
5 March Rodriguez is interviewed on MNet TV program “Front Row” and performs I Wonder unplugged in the studio.
6 March South African tour opens at Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town. Rodriguez is greeted with a standing ovation and the crowd sings along to every song.
9 March Sold-out concert at Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg. After the show Rodriguez is awarded a platinum disc for Cold Fact (over 50 000 units sold in South Africa).
10 March Another sold-out show at the Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg. This show is recorded to be released as a live album, Live Fact.
23 March South Africa rock band Just Jinger release 6-track EP CD Something For Now with a cover version of Sugar Man. This song has long been part of their stage repertoire.
12 June Live Fact, recorded on 10th March 1998, is released in South Africa.
12-14 June Rodriguez tours Sweden.
16 June Rodriguez appears on stage with Just Jinger at the State Of The Nation Concert at the Standard Bank Arena, but does not perform.
17 June Rodriguez plays a Record Company bash at The Blues Room in Johannesburg to launch the Live Fact album. Tickets by invitation only.
1999
September Universal Music (South Africa), the distributors of the Rodriguez back catalogue (except for Live Fact which is on the Sony label), confirm that they will no longer be pressing or distributing Rodriguez CDs.
2001
April 30th anniversary of the release of Cold Fact in South Africa.
5 July ‘Dead Men Don’t Tour’ documentary produced by Tonia Selley broadcast on SABC 3 TV.
10 July Stephen Segerman visits Rodriguez in Detroit for his 59th birthday and presents him with a copy of the ‘Dead Men Don’t Tour’ video documentary.
September 16-date tour of South Africa
2002
15 April Rodriguez ‘Sugarman’ + Muddy Waters ‘Tom Cat’ released as 500 limited edition 7-inch single, taken from David Holmes’ mix album ‘Come Get It I Got It’.
1 June The “Climb Up On My Music” and “The Great Rodriguez Website” websites combine as http://www.sugarman.org.
8 July PT Music South Africa announces that Cold Fact and After The Fact will soon be available in South Africa on CD again.
10 July Rodriguez’s 60th birthday.
15 July Tim Forster’s article on Rodriguez appears in Mojo magazine.
28 July Cold Fact re-issued in South Africa by PT Music. The Sugarman.org website is involved in correcting the lyrics and providing additional information.
October After The Fact re-issued on CD by PT Music in South Africa. The Sugarman.org website is involved in correcting the lyrics and providing additional information.
December Sugarman listed at number 34 in “The 100 Greatest Drug Songs Ever!” published in the December 2002 issue of UK magazine Mojo.
2003-2007
17 & 18 April 2003 Rodriguez meets David Holmes at Avatar Studios (formally the Power Station) and adds backing vocals to a new recording of Sugarman.
1 September 2003 Official release of the Free Association’s version of Sugarman on Mercury Records.
10 July 2004 Rodriguez arrives in Windhoek, Namibia from Detroit on his 62nd birthday and is met by his daughter, Eva, who now lives in South Africa.
15 July 2004 Rodriguez performs a one-off concert in a place called Otjiwarongo. This small Namibian town is approximately 400kms from Windhoek. This concert is part of the Cheetah National Arts Festival.
1 August 2004 Article appears in Sunday Times about Rodriguez meeting up with South African musicians, Garden Root.
13-14 August 2004 Rodriguez plays three sold-out concerts on the Garden Route in the Southern Cape this weekend. His band for these concerts was Graeme Sindall (lead guitar), Heath Sindall (drums), and Neil Lord (bass).
August 2005 Remastered version of Cold Fact released by PT Music.
12 August 2005 London gigs announced.
29 September 2005 Sugarman – The Best Of Rodriguez CD, compiled by PT Music and Sugarman.org, is launched at the Independent Armchair Theatre in Cape Town with a performance by Rodriguez.
7 & 8 October 2005 Rodriguez plays live in London for the first time.
23 November 2006 Rodriguez plays live in London again.
April 2007 Rodriguez plays live in Australia.
14th April 2007 Rodriguez plays live in Rotterdam, Holland.
2008
19th August Cold Fact remastered and re-issued in the USA by Light In The Attic.
Rodriguez articles and positive reviews appear in various music magazines including Mojo and Uncut.
2009
5th May Coming From Reality remastered and re-issued in the USA by Light In The Attic.
May to August Rodriguez tours USA and Europe.The world’s biggest cult musician gains worldwide recognition at last.
August/September 40th Anniversary of the recording sessions for Cold Fact.
September Rodriguez tours South Africa
September All The Facts 2CD set released by PT Music in South Africa.

This Timeline was published in the All The Facts 2CD set released by PT Music in South Africa in September 2009. There are no plans for any further updates to this Timeline.

Posted in Afrikaans Rock, Books, Brian's Best, Cape Town, Mabu Vinyl, Music Magazines, Resources, Rodriguez, SA Music, SA Nostalgia

Mabu Vinyl now in Rheede Street

Mabu Vinyl, the well-known music shop in Cape Town, will soon be celebrating its two-year anniversary in its more spacious new premises at 2 Rheede Street in Gardens. The shop is situated just off the corner of Kloof Street (next door to A&A Furnishers), and is just a “muffin’s throw away” from Vida e Caffé, the very popular nearby coffee shop in Kloof Street.

Mabu Vinyl carries a large selection of new and second hand items including LP records, 12” singles, 7” singles, 78’s, CD’s, DVD’s, cassette tapes, videos, books, T-shirts, comics, magazines, and even a selection of refurbished turntables and hi-fi’s. Mabu Vinyl buys, sells and trades in all and any of these items. The shop also carries a range of independent CD releases by a range of South African artists.

Mabu Vinyl grew out of the well-known Kloof Street bric-a-brac store, Kloofmart, which was run for many years by Johan Vosloo in the premises now occupied by Vida e Caffé. Jacques Vosloo, the owner’s son, started the record store in the back section of Kloofmart before the store moved to its next premises a few shops away, next to the other well-known Kloof Street music shop, High Five.

Then in October 2003, Mabu Vinyl again moved further down the road into its next premises in Buitenkloof Centre on the corner of Kloof and Buitensingel Streets. Soon after, Stephen Segerman joined Jacques in the store, adding a stock of CD’s, tapes, and DVD’s to the already huge selection of records that fills every corner of this eclectically decorated store.

The new Mabu Vinyl store has something for everyone with hundreds of 7″ singles, 12″ dance singles (for the many club DJ’s who frequent Mabu), and a broad range of rock, pop, jazz, soul, country, comedy, blues, soundtrack, South African and classical LP records. There is also a wide range of new and used CD’s, DVD’s, cassette tapes and books, mostly at reduced or sale prices, and the shop has many regular customers who love to take a few hours to browse through the many music items on display.

Parking for the new Mabu Vinyl store is available downstairs in the Rheede Centre parking garage, or at the nearby Kwikspar or Lifestyle centres in Kloof Street.

website: http://mabuvinyl.co.za

Posted in Online Marketing

Rodriguez – New Tour Dates Confirmed

Matt Sullivan from Light In The Attic wrote:

“Rodriguez called last night from Cardiff, mentioning that yesterday’s show at the Green Man Festival in the UK was a big success! More tour dates have just been announced below, including a trip back to South Africa, followed by dates in the US, France and UK.”

SOUTH AFRICA:

SEPT 13 – Cape Town – Willowbridge Barnyard, SA

SEPT 18 – Plett Barnyard, SA

SEPT 19 – Mosselbay Barnyard, SA

SEPT 27 – Pretoria – Menlyn Barnyard, SA

SEPT 28 – JHB – Broadacres Barnyard, SA

USA:

OCT 4 – Austin City Limits Music Festival, USA

FRANCE / UK:

DEC 5 – Transmusicales de Rennes Festival (Hall 03) – Rennes, France

DEC 7 – Deaf Institute – Manchester, UK

DEC 8 – Thekla – Bristol, UK

DEC 9 – Union Chapel – London, UK

rodriguez big chill 2009 25
Big Chill Festival, UK, 6-9th August 2009 (photo: Ed Coonagh)