Recycled Vinyl in South Africa

Hi Guys,

Basically, my question is: Did South Africa ever use recycled vinyl to press records? And if so, when? (and for how long?)

Context: With sanctions in place, would there not have been issues with stock at some point? I remember reading that even the USA recycled vinyl (in the 70s I think) because of a shortage of material. I’ve told you about the impurities I noticed in the locally pressed Beatles White Album (clear vinyl). Also I’ve found that South African pressings from the 60s and early 70s have a more dynamic sound than those later on, which I think sound ‘flat’. Even some records in mint condition, visually, seem to play with some degree of surface noise. There are anomalies of course, but these appear to be few and far between.


Best regards,


The First Time I Heard “Cause”

People remember major events in there life. Where I was when this happened etc. as a musician we have those moments in the form of musical memories. I remember where I was the first time I heard Van Halen’s Eruption guitar solo and how it blew my mind.
And I will never forget where I was the first time I heard your song Cause, and how it blew my mind.
Thanks for making such great music.

Bill Bracken

Saludos Rodriguez!

I just wanted to tell you that I am so happy to have discovered your music & amazing talent.

Thanks to that documentary, listening to you, your daughters & your fans just made me appreciate the kind noble person you are as well.

Wishing you & your family much happiness, good health & continuous positive energy!


Cause how many times can you wake up in this comic book and plant flowers?

April 2022 finds me still trying to plant flowers. Thank you for the inspiration to keep trying.



Cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas
And I talked to Jesus at the sewer
And the Pope said it was none of his God-damned business
While the rain drank champagne

My Estonian Archangel came and got me wasted
Cause the sweetest kiss I ever got is the one I’ve never tasted
Oh but they’ll take their bonus pay to Molly McDonald,
Neon ladies, beauty is that which obeys, is bought or borrowed

Cause my heart’s become a crooked hotel full ofrumours
But it’s I who pays the rent for these fingered-face out-of-tuners
and I make 16 solid half hour friendships every evening

Cause your queen of hearts who is half a stone
And likes to laugh alone is always threatening you with leaving
Oh but they play those token games on Willy Thompson
And give a medal to replace the son of Mrs. Annie Johnson

Cause they told me everybody’s got to pay their dues
And I explained that I had overpaid them
So overdued I went to the company store
and the clerk there said that they had just been invaded
So I set sail in a teardrop and escaped beneath the doorsill

Cause the smell of her perfume echoes in my head still
Cause I see my people trying to drown the sun
In weekends of whiskey sours
Cause how many times can you wake up in this comic book and plant flowers?

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse lends his voice to Homeland, A Song For Refugees

Homeland: A Song For Refugees, written by Neill Solomon has a stellar lineup on artists including: Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Ayanda Bandla, Reine Saad, Cindy Alter, Bienvenue Nseka, Nde Ndifonka aka Wax Dey and JB Arthur on vocals.

With Godfrey Mgcina on Percussion, Fana Zulu on Bass Guitar, Pops Mohamed on Kora, Greg Georgiades on Oud, Wouter Kellerman on Flute and backing vocals of Stella Khumalo, Faith Kekana and Zamo Mbutho along with 15 members of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kutlwano Masote, this is a stellar piece of work.

 A Song for Refugees

The song is a tender testimony describing a touching story of the sense of wanting to return to one’s Homeland, no doubt a narrative song that gives voice to the world’s dispossessed and exiled.

The orchestra prologue arrangement sets the tone for Homeland: A Song for Refugees further boasting an epic musical and lyrical interpretation…an unquestionable landmark song with the narrative carried by the voices and instrumentation, delivering heart-breaking conviction.

There’s a sense of soul soothing hope layered in the song.

The most prominent lyric has to be Strange Birds Singing revealing the essence of the song ….in envy of winged creatures that hold no borders.

With this song the hope is to  spread global awareness about the continuing refugee crisis.

The All-Mighty Watershed

A new record deal, album and an upcoming tour, Watershed proves that not even a pandemic can keep them down.

While many of South Africa’s landmark rock bands have hung up their guitars, there is at least one that has weathered the storm that is Covid-19 and come out of it better than ever. The past two years have seen Watershed secure a European record deal with the German-based independent label On-Stage, release their seventh studio album and now they’re ready to tour not only SA but also internationally.

“It’s been an incredible 21 years,” comments lead vocalist Craig Hinds. Though as a band they started relatively understated, their debut single “Shine on Me” launched the group to national stardom, with the follow-ups “Indigo Girl” and “Letters” making them certified rockstars. Over the years, the pop-rock band have managed to keep up that momentum with plenty of chart-topping hits and, because of this, they’ve continued to tour beyond their home soil of SA.

At the peak of their careers, the band was blind-sided by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown of 2020. “The pandemic affected our touring schedule with shows having to be cancelled and international tours postponed,” explains Craig.

While many bands weren’t able to survive the lockdown, Watershed regrouped and adapted. Craig and the band used their time at home to reflect on themselves as well as their music with Craig being able to spend this time writing more songs. The result? Elephant in the Room, an authentic, stripped-down album that mirrors the time we live in and daily frustrations felt, which was released last year. “We have had two great singles off the album, ‘Undone’ and ‘Empty Space’, with both doing really well and ‘Undone’ getting to number 1 on the charts,” notes Craig. “Both singles and the album are also doing phenomenally in Europe.” This sees the second time that standing Watershed lead guitarist, Gideon Botes produced an album for the band, having also worked behind the scenes on their 2018 studio album Harbour. “His production genius has added volumes to our new albums and our current sound,” adds Craig.

And, as things stand now in 2022, Craig says that the band is cautiously optimistic –finally, after two postponements, they will be touring Germany in June 2022. “All we can do is hold thumbs that things stay on the trajectory they are now and we can get back to some sort of normal.”

Though this is their first international tour since the pandemic, they have been lucky enough to do some live performances in SA and the band has enjoyed watching the crowds increase in size as things open up. “Touring is what we do,” exclaims Craig. “It’s fun and allows us to visit Incredible parts of our country and the world. We get to see smiles on people’s faces and gather more material for new songs as we travel and share.”

Reflecting on the state of music now, Craig admits that it’s tough. Streaming has had a heavy impact on artists with little to no money being earned through these channels. This leaves touring and live shows as the most important part of music for any band. “There is lots of music out there and some marvelous songs going around but it’s become more about sustainability. Are bands able to maintain a career?” he says. “The consumption of music is rapid. New songs are getting a few weeks in the sun but as quickly as they go up the charts they vanish at the same rate.” But, he says, it’s still very much about trying to build a loyal fan base that will support you to the ends of the earth.

And, Watershed can boast a loyal fan base that has been with them for over two decades. It’s this fandom that will most appreciate their next project which will see them re-recording their classic hits like “Indigo Girl” and “Letters”, while also allowing for a whole new generation to connect with their music. “We won’t change them too much, but it’s just really about recapturing them with more current sounds and a fresh vocal,” admits Craig. “I think my voice has changed over the years and I look forward to seeing the potential of these hits topping the charts again… who knows?”

For those who are going to their first Watershed live performance, you can expect a big show filled and amazing energy. They’ll be touring flat out in SA until May and then they’ll head for Germany for a big 13 show tour. Tickets are selling fast as people are clearly hyped to see the band in the element on stage. “At the same time, we will be working on new tracks.” teases Craig. “We will probably start tracking a new album later this year for a release early to mid-2023!”

The Elephant in the Room tour

South African tour dates

1 Aprilcafé Roux, Noordhoek
2 & 3 AprilWarwick Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
9 AprilKaapzicht Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
6 MayThe Barnyard Theatre Suncoast, Durban Beach
7 MayThe Groves Venue, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
13 MayThe Barnyard Theatre Silverstar, Krugersdorp
14 MayThe Barnyard Theatre Menlyn, Menlyn

German tour dates

12 JuneFernsehgarten Show, Mainz
13 JuneFeierwerk, München
15 JuneMeisenfrei, Bremen
16 JunePiano, Dortmund
17 Junedas Rind, Rüsselsheim am Main
18 JuneHallenbad, Wolfsburg
20 JuneKnust, Hamburg
21 JuneKeller Z87, Würzburg
22 JuneZauberberg, Passau
23 JuneReigen, AT-Wien
25 JuneOpen Air, Ludwigsfelde

Their album Elephant in the Room is available on all digital platforms as well as CD and vinyl. Head to the Watershed website ( to purchase tickets to their upcoming shows and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for news.

Ex-Falling Mirror Drummer Pat Humphreys passes away

Patrick Humphreys | Image: Facebook

It is with great sadness that we share the sad news that Pat Humphreys has passed away.

Pat was the drummer for the legendary Cape Town band, Falling Mirror, alongside Allan Faull and Nielen Mirror, after beginning his association with them as a member of the pre-Falling Mirror band Wakeford Hart in 1970.

Pat then left that band for a few years, until, after a few different line-ups and band names, Allan and Nielen finally settled on the name Falling Mirror in 1978. Pat then re-joined the classic Falling Mirror line up in 1978 alongside Allan (guitar), Nielen (vocals), Pat (drums) and Tully McCully (bass) for their run of classic SA rock albums including ‘Zen Boulders’, ‘The Storming Of The Loft’ and ‘Fantasy Kid’.

On behalf of the South African Rock fraternity we pass on our condolences to the Humphreys family and all Pat’s friends and fellow musicians.

Falling Mirror, 2013: Harvey Cohen, Sharon Clifton, Nielen Marais, Patrick Humphreys, Allan Faull

Fan Message from Caroline in South Africa

Hey Rodriguez, I just want to say I love your music.

I bought your album Cold Fact when I was 11 years old. (Sadly subsequently stolen).

Such truth in your words.
(I was at a convent and got into trouble for playing your album on school break up day).

You are a genius, and I’m sorry you were robbed of your dues.
May you be blessed.

All the way from South Africa xxx


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

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


  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.
“’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

The Establishment Blues Animated Video

Rodriguez – This Is Not A Song, Its An Outburst, Or The Establishment Blues

Hi there,

My name is Jordan and I am from Toronto, Canada. I’m a huge fan of Rodriguez and have both albums on vinyl and listen to them often. I’m an animation student and for one of our projects we got to make a visual that would accompany a song – for mine I chose the Establishment Blues. I’ve attached a link to the youtube video, I hope you enjoy it and would love to know your thoughts!

I would be very happy if you would share this on the sugarman website and possibly the youtube page as well if possible.


Jordan Sahay

Fan Message from Detroit

My name is Beau, I’m a 20 year old folk singer in Detroit.

I found your music two years ago, when I was living in Hamtramck. Cold Fact seemed to define that year for me.

I always wanted to play music but I found it so hard to start. I heard your record and it kicked me into action. I had a thought like “here’s this amazing artist, from my city” That’s the year I started writing.

I put on your record today and I thought about that year: about the housing instability, the financial struggle, being alone. But I also thought about the fire it lit under me. I wanted to write songs that made me feel the way your music made me feel.

I needed to sing if I was gonna handle life these days.

I’m playing my first show this May. I’m doing so much better. Music is medicine I really believe that.

I know I’ve never met you but you are a mentor to me. When I think of my hometown I think of you. Thank you for helping me.


Thank You For Searching For Sugar Man


I just want to thank you all for this amazing documentary. My name is Glenn Cameron Howard and I reside in Warren Ontario Canada. I just wanted to thank Rodriguez for allowing us to see this amazing story of his life as well as all of you that participated in this documentary. I am a 46-year-old dad who has always been looking for amazing new music.

And I would’ve never discovered Rodriguez, unfortunately because of his music not being produced here.

It is one of the most inspirational documentaries I’ve ever seen in my 46 years on this planet. The creation of his artistic abilities, and his view, motivates me to keep on singing and writing music. If you have any way of contacting him, please thank him from me, as the talents and gifts he has shared have helped me go through things in my life.

I would personally like to thank each and every one of you that has created the documentary and given a voice to this talented person and I hope that the Rodriguez family knows that Rodriguez’s music will always have a place in my heart.

Glenn-Cameron Howard

Fan Message from Australia

Hi Rodriguez,

My name is John. How are you? I hope you are well. I just wanted to say that I am a massive fan and have been since I was a teenager. I’m 47 now and it’s funny to think that I remember first listening to Cold Fact seems like yesterday.

I live in the Northern Rivers, New South Wales, Australia. A town called Lismore, not far from Byron Bay. I work as a disability support worker. One of my clients is a local Indigenous man who loves your music. He grew up listening to you too. His name is Thomas.
We always have your music playing in the car. Or if we’re just quietly watching the river after lunch.

That’s in fact, what we’re doing right now. And we both thank you for your awesome music.

Much love and respect from John and Thomas

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