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Born on this day ...
Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born on this day in 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, USA. I recently read ‘Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez’ and would recommend it to anyone interested in a more in-depth picture, not only of his story, but of the background behind, and the making of the documentary Searching for Sugarman, which while not inaccurate, is selective in its focus and fairly light in comparison to the book. 

It’s a tragedy that his genius and artistry was swept under the carpet for so many years, and that although he went platinum in South Africa, he didn’t have a clue about that, nor did he receive a dime for his trouble. Wretched industry sometimes – the egos and the greed but I suppose that can apply to almost any commercial endeavour. The movie centers on the South African story because that’s where the authors of the tale come from, and they’re the ones who tracked him down and researched what happened, but it turns out he was also well known and loved in the Antipodes. In SA, we took his music totally for granted – well I did – it seemed to have always been there, in everyone’s record collection – that highly recognisable album cover and the songs we all knew by heart. It really is quite bizarre! 

Anyway – it appears Rodriguez has a second lease of life, and going by his website, is still touring. To my knowledge he has expressed no desire for the trappings of fame and fortune and from all accounts, gives away most of his newfound wealth and still resides in the same house he lived in during all his years of hard manual labour on constructions sites. Upon the relaunching of his career, his family have rallied around to protect and shield him – something they do with ferocity.
  
For anyone who is not familiar with his music, he writes and sings about social and political issues, specifically those faced by the inner city poor, the sometimes ridiculous dichotomies life presents, and he has a wryly intelligent, earthy, poetic and eloquent take on it all; a man who is largely self-educated and who, while no saint at all, somehow swallowed what must have been a sizeable bitter pill of disappointment, and rose above it, constantly reading and learning (he once even ran for office, and to add insult to general injury, they spelled his name wrong on the ballot!) and in turn encouraging his children to appreciate all forms of art and culture.

From his first album Cold Fact – “Crucify Your Mind”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVdWXqtk484

And from what I first knew as After the Fact, aka Coming From Reality



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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