Hi, I read with interest your discussion about the ‘Cold Fact’ sheet music book… I just wanted to let you know that I have a copy of this book that I bought from a music shop in Brisbane, Australia in the eighties… and only a few years ago now I was fortunate to meet the great man and got him to sign it for me. Cheers 🙂Julie
More at: http://sugarman.org/rodchords.html
Love your music and your songs. I have “I Wonder” at the top of my Songlist and It is requested by many people when I perform. Wrote a few new verses to “I Wonder” as well. Thank you for your wonderful music!Larrie Cook
I’m not sure how ‘official’ this site is, but if there’s any way the man himself can know, I owe it to him to say; “‘Cause” is some of the most beautiful and meaningful poetry (and art in general) that I’ve ever experienced. It’s a thing of pure and honest beauty and I thank you for creating such a thing.Mick
I was listening to Cold Fact & Coming From Reality recently. Your music still inspires us today, so much so that I’m taking the time to write this. The lyrics, basslines, and rhythm have inspired me on my journey as an aspiring folk guitar player. The way you articulate your message in the artful manner and unique voice will never be replicated. I just want to let you know that you keep inspiring me every time I listen to your songs. Your name is right up there with Lennon, Dylan, Cat Stevens, Cohen, James Taylor… In fact you were much farther ahead of your time than any of them. Even though you’re 79, I was wondering whether you are thinking of touring or making new music? This generation needs a voice like yours now more than ever.
Anyways I hope you read this amongst the many fan mail letters you likely receive. And I hope you know just how much of an impact you have made and continue to make on all of us.
Thank you Rodríguez! Stay in good health 🙂Keon Vazir
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.
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.Bill Bracken
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.
Ten thousand thanks and more for your gift of song and music Sixto I pray you know the quiet wind whispering them all the days of your truly amazing life.Stewart Resmer
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!Paula
April 2022 finds me still trying to plant flowers. Thank you for the inspiration to keep trying.Gilbert
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?
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 xxxCaroline
The Set List
- I Wonder
- Only Good For Conversation
- Can’t Get Away
- Crucify Your Mind
- Jane S. Piddy
- To Whom It May Concern
- Like Janis
- Inner City Blues
- Street Boy
- A Most Disgusting Song
- I’ll Slip Away
- Halfway Up The Stairs
- I Think Of You
- Rich Folks Hoax
- Climb Up On My Music
- Sugar Man
- Establishment Blues
- Forget It
Scan of the sound engineer’s set list, dated and autographed.
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
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.
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.Beau
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