Rodriguez Video: Live at Pohoda 2018

Rodriguez – Live at Pohoda 2018

The story of Sixto Rodriguez can be boldly called one of the most powerful in the history of music. His songs were copied by millions, they inspired anti-apartheid warriors, and legends were being told about him, while he was working at construction sites back home. One of the best songwriters from the end of the hippie era has finally earned the merited recognition thanks to the Oscar documentary “Searching for Sugar Man”. We are very happy that Pohodans were able to enjoy his performance on Pohoda 2018. https://www.pohodafestival.sk/en/

Rodriguez History: Australian Tour 1979

“…the stuff that dreams are made of…”

Australia 1979 tour handbill - Front | Thanks to Cathy Woods
Australia 1979 tour handbill – Front | Thanks to Cathy Woods

TOUR DATES

  • March 15 – Dallas Brooks Hall, Melbourne
  • March 17 – Regent Theatre, Sydney
  • March 18 – Regent Theatre, Sydney
  • March 20 – Festival Hall, Brisbane
  • March 23 – Regent Theatre, Sydney
  • March 24 – Canberra Theatre, Canberra
  • March 26 – Festival Theatre, Adelaide
  • March 28 – Concert Hall, Perth
  • April 3 – Dallas Brooks Hall, Melbourne
  • April 6 – State Theatre, Sydney
  • April 7 – Civic Theatre, Newcastle (2 shows)
  • April 8 – Regent Theatre, Sydney

RODRIGUEZ ALIVE, RELEASED IN 1981

Live at the Regent Theatre, Sydney, March 17-18, 1979



MUSICIANS

Rodriguez: Vocals, Acoustic guitar
Steve Cooney: Guitar, mandolin (from Australia)
Doug McDonald: Drums (from New Zealand)
Jake Salazar: Bass
José Guadiana: Flute

Jake and José were Americans who left three-quarters of the way through the tour and were replaced by an Australian Joe Creighton on bass. The local boys all came from the Mark Gillespie Band who were the support act.

REVIEWS

…his aussie tour in 79 was an awesome experience…

Stuart, Australia, May 1998

We will never forget the atmosphere and power of Rodriguez first Australian performance at Melbourne’s Dallas Brooks Hall on 15 March, 1979. (We have the “Alive” record released here and treasure it)

Jason and Anne, Australia, April 1998

Sydney Morning Herald, 19th March 1979

Rodriguez – 10 years after
by Ted Robinson

Rodriguez Regent Theatre

Rodriguez’s first Sydney concert was the stuff that dreams are made of. A man lost in time and space he reeled on to the stage to pick up the threads of a 10-year old career. A generally young audience on Saturday embraced both the myth and the man supporting his every move with astonishing warmth. He was theirs and they were his. Not such an unusual occurrence or at least until you know the Rodriguez story. A decade ago he made a couple of records in the United States. They went unnoticed and he turned his thoughts to other things: an academic life, social work; and unsuccessfully running for both local and State office. Unbeknown to him, his records continued to sell… and sell in Australia, where until recently his background has remained a total mystery and the subject of much conjecture. He has long since passed the cult stage with gold records, a published anthology of his writing and now nationwide sold-out concerts. This huge success has something of the fairy tale about it. Not only for Rodriguez, but for the two young Australian promoters who have seemingly pulled off an enormous gamble… to play Svengali to his Trilby.

Rodriguez writes (or wrote) simple but often dark songs of street life, drug culture and street life love. His neon-lit world celebrates characters that would be equally at home in Damon Runyon or William Burroughs. Some songs take the form of powerful commentaries and some are merely musings, most seem to somehow, almost inexplicably, touch the emotional pressure points of a young middle-class white Australian audience. Technically the night was sometimes shaky but more sound than you might expect from someone who virtually hadn’t performed for eight years. Someone plucked from innocent obscurity and delivered to the pressures of expectation and anticipation that surrounds the living legend. Whoops of joy and recognition greeted the introduction to each song, often a chord, feel or broken arpeggio was enough for the identification.

Even when he faltered in the introduction to a song and had to start again the spell remained intact. Ovation poured on ovation. Rodriguez sang his songs, hunched over his guitar and drank nervously from empty cups. Finally he told his audience “after ten years you gotta be kidding… I’m just an everyday person”

Rodriguez has several more Sydney concerts at the Regent and State theatres.


The Australian, 19th March 1979

Nervous virtuoso
by Karen Hughes

Rodriguez was nervous. On Saturday night the house lights of the Regent Theatre dimmed and the band began to play but there was no sign of the tall, enigmatic Mexican singer. Suddenly from the wings he appeared, looking frail in a beige suit and open neck blue shirt carrying what appeared to be a student’s briefcase and a handful of music sheets. Hard core fans screamed, shouted and gleefully exchanged knowing smiles as Rodriguez, eyes downcast, but beaming excitedly, sat on his stool, turned side-on to the audience and after a sip of something soothing began the familiar opening to Street Boy. There was a collective sigh of relief as the phrases tumbled out with the same intensity that had enamoured listeners of his two solo albums. Obviously his talent had survived the changes of a decade completely intact.

Unused to playing large concert halls, Rodriguez managed to transform the Regent Theatre into a smoky intimate club. A kind of holy communion which only cult performers inspire was taking place…The only thing wrong was the singer’s own continuing nervousness — though he did eventually manage to move around the stage, face the audience and exchange jokes. Rodriguez sang and played his guitar with great authority and presence. The thunderous applause which greeted every number was modestly directed to his musicians. With him from America were Jake Salazar on bass guitar and José Guadiana on flute, though it was the Australians, guitarist and mandolin player Stephen Cluney (actually Cooney) and drummer Doug McDonald (both from the supporting Mark Gillespie Band), who provided the music’s real push.

Apart from a rare and strong empathy between performer and audience the music was the most important factor in the Rodriguez concert, a not insignificant fact in these days of glittering stage and lighting extravaganzas.


Perth 1979 I remember going to his Perth concert in 1979 because I loved Cold Fact. The concert was pretty disappointing and I said so in a review I wrote for the local evening newspaper, the Daily News. Rodriguez appeared to be right out of it, mumbling and carrying on like more excessively than Dylan in 1966. I wrote a scathing review which his daughter may have shown you. In hindsight, I should have been more tolerant. I look back on his music with great affection. I’m astonished and pleased to hear he is still on this earth and singing.

Arthur Hanlon, May 2000

Steve Cooney Fair play to you! I played guitar/ mandolin on the Australian tour in 1979 and my name is Cooney not Cluney! I was amazed at the Perth reviewer’s ‘repentence’!

My abiding memories of Rodriguez are his sensitivity and vulnerability. I particularly remember a delicate moment when a gentle breeze blew his lyric sheets around, but he caught them so delicately; he and the wind seemed to be really at one…

Steve (in Ireland), March 2001

My name is Jake Salazar. I am the bass player who went to Australia with Rodriguez the first time around in 1979. What an experience it was for all of us. I am ecstatic although not surprised that Rodriquez is still making music and doing well as an entertainer. I got an email from someone who stumbled upon my name while visiting a website pertaining to Rod.

It has been many years since that tour. I have nothing but admiration for him and feel honored to have worked with Rod. The thing we went through to prepare for that tour and the events leading to each concert were ritually rock and roll. Rod is a phenomenal song writer and composer. A composer who creates melodies that establishes lyrical visions.

I remember the afternoon José Guadiana who was on the tour asked me if I would join him and return back to the US on account of him and Rod having a fall out. I tried to change José’s mind and I also tried to talk to Rodriquez but to no avail so we were both asked to leave. Basically, Rodriguez fired us both in the middle of the tour. I have always regretted what happened. I enjoyed being around Rodriguez, Connie and the kids.

José Guadiana has since passed away and I haven’t done so bad after 3 Grammy Nominations as a record producer (1986, 1997 and most recently in 1999). I really hope that Rodriquez continues writing and performing his great songs. I will always be a fan and a friend. I would enjoy to someday jam with him again.

Jake Salazar, USA, April 2001

Rodriguez History: 41 Years Ago he was touring Australia

Poster supplied by Alison Elliott, October 2022
Poster supplied by Alison Elliott, October 2022

I have very little information about this tour. I know that Rodriguez played on the same bill as Midnight Oil (at The Tanelorn Festival) and that the album Alive, recorded in 1979, was released to coincide with this tour.

Brian Currin

Midnight Oil: I feel that Midnight Oil is a top band. I first watched them perform in 1981. I witnessed their powerful stage performance at past two in the morning in the freezing cold of the Australian wind. It was so cold that as Peter Garrett performed steam was rising from his head. It was almost phantom-like. He is musical, political and international. I also love the Stones. For me, Mick Jagger is king, but Peter Garrett is also high on the list of music aristocracy. I’ve been lucky to have been backstage with Midnight Oil on several occasions. We were on the same bill in Australia in 1981 … it was a trip!

Rodriguez, 1997

I think he is speaking about Tanelorn. The Oils playing at 2am, I remember the steam rising from Garretts bald head too. That 12km dirt road into the festival took us over 6 hours drive on that Friday night but we got there in perfect time to see Rodriguez perform.

Alison Elliott, October 2022

Canberra: I went to see Rodriguez in 1981, it was in Canberra at the Canberra Theatre. He appeared on stage with a support guitarist who’s name escapes me. There was no support acts at all, just Rodriguez. I remember it being an eerie/ chilling experience listening to this extraordinary artist.

Mark Hohmuth, August 2000
Ticket supplied by Mark Hohmuth
Ticket supplied by Mark Hohmuth

TOUR DATES

OCT 20 1981 – Canberra Theatre, Canberra, Australia

OCT 11 1981 – Brisbane Festival Hall, Brisbane, Australia

OCT 10 1981 – Brisbane Festival Hall, Brisbane, Australia

OCT 7 1981 – Hobart Town Hall, Hobart, Australia

OCT 2 1981 – Tanelorn Music Festival 1981

SEP 26 1981 – Bridgeway Hotel, Adelaide, Australia

SEP 25 1981 – Stage Door, Adelaide, Australia

SEP 23 1981 – Ferntree Gully Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

SEP 19 1981 – Commodore Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

SEP 17 1981 – Prince of Wales Showgrounds, Bendigo, Australia

SEP 12 1981 – Royal Antler Hotel, Sydney, Australia

SEP 11 1981 – ANU Bar & Refectory, Canberra, Australia

Information from Setlist.fm


TOURS


More Rodriguez Tour Dates at Setlist.fm

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

    Encores:

  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.
“..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

Rodriguez to perform during The Cabot’s virtual 100th anniversary celebration

by Blake Maddux, Correspondent,
WickedLocal.com

Rodriguez to perform during The Cabot's virtual 100th anniversary celebration
Rodriguez to perform during The Cabot’s virtual 100th anniversary celebration

Sixto Díaz Rodriguez, the previously obscure (to Americans, at least) subject of the Oscar-winning 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” had been scheduled to play at The Cabot this past April. In what proved to be an optimistic assessment of COVID-19’s staying power, the show was rescheduled for June.

Alas, his visit to Beverly is not among those that are now on the 2021 calendar.

That’s because the singer-songwriter – whose preternatural talent was captured on the early 1970s albums “Cold Fact” and “Coming from Reality” – has been tapped as one of many marquee performers participating in The Cabot’s 100th anniversary virtual celebration on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Though the Herald Citizen’s interview with Rodriguez was conducted by phone in February with the plan of previewing his spring concert, much of what was discussed still serves the same purpose for next week’s celebratory event.

The Detroit native described his family as “musical people who danced and sang.” Thus, Rodriguez grew up in a household of people who played music themselves rather than listening to records on a turntable. “I think they were more live,” he explained.

Mississippi-born electric blues guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Reed is the one specific artist Rodriguez names when asked about his influences. However, he tried to understand the style of “anyone playing guitar,” including folk artists who didn’t “write only boy-girl songs.”

On that latter point, Rodriguez aimed to “broaden the scope” as a lyricist when he began composing songs as a teenager.

“I’m Mexican, you know, so English is my second language,” he said.

“I have a lot respect for the English language … I play with the words,” he added, affirming his interest in how words can be manipulated and used to mean different things.

“Literature is based on experience and personal interpretation,” he also averred, indirectly describing his approach to lyric writing.

Statements like this make it unsurprising that the 78-year-old has a degree in philosophy (from Detroit’s Wayne State University, which he has long lived a few blocks from) and profoundly admires the American philosopher, psychologist, and Harvard professor William James.

“He was very optimistic,” Rodriguez said of the founder of pragmatism. “I’m optimistic. I want to live to be 350 years old. But like you, I can only do one day at a time.”

While this might be true on a personal level, Rodriguez’s lyrics are frequently far from Pollyannish with regard to societal or political concerns. For example, his 1970 song “This Is Not a Song, It’s an Outburst: or, The Establishment Blues” includes lyrics such as “Public gets irate/but forgets the vote date,” “gun sales are soaring/housewives find life boring,” and “Adultery plays the kitchen/bigot cops nonfiction.”

The recent election was nine months away when the conversation happened. As would be expected of a self-described “musico-politico” who has run for local offices in the past, Rodriguez had some thoughts on the matter.

“I’m supporting Bernie Sanders,” he shared. “I made posters for him and I carry them around.”

Asked about the then-non-lame duck Oval Office occupant, he responded, “My first line of the show is, ‘I have something to say to the commander-in-chief.’ Then I put on my hat and I shake my head down. That’s what I think of this administration.”

Expert songwriting and sage-like wisdom aside, Rodriguez is a modest and unassuming human being. That likely comes from decades of being more or less forgotten as a musician (though not everywhere, as the documentary makes abundantly clear) despite his immense talent.

Eight years of previously unexpected time in the spotlight and the economic windfall brought about by extensive touring has done nothing to change this.

“I put a roof on my house. I got new floors and new doors,” is his answer to whether he has afforded himself any indulgences. “I’m proud of the place.”

This is the same house seen in “Searching for Sugar Man,” and which a 2013 MLive article reports his having paid $50 for in 1976.

A Spoonful Of Sugar And James returns to the Alma Café in Mowbray on Friday Sept 27th at 8pm

Sugar and James

A Spoonful Of Sugar And James returns to the  Alma Café in Mowbray on Friday Sept 27th at 8pm. Booking is as always absolutely essential by phone on  021 685 7377. 50 seats only.

This innovative, informative and slightly irreverent performance sees the acclaimed South African singer-songwriter, James Stewart, joining Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, the man behind the rediscovery of Sixto Rodriguez and the Oscar-winning documentary, “Searching For Sugar Man”, to share their respective stories and play and sing some great Rodriguez and South African classic songs.

www.SugarMan.org

A Spoonful Of Sugar And James returns to the Alma Café in Mowbray on Friday Sept 27th at 8pm

Sugar and James

A Spoonful Of Sugar And James returns to the  Alma Café in Mowbray on Friday Sept 27th at 8pm. Booking is as always absolutely essential by phone on  021 685 7377. 50 seats only.

This innovative, informative and slightly irreverent performance sees the acclaimed South African singer-songwriter, James Stewart, joining Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, the man behind the rediscovery of Sixto Rodriguez and the Oscar-winning documentary, “Searching For Sugar Man”, to share their respective stories and play and sing some great Rodriguez and South African classic songs.

www.SugarMan.org

A Spoonful of Sugar and James at The Glencairn Hotel, 31st August 2019

Sugar & James Glencairn

A Spoonful Of Sugar & James
The Glencairn Hotel
31 August

It’s been called “The Greatest Music story of the past 50 years”, the story of this wonderful and talented musician and his journey to his well-deserved and long-overdue fame. But enough about James Stewart 😉 In this innovative, informative and slightly irreverent show, James joins Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, the person behind the rediscovery of Sixto Rodriguez and “Searching For Sugar Man”, the Oscar-winning documentary about the whole story, as the two music journeymen tell their respective tales and play and sing some of the most seminal Rodriguez and South African classic songs. Willem Moller will add his special soulful flair on guitar.

Book tickets here http://bit.ly/SugarJamesGlencairn

Rodriguez Popular in China

Letter from a Chinese Fan:

Dear Mr. Rodriguez and his friends

I am a fan from China. I would like to know when and where Rodriguez will perform next, and how can I reserve tickets?

I’m also very, very curious about whether Rodriguez would consider coming to China for a show. There are so many people here who love his music and his singing. We sincerely expect him to perform in China, which will be a historic moment!

Sincerely,
Yucca

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