Please join us in wishing Rodriguez a Happy Birthday on the occasion of his 80th Birthday which falls on July 10th!
On behalf of all of us at the official Rodriguez website, Sugarman.org, we send our warmest wishes to Rodriguez and we hope that he has a wonderful day celebrating with his family, and that he is blessed with a Peaceful, Joyful, and Healthy year!
For all of his fans around the world, who would like to join us in sending warm wishes to Rodriguez, please feel free to do so by posting your messages here: https://www.facebook.com/SugarMan.org/
Sending Our Warmest Regards and Greeting to you all, from South Africa!
It was a hot summer in 1984 in Johannesburg when Little Steven (aka Miami Steve van Zandt) looked straight into my eyes through the lens of my camera. He was listening to the live recording of my band, All Night Radio, and I could see he was into it. His leopard print coat, snakeskin boots and silk bandanna were all too hot for the Johannesburg summer heat, but he looked like the coolest person I had ever seen.
The UN cultural boycott of South Africa was in place, and he was visiting South Africa to see for himself what was happening in the country. Voice of America was a political album, and tracks like “Checkpoint Charlie” and “Los Desaparecidos” dealt with the regimes of East Germany and Argentina. The Sun City album would become Little Steven’s natural progression of that work, and after Peter Gabriel’s “Biko”, one of the most significant protest songs against apartheid.
I thought Steve would be cool with helping me get further up the road. He was, and he suggested we record with the engineer who had just finished his new album, and which I thought sounded great. Six weeks later we were in UCA studios in Cape Town with John Rollo, the engineer on Voice of America, and long-time associate of The Kinks. I had left NYC, figuring that recording and gigging with the great musicians I knew back home would break us through to some sort of recognition. John knew how to make a live rock ’n’ roll record, and we were ready, after a year of gigging in clubs. We stripped the UCA studio bare, brought up the freight lift, put the drums near its metal mouth, stripped off the toms and we rocked. Ten days later we were mixing at the House of Music New Jersey, and in August 1984 All Night Radio made its radio airplay debut.
We brought in our great drummer, Richard “Dish” Devey along for the tour and rehearsed on the stage of the now-defunct Three Arts Theatre where I had seen Ray Charles, José Feliciano and Tina Turner from backstage, with my school buddy, Dereck Quibell, the theatre owners’ son.
We hit the road for a national tour, and from where I was sitting, behind the wheel of a VW panel van, the future looked great.
FEBRUARY 2019: “You’ve got songs, Stevie, and before I see you you’ll write more. Just be in Nashville the last three days of February next year, and we’ll make a record”. I put down the phone. Kevin (Shirley) was in Abbey Road studios with Joe Bonamassa, and I had a year to get myself together before leap year 2020 rolled around. The music started playing in my head again.
Steve Louw is a South African singer-songwriter and rock musician. Winner of Best South African Rock Act, and a member of the SA Rock Hall of Fame, Steve is one of SA rock’s most talented and unassuming singer-songwriters.He and his band Big Sky appeared on stage with Rodriguez on the sold-out South African tour in 1998.
On a Saturday night, many gathered for a performance of the legendary singer-songwriter and Oscar winner, Rodriguez, at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the Cal State L.A. campus in East Los Angeles. Searching for Sugar Man documented Rodriguez’s story of being a Mexican-American songwriter whose two early ’70s albums bombed in America, but who wound up finding a huge audience in Apartheid-era South Africa. Sixto Rodriguez had no idea he was a legend there until a group of fans found him on the Internet and brought him to the country for a series of triumphant concerts.
A little before 8:00 p.m., attendees were enjoying the reception right outside the theater, complete with a taco stand, beverages and a DJ. But those who were seated promptly at 8:00 p.m. were treated to a stunning performance by singer-songwriter Vera Sola.
“Hello Los Angeles,” Vera Sola greeted the seated audience. “We’re about to have a discussion…” she trailed into song. She played a solo set with plenty of arpeggiated guitar and deep vocals. She wandered and slinked about the stage, never missing a beat as she pierced the audience with her intense gaze. She performed songs from her upcoming album Shades and took time between each song to share a little bit about them. “A lot of these songs are funny,” she shared after a particularly dark love song, “Small Minds,” to which the crowd laughed. But the highlight of her set was a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” where she turned disco into folk and showcased the full range of her vocals, from trembling to belting. The crowd cheered during and after the song and she replied, “That’s how I do a disco song.” She performed a couple more songs, each with their own unique story—one about a woman she met in Mississippi named Honey, and another dedicated to her sister with powerful lyrics like, “got the universe inside my body.”
While the audience waited eagerly for Rodriguez to take the stage, a performer by the name of S.K. took the stage, guitar in hand, and performed a couple original songs including “Don’t Go Changing” and “Solution,” as well as a couple covers the crowd got into including Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul” and New Kingdom’s “Mexico or Bust.”
Shortly after, Rodriguez took the stage with the help of his posse, and the crowd cheered as loud as they could. Rodriguez took a seat and was left solo with his guitar on stage. “I always check the tuning—trust no one,” he shared as he re-tuned his guitar. Some phrases he repeated throughout the night included, “I was born in 1942,” “I’m a musical activist” and “I have a few words for the commander in chief,” just to paint a picture. The crowd took the liberty of speaking back to Rodriguez whenever there was a pause. “Rodriguez for President!” One man said, which was followed by cheers. He played a few covers throughout the set, opening with Elton John’s “Your Song” and “Sixteen Tons” by Merle Travis and later playing The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” He performed mostly solo, sometimes accompanied by tambourine or maracas.
Rodriguez shared openly about his political views and activism, sharing that he’d ran for mayor of Detroit, his city of origin. He also shared his distaste for current events, “how about the 300 priests in Pennsylvania?” The crowd groaned along. But he also kept things light at times, joking, “I want to be treated like an ordinary legend.” The crowd hooted and cheered along to songs like “The Establishment Blues,” moving their heads along to the rhythm. “Would you like to know my thesis?” Rodriguez asked the crowd, who were on the edge of their seats hanging on to every word… ” O.R. Oppression will result in revolution!” One audience member replied, “help us, Rodriguez, you’re our only hope!” “Power to the people!” He replied as he got ready for the next song, “You’d Like to Admit It.” About halfway into the set, he put down his hat and put on goggles, which he left on for the rest of the set. “It was only when I left Detroit that I realized people smiled,” he chuckled. The crowd started shouting out the cities they were from… “Berlin!” “East Los!” and Rodriguez looked around the audience, listening with intent. Some sang along to “Sugarman,” one of the more popular songs of the night. Stage lights danced around the audience. After the song, Rodriguez warned, “Sugarman is a descriptive song, not prescriptive. Stay off drugs!”
The stage lights made it appear as though he was playing in a pool of water with flowers bobbing on the surface, adding a soothing element to his folk style performance. Before going into another popular song, “I Wonder,” he shared some words of wisdom: “It’s not kill or be killed, it’s live and let live.” The crowd sang and clapped along. He closed the set with “Forget It,” and everyone waited eagerly for an encore, which they received. He closed the night with a final, “I love you guys and my love is real,” leaving his message of love in the air all night.
Your Song (Elton John cover)
Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis cover)
Inner City Blues
Let’s Think About Living (Bob Luhman cover)
This In Not A Song, It’s An Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues
[Please scroll down for Google’s translation from German to English]
Eigentlich wollte ich einkaufen gehen. Dann sehe ich im Schaufenster dieses Platten-Cover. Im nächsten Moment saugt mich ein Zeittunnel ein. Ich treffe auf einen totgeglaubten Superstar, Südafrika in den Seventies, treue Fans und ein Stück Musikgeschichte: Searching for Sugar Man
„Was sind die wichtigsten Sehenswürdigkeiten von Kapstadt“, frage ich Stephen “Sugar” Segerman. Er lacht. „Der Tafelberg, Robben Island und Mabu Vinyl“, antwortet er und guckt mich aus seinen großen Brillenaugen an. „Kein Scheiß, wir haben hier richtig viele Besucher“, fügt er grinsend hinzu. „Besonders seit Sugar Man…“
Es gibt wahrscheinlich keinen Ort auf der Welt, der mehr über Sugar Man erzählen kann als dieser Plattenladen
Zurück in die Zukunft
Mabu Vinyl ist Sugars Plattenladen. Gemeinsam mit einem Kumpel hat er ihn aufgebaut. Ein paar Regale Bücher, ein paar CDs und DVDs, vor allem aber Vinyl. Überall Kartons mit Langspielplatten. Abertausende! Sein Freund Brian arbeitet auch hier. Sugar Man hat sie zusammengebracht. Und wenn sie von Sugar Man erzählen, dann ist das die Geschichte, die ihr Leben verändert hat.
Ich kenne diese Geschichte schon, als ich den Laden betrete. Ich kenne sie aus dem Film „Searching for Sugar Man“. Einer der besten Dokumentarfilme aller Zeiten, finde ich, und eine fantastische musikalische Entdeckung obendrein. Ohne den Film wäre ich niemals auf Sugar Man alias Sixto Rodriguez gestoßen, und das wäre jammerschade, denn dieser Sixto Rodriguez kreiert nicht nur geniale Songs, er hat auch wirklich was zu sagen. Trotzdem verschwindet er jahrzehntelang in der Versenkung – vielleicht, weil er einen spanischen Namen hat oder weil er aus den Slums von Detroit kommt. Doch dann macht das Schicksal einen dieser irrwitzigen Schlenker und katapultiert ihn aus dem Nichts wieder auf die Bühne, wie im Märchen.
Dieses Wunder verdankt er drei treuen südafrikanischen Fans: Sugar, Brian und Craig. Zwei von ihnen stehen jetzt vor mir und erinnern sich, wie das damals war. Auf einmal ist aus dem Film Wirklichkeit geworden.
Stephen „Sugar“ Segerman in seinem Plattenladen: Vom Fan zum Musikunternehmer
Searching for Sugar Man
„Sugar man, won’t you hurry, Cos I’m tired of these scenes, For a blue coin won’t you bring back, All those colors to my dreams“
Sugar Man, der Koks-Dealer aus Rodriguez‘ gleichnamigem Song, wird zum Synonym für eine unglaubliche Gralssuche. Sie beginnt 1997. Rodriguez steckt zu dieser Zeit in einer Sozialwohnung in Detroit. Er entrümpelt Wohnungen, jobt auf dem Bau oder an der Tankstelle. Seine Gitarre hat er immer dabei, weil die sonst gestohlen wird. Ab und zu tritt er mit ihr in Kneipen auf.
Mit dem Musik-Business hat er nichts mehr zu tun, nachdem Anfang der 1970er Jahre zwei Alben gefloppt sind – in den USA! Was Rodriguez nicht weiß: Südafrika ist total verrückt nach ihm! Dort wird er zum Helden der Anti-Apartheid-Bewegung, seine Songs treffen das Mark einer ganzen Protestgeneration. Auch Sugar, Brian und Craig hängen am Radio, wenn Titel wie „Sugar Man“, „Cause“ oder „I wonder“ gespielt werden, tauschen Kassettenaufnahmen aus und glauben wie alle anderen, dass Rodriguez sich wahlweise auf der Bühne erschossen hat, verbrannt ist oder an einer Überdosis zugrunde ging.
Die Legende vom frühen Tod des Lieblingsstars hält sich im medial abgeschotteten Südafrika mehr als zwei Jahrzehnte lang. Dann fällt das Apartheid-Regime und das Internet boomt, beides etwa zeitgleich. Anfang 1997 setzen Sugar und Brian unabhängig voneinander eine Website auf. Der eine will wissen, wie Rodriguez nun wirklich gestorben ist, der andere will ihm ein Denkmal setzen und alles über ihn herausfinden. Sie tun sich zusammen. Der dritte im Bunde ist Craig: DJ, Journalist und natürlich auch ein glühender Fan.
Von Anfang an dabei: Brian Currin am Tresen von Mabu Vinyl
Gemeinsam finden sie das Unglaubliche heraus: Rodriguez alias Sugar Man lebt! Was folgt, ist ein Jahr im Fieber. Schließlich machen sie sich auf die Reise und besuchen ihr Idol. Das Setting erinnert an die Weihnachtsgeschichte: Detroit ist Bethlehem, die schäbige Mietwohnung der Stall und die drei Südafrikaner sind die Könige aus dem Osten, die ihrem Heiland Ruhm, Glanz und Ehre darreichen.
Rodriguez nimmt die Gabe an. Gitarre spielen kann er noch und die harte Arbeit hat den 56-Jährigen in Form gehalten. Die Stimme ist auch noch da. So betritt er die Bühne.
When we were young – Rodriguez und seine Entdecker bei seinem ersten Konzert in Kapstadt 1998. Der zweite von links ist der Sugar Man selbst, rechts von ihm stehen Brian und Sugar
Neustart in Kapstadt
„Kapstadt ist Athen, Joburg ist Rom“, sagt Sugar selbstbewusst. Wenn es um Kultur geht, sieht er seine Heimatstadt klar vor Johannesburg oder Joburg, wie hier alle sagen. Kein Wunder also, dass der totgeglaubte Sugar Man seine Wiederauferstehung zuerst in Kapstadt feiert.
Brian kann sich noch genau daran erinnern. Am 2. März 1998 betritt Rodriguez in Kapstadt erstmals südafrikanischen Boden. Nur einen Tag später beginnen die Proben, und am 6. März bringt er das Velodrome in Bellville ganz im Osten der Stadt zum Beben. Was das beim Publikum auslöst, fängt die TV-Dokumentation „Dead Men Don’t Tour“ ein – ansatzweise jedenfalls.
Kapstadt steht Kopf. Dasselbe passiert in Johannesburg, Pretoria und Durban. Ganz Südafrika liegt dem Sugar Man zu Füßen. Und Rodriguez kommt wieder, mittlerweile fast jedes Jahr. Ende Januar ist der nächste Termin, die Konzerte sind fast alle ausverkauft. Mit dem Comeback in Kapstadt hat sich das Leben des Songwriters komplett geändert. Er tourt durch die ganze Welt, hat jetzt auch in seiner Heimat Erfolg und füllt die Arenen von den USA bis Japan. Für Sugar ist klar: Rodriguez ist „der größte alte neue Künstler auf dem Planeten“.
Sugar Man ändert alles
Sugar und Brian erzählen, als könnten sie immer noch nicht glauben, was da passiert ist. „Du musst dir mal überlegen“, sagt Brian, „wir waren einfach nur Fans. Keiner von uns war im Musikgeschäft“. Doch die unverhoffte Begegnung mit Rodriguez macht aus ihnen neue Menschen.
Gemeinsam starten sie 1999 das E-Magazin „The South African Rock Music Digest„, vier Jahre später steigt Sugar mit der Gründung von Mabu Vinyl ins Plattengeschäft ein. Brian, immer schon ein wandelndes Musiklexikon, verdient da noch seine Brötchen als Sales Manager bei Panasonic. 2007 zieht er den Stecker und steigt aus. Heute steht er jeden Tag im Plattenladen, unterhält eigene Websites und Online Shops und bestreitet zwei Musiksendungen im Internetradio.
Vinyl-Spezialist Brian findet jede Platte. Im April letzten Jahres setzte Mashable den Kapstädter Plattenladen Mabu Vinyl auf die Liste der 12 weltbesten Vinyl Stores
Dann taucht aus heiterem Himmel Malik Bendjelloul auf. Der schwedische Dokumentarfilmer hat von der wundersamen Suche nach Sugar Man gehört und will aus dem Plot einen Zehnminüter machen. Auf Zehnminüter ist er nämlich spezialisiert. Als er in Kapstadt ankommt, hat er nur eine Kamera samt Kamerafrau dabei, sonst nichts. Low Budget heißt die Devise.
Doch aus dem Zehnminüter werden rasch 15, 20, 25 Minuten, und immer noch ist der Film nicht fertig. Malik Bendjelloul ist fasziniert von dieser Musik, die mühelos Jahrzehnte und Weltmeere überbrückt. Er erliegt mehr und mehr dieser verrückten Geschichte mit ihrem theatralischen Knalleffekt.
Dazu kommt Sugar, der den Regisseur mit seiner Begeisterung ansteckt. In Südafrika ist Sugar Fahrer, Location Scout und Caterer gleichzeitig. Aus der Zusammenarbeit wird Freundschaft. Am Ende steckt so viel Herzblut in dem Film, dass die Preise nur so hageln. Sogar einen Oskar gibt es, 2013, in der Kategorie „Bester Dokumentarfilm“.
Der Film „Searching for Sugar Man“ gibt dem Comeback von Rodriguez noch einmal einen enormen Schub. Und Kapstadt bekommt dadurch eine neue Attraktion: die Fahrt vom Stadtteil Clifton an der Küste entlang. „Die Route im Film nachfahren, das machen viele“, erzählt Sugar. Und viele kommen auch zu ihm und Brian in den Plattenladen – nicht zufällig wie ich, sondern weil sie als Sugar-Man-Fans auf der Suche nach Devotionalien sind.
Unter den vielen Postern und Karten, mit denen die Wände von Mabu Vinyl gepflastert sind, hängt auch ein unscheinbares, handgemaltes Blatt mit der Aufschrift „Malik was here“. Darauf ist ein Zettel gepinnt: R.I.P. 13 May 2014. Malik Bendjelloul ist tot? „Selbstmord“, murmelt Sugar, „keiner weiß, warum“. Seine Augen hinter den Brillengläsern glänzen feucht. Ich frage nicht weiter.
„Malik was here“ – jedes Märchen hat seine traurige Seite
“Sugar Man – the life, death and resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez” heißt das erst letzten September erschienene Buch, in dem alles über die “ Great Rodriguez Hunt“, die Jagd nach Rodriguez, steht. Geschrieben haben es Stephen “Sugar” Segerman und Craig Bartholomew-Strydom. Und Brian Currin? Der winkt ab: „Ich stehe nicht gern im Rampenlicht“, sagt er.
Wer das Buch bestellen will, kann das hier tun. Wer lieber online stöbert: www.sugarman.org ist die ultimative Website zum Thema. Dort gibt es auch jede Menge Infos zum Film „Searching for Sugar Man“.
Die nächste Kapstadt-Reise ist schon geplant? Dann unbedingt zu Mabu Vinyl in die Rheede Street gehen (kleine Querstraße zwischen Kloof Street und Orange Street im Bezirk Gardens). In dem Stadtteil ging’s mal sehr alternativ zu, mittlerweile hat die Hipster-Dichte zugenommen. Das Viertel ist reich an netten Restaurants und Cafés, außerdem ist das Programmkino Labia einen Besuch wert.
Actually I wanted to go shopping. Then I look in the window of this album cover. The next moment I sucked up a time tunnel. I meet a presumed dead superstar, South Africa in the Seventies, loyal fans and a piece of music history: Searching for Sugar Man
“What are the main attractions of Cape Town” I ask Stephen “Sugar” Segerman. He laughs. “The TableMountain, Robben Iceland and Mabu Vinyl,” he answers, and looks at me with his big eyes glasses. “No shit, we have right here a lot of visitors,” he adds with a grin. “Especially since Sugar Man …”
There is probably no place in the world who can tell more about Sugar Man as this record store
Back in the future
Mabu Vinyl is Sugars record store. Together with a friend he has built it. A few shelves books, a couple of CDs and DVDs, and especially vinyl. Everywhere boxes of LPs. But thousands! His friend Brian also works here. Sugar Man has brought them together. And if they tell of Sugar Man, that’s the story that has changed their lives.
I know this story, as I enter the store. I know it from the movie “Searching for Sugar Man”. One of the best documentaries of all time, I think, and a fantastic musical discovery into the bargain. Without the film, I would never have one alias encountered Sugar Sixto Rodriguez, and that would be a shame, because this Sixto Rodriguez created not only ingenious songs, he really know what to say.Nevertheless, he disappears from the scene for decades – perhaps because he has a Spanish name or because he comes from the slums of Detroit. But then fate makes one of these absurd Schlenker and catapulted him out of nowhere back on stage, like a fairy tale.
This miracle he owes three loyal South African fans: Sugar, Brian and Craig. Two of them are now in front of me and remember what it was like. Suddenly has become a reality from the movie.
Stephen “Sugar” Segerman in his record store: From Fan to music entrepreneurs
Searching for Sugar Man
“Sugar is, will not you hurry, Cos I’m tired of thesis scenes, For a blue coin will not you bring back, All those colors to my dreams”
Sugar Man, the coke-dealer from Rodriguez ‘eponymous song, is a synonym for an incredible Grail quest. It starts in 1997. Rodriguez infected at this time in a council house in Detroit. He cleared out apartments, Job T on the building or at the gas station. He has his guitar always with you, because that is otherwise stolen. From time to time he comes with her on in pubs.
With the music business, he has nothing more to do, after the early 1970s, two albums flopped – in the USA! What Rodriguez does not know South Africa is totally crazy about him! There he becomes a hero of the anti-apartheid movement, his songs strike at the heart of a whole generation of protest. Also Sugar, Brian and Craig depend on the radio, when songs like “Sugar Man”, “Cause” or “I Wonder” played, exchange cassette recordings and feel like any other that Rodriguez has either shot on the stage, is burned or from an overdose perished.
The legend of the early death of his favorite stars keeps more than two decades in the medial insular South Africa. Then the apartheid regime and the Internet falls booming, both about the same time. In early 1997 set Sugar and Brian independently on a website. One wants to know how Rodriguez is now truly dead, the other wants to put a monument to him and find out everything about him. Do yourself together. The third member is Craig: DJ, journalist and also an ardent fan.
From the very beginning: Brian Currin at the counter by Mabu Vinyl
Together they find out the unbelievable: Rodriguez aka Sugar Man alive! What follows is a year in fever. Finally, they set off on the journey and visit their idol. The setting is reminiscent of the Christmas story: Detroit is Bethlehem, the shabby apartment for rent of the stall and the three South Africans are the kings from the east, the proffering their Savior fame, glory and honor.
Rodriguez accepts the gift. He can play the guitar yet and the hard work has kept the 56-year-olds in the form. The voice is also still there. So he takes the stage.
When we were young – Rodriguez and his discovery in his first concert in Cape Town in 1998. The second from the left of the Sugar Man is himself, to his right are Brian and Sugar
Restart in Cape Town
“Cape Town is Athens, Joburg is Rome,” Sugar says confidently. When it comes to culture, he sees his hometown clearly in Johannesburg or Joburg, all say how here. No wonder, then, that believed dead Sugar Man celebrating his resurrection first in Cape Town.
Brian can remember still exactly. On 2 March 1998 in Cape Town for the first time Rodriguez enters South African soil. Just one day later start the sample, and on March 6 he brings the Velodrome in Bellville in the far east of the town to the quake. What triggers the audience, captures the TV documentary “Dead Men Do not Tour” a – to some extent anyway.
Cape Town is upside down. The same happened in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban. Southern Africa is the Sugar Man’s feet. And Rodriguez is coming back, now almost every year. The end of January is the next appointment, the concerts are almost all sold out. With the comeback in Cape Town, the life of the songwriter has completely changed. He is touring the world, has now also in his home success and filled the arenas from the USA to Japan. For Sugar is clear: Rodriguez is “the largest old new artist on the planet”.
Sugar Man changes everything
Sugar and Brian tell, as they could still not believe what has happened since. “You have to change your mind again,” says Brian, “we were just fans. Neither of us was in the music business. ” But the unexpected encounter with Rodriguez makes them new men.
Together they start 1999, the e-magazine “The South African Rock Music Digest”, four years later Sugar rises with the establishment of Mabu Vinyl into a plate business. Brian, always a walking music lexicon, there still earned his living as a sales manager at Panasonic. In 2007, he pulls the plug and gets out. Today, he is every day in the record store, maintains its own websites and online shops and denies two music programs on internet radio.
Vinyl Specialist Brian finds each plate. In April last year Mashable put the Capetonian record store Mabu Vinyl on the list of 12 world’s best vinyl Stores
Then appears out of the blue Malik Bendjelloul. The Swedish documentary maker has one heard of the miraculous Search Sugar and wants to make the plot a Zehnminüter. On Zehnminüter he is namely specialized. When he arrives in Cape Town, he has only one camera case with the camera woman, nothing else. Low Budget is the motto.
But from the Zehnminüter be quickly 15, 20, 25 minutes and still is not the finished film. Malik Bendjelloul is fascinated by this music that effortlessly bridged decades and oceans. He succumbs more and more of this crazy story with her theatrical bang.
In addition Sugar, which infects the director with his enthusiasm. In South Africa Sugar driver, Location Scout and caterers at the same time. The collaboration is friendship. At the end is so much passion in the film that prices only hail that. Even an Oscar there, in 2013, in the category “Best Documentary”.
Movie Destination Cape Town
The film “Searching for Sugar Man” is the comeback of Rodriguez again a huge boost. And Cape Town gets thereby a new attraction: the drive from Clifton district along the coast. “The route in the film descendants, which make a lot,” says Sugar. And many come to him and Brian to the record store – not by chance as I do, but because they are as Sugar-Man fans in search of memorabilia.
Among the many posters and cards with which the walls of Mabu Vinyl are paved, and a nondescript, handpainted leaf hangs with the inscription “Malik was here”. Then a list is pinned: RIP 13 May 2014. Malik Bendjelloul is dead? “Suicide,” mutters Sugar, “no one knows why.” His eyes behind his glasses shine moist. I do not ask further.
“Malik was here” – every fairy tale has its sad side
“Sugar Man – The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez” is the only book published last September, where everything on the “Great Rodriguez Hunt”, the hunt for Rodriguez, stands. Written have Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew-Strydom. And Brian Currin? The dismissive gesture: “I do not like to stand in the limelight,” he says.
Who wants to order the book, which can here do. Those who prefer Browsed online:www.sugarman.org is the ultimate site on the topic. There is also plenty of information about the film “Searching for Sugar Man”.
The next trip is already planned and Cape Town? Then necessarily Mabu Vinyl go into Rheede Street (small crossroads between Kloof Street and Orange Street Gardens in the district). In the district’s times went too alternatively, meanwhile the hipster density has increased. The neighborhood is full of nice restaurants and cafes, as well as the program cinema Labia worth a visit.
South Africa’s biggest, fully orchestrated, technologically sophisticated rock musical production, Rockville 2069, will have its world première with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) at Artscape Opera House in August.
Set at the 100th anniversary of Woodstock, Rockville 2069 is a love story set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world. Featuring a cast of 25 with lead singer Joseph Clark (of Queen at the Opera) and the Kyle Peterson seven-piece rock band with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, it combines artists and musicians from different cultural and musical backgrounds to bring a new, sometimes discordant, always thrilling voice to the rock musical scene.
The lead roles will be played by Joseph Clark (Papa), Vicki Jayne (Mama), Stephan Van Huyssteen (JohnnyReb) and Josie Piers (Danielle). With fast moving scene changes, the use of 3D animation and a 100m2 LED screen, technology plays a key role in creating this believable, constantly shifting production.
Rockville 2069 has been in the making for five years and is the artistic brainchild of composer, Johnny Ray. The end result is an emotionally soaring journey of caution, hope, optimism, rebellion and joy which aims to transform and create music while sending a powerful message of change through a sustainable way of life.
The plot tells of an earth destroyed by man’s neglect and climate change. Only Rockville, a small archipelago of islands, survives and is now home to a group of peace-loving rockers, sound technicians and musicians.
“The addition of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra is a show-stopping element”, says Johnny Ray, “and we know that all theatre management eyes are on this production which we hope to take from Cape Town to the rest of the world.”
The glittering Red Carpet Première takes place on 30 August 2014 at Artscape, with the grand foyers themed out by Jay Jays and Bothners /Roland and the menu includes complimentary wine (Hill & Dale) and canapés.
Uber has partnered with Rockville 2069 and is offering a FREE ride to the value of R 200 to all new users. Simply sign up with Uber and use the promotional code RV2069 to travel to and from the concert in style.
Please Note: The credits are only valid for transport to and from the Rockville 2069 concert, remaining credits are not transferrable.
The shows will take place from 29 August – 7 September 2014. Tickets range from R 100 to R 290 and are available from Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421-7695. The Rockville 2069 graphic novel and CD are available through EMI or online at www.rockville2069.com and from The Greek Merchant at all the shows.
Glastonbury 2014: 19 Amazing New Acts You Can’t MissJohn Wizards The Cape Town-based act mixed traditional African influences, funk and gentle electronica on last year’s well-recieved self-titled debut LP. Reminding critics of everyone from Vampire Weekend to Parliament, we’ll just say they’re experts when it comes to magical, wide-eyed pop.
Malik Bendjelloul, the Swedish director of ‘Searching for Sugar Man’, has committed suicide aged 36. It’s just over a year since the documentary about folk musician Rodriguez won Bendjelloul an Oscar and captured the hearts of viewers all over the world. REBECCA DAVIS spoke to Bendjelloul’s subject and friend, Cape Town record-store owner Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman.
The last time I interviewed Stephen Segerman in his den in Oranjezicht, it was July 2012, just prior to the official release of Searching for Sugar Manin South Africa. At that time Segerman gave the impression of a man both bemused and exhilarated by the success of the film, in which he features prominently as one of two South Africans who made it their mission to track down Rodriguez.
Shortly before the interview, he’d been to the Sundance Film Festival with Bendjelloul and Rodriguez, where the film received a standing ovation. “It was just a magical night,” he told me at the time.
Watch: Searching for Sugar Man trailer
Almost two years later, the fairytale seemed even rosier. Searching for Sugar Man won the Best Documentary Oscar at the 2013 Academy Awards. Rodriguez, who languished in obscurity for years, today has fame and fortune locked down. It was the ultimate feel-good story.
And then, on Tuesday, shocking news broke: Bendjelloul, aged just 36, was dead.
“You know, with some people you have inklings and maybes. With Malik? Suicide? Impossible,” says Segerman, shaking his head. “I thought he must have died in his sleep or something. When I heard, well…” he trails off. “I’ve been seeing the comments. This dude had the world at his feet, he had an Oscar…”
Malik Bendjelloul was a teen actor in his native Sweden, starring in a show which Segerman describes as the Swedish version of America’s Family Ties. As an adult he worked as a TV reporter for Sweden’s public broadcaster, specialising in making short films about visiting rockstars. Then he left to travel the world, looking for richer stories.
Segerman first heard from Bendjelloul in late 2006, when he emailed the record-store owner to say that he was coming to Cape Town, and asked if they could meet. He had learnt about Segerman’s involvement in the Rodriguez tale through a piece in the Guardian, and wanted to hear more.
“At that stage we had a shop on the corner of Long Street with lekker big glass windows,” remembers Segerman. “I can still see him coming around the corner and saying: ‘Hello, I’m Malik!’”
“I met Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman, the guy who first started to look for Rodriguez in Cape Town, and when he told me the story I was just blown away. It was just so beautiful and touching. Just the one-sentence summary was pretty strong: ‘A man who doesn’t know that he is a superstar.’”
For his part, Segerman instantly warmed to the lanky Swede.
“He just had such a lovely energy: tall, bright-eyed…He reminded me of Tintin,” he says.
Segerman took him up Table Mountain and Bendjelloul filmed a short sequence of Segerman telling the story of the hunt for Rodriguez. Then he disappeared off to Sweden, and Segerman didn’t hear from him for six months. At that point, Bendjelloul emailed to say: that’s the story we like in Sweden.
Bendjelloul returned to Cape Town and shot a one-minute trailer in Segerman’s den. He took it to the Sheffield Documentary Festival, where aspirant filmmakers pitch their stories. Bendjelloul won. A full-length documentary was on the cards.
Segerman points to a photograph pinned to a cabinet. It shows Segerman, Bendjelloul and camera womanCamilla Skagerström. “That was the team,” he says. “Just them. They came here and shot, then went to Detroit. There was barely any budget. Just – excuse the cliché – passion.”
Photo: Stephen Segerman, cinematographer Camilla Skagerström, and filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, pictured in Segerman’s den in Cape Town.
In Detroit, there was the tricky business of persuading the reclusive Rodriguez to feature in the film at all. Bendjelloul worked his way in by meeting the musician’s family members one by one. He got his way eventually through sheer charm, Segerman says. Even so, filming Rodriguez had certain unique challenges. There’s a scene in the film where Rodriguez is fiddling with a video microphone while he talks. It still had to be used: there was no question of a do-over.
“There was always only gonna be one take,” Segerman chuckles. “No way was Rodriguez going to say all those things all over again.”
For over a year, Bendjelloul sat in his flat in Stockholm making the film. People promised funding and backed out. He ran out of money for animation, so he had to do the animation work himself. It’s the stuff of legends now that some scenes in the documentary had to be filmed using a $1 Super-8 iPhone app.
“That movie is sort of a bit jerry-built – kind of smashed together,” says Segerman. “I saw it for the first time and thought: That doesn’t look anything like movies I’ve checked, slick, beautifully-made documentaries!”
But the film’s sheer heart – and the incredible story it told – more than compensated for its technical weaknesses. Some suggested that the story was a little too incredible – that Bendjelloul had conveniently omitted aspects of the Rodriguez narrative that didn’t easily fit within the rags-to-riches trajectory.
“There were two main snipes about the film,” Segerman says today. “The first was that Rodriguez wasn’t actually an anti-Apartheid hero – which I never said. The other criticism is about Australia.” Bendjelloul’s documentary left out the fact that Rodriguez was aware that he had a major fan-base in Australia, and had toured there twice in the late 70s and early 80s.
“The simple explanation, which we spoke about, is that [Searching for Sugar Man] is about the search of two South Africans for Rodriguez,” Segerman says. “I found out about the Australian tour the night that I met Rodriguez for the first time, in March 1998. If I’d known, I would have tracked him through Australia! It was not part of our story.”
Segerman says Bendjelloul was unruffled by this criticism. “It made zero difference,” he says. “For him to create something which brought so much happiness into the world…Nothing could have bothered him about that.”
Segerman and Craig Bartholomew, the music journalist who also features in the documentary as instrumental in the hunt for Rodriguez, attended the Oscars with Bendjelloul last year.
From his wallet, Segerman extracts a piece of card on which he’d jotted down ideas for an acceptance speech for Bendjelloul, since the filmmaker hadn’t prepared anything.
“I’m superstitious about preparing speeches – this has been lucky for me,” it begins.
In the end, the laconic Swede didn’t need the prompt. “Oh boy!” Bendjelloul said when he won. “Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez!”
There’s a photo in Segerman’s den of the three men tux-ed up, Bendjelloul clutching his statuette, at the prestigious Vanity Fair after-party.
“Just on my left side, over there,” says Segerman, pointing at the photo, “there was this old American dude. I thought: who’s that? He obviously wasn’t an actor.” He pauses. “It was Buzz Aldrin. For a baby-boomer like me, you don’t get any better than that. I met Buzz Aldrin, and then I went home.”
Interviewed by the New York Times in May last year as part of a list of ’20 Filmmakers To Watch’, Bendjelloul hinted at the surreal aspects of having made such a successful first film.
“Since everything was the first time for me, it was a bit confusing to understand what last year was all about,” Bendjelloul admitted. “To travel around with your film is a weird experience. Filmmakers are not musicians, they can’t perform their film; you don’t even need to load the projector. It was weird to think that that year was the reward for the work. But now I realise that it’s this year that is the reward. To feel free to do exactly what you want to do without feeling too scared that your ideas won’t interest anyone or worry about the rent or having to deal with people who think they know better.”
After the Oscars, Segerman says Bendjelloul was besieged with offers.
“Malik had been turning down a huge amount of stuff. He had a lot of offers of TV commercials, that kind of thing, but he wasn’t the type of guy to sell out. Your first full-length movie wins an Oscar! What the hell do you do for a second?”
In fact, for his next major project, Segerman said Bendjelloul had turned again to a South African story. He was working on a screenplay for a feature film inspired by the experiences of conservationist Lawrence Anthony, dubbed ‘the elephant whisperer’ for his work with traumatised elephants.
“He loved South Africa,” Segerman says. “I always say he should have been an honorary Capetonian. You have no idea how many people found out about Cape Town from his movie. He made it look so beautiful.”
Bendjelloul didn’t let his newfound fame go to his head, according to Segerman. “He always looked a little bit shy, a little bit awkward. It’s not an easy thing to deal with.”
Segerman was last in touch with the filmmaker last Monday, when the two had an email exchange about a legal dispute unfolding between two of Rodriguez’s old record labels. He says Bendjelloul gave no sign at all that anything was emotionally amiss.
“You know, through the film… My little record shop became a great little record shop. Rodriguez found his destiny. Malik, I thought, had found his,” Segerman says.
“You put something like that out there. The joy that I’ve got out of it – how much more so for Malik? And it wasn’t enough.” DM
We’re almost halfway through 2014 and Cape Town is still enjoying the spoils of the momentum she’s gathered from numerous international press mentions from the New York Times to TripAdvisor and The Telegraph. Cape Town is now firmly on the world map as a destination unmissable. Table Mountain now joins the likes of the Statue of Liberty, The Gherkin, the Eifel Tower, Burj Khalifa, Sydney Opera House and the Shanghai Tower; a newly tacked on natural edifice on the tapestry of the world’s iconic cities.
But what lies beyond its beautiful mountain, historical Robben Island, wine regions and most popular sights? With this comprehensive list of alternative things to do in Cape Town we encourage you to explore the other side of the city. Discover Cape Town’s unique culture, people and history through outdoor activities, restaurants and bars and museums. We help you uncover 40 places around Cape Town to eat, play, shop, celebrate and relax, as well as an attractive smattering of free things to do in Cape Town.
Browse and buy vinyl at Mabu
Cost: Vinyl – from R50 to R600. Shooting the breeze with Stephen – priceless.
The art of record collecting is alive and well in Cape Town City Bowl where Mabu Vinyl is at the forefront of this niche sub-culture. Stephen Segerman of Searching for Sugar Man fame is co-owner of the store and is usually available for a spirited chat about the 2012 hit movie in which he featured. Mabu stocks a rare selection of classics with a catalogue including second-hand records, books, comics, CDs, DVDs and cassettes. The store in Gardens is open 7 days a week.
“This excellent career overview shows a voice full of wonder and humility of the songs it sings.” Rolling Stone **** (August 2013)
“Each and every song on this collection is remarkable testament to what a truly original and consummate talent Nibs is and one of the best representations of truly original South African music.”
“The mark of any half decent guitarist is the ability to become one with the instrument. Nibs is that kind of guitar player where he becomes the guitar.”-Music Review SA
“Nibs is probably one of South Africa’s most underrated musicians. Hopefully this anthology can help change that, showcasing the broad range of this extraordinarily talented musician.” AVSA (South Africa’s leading audio visual magazine)
Acclaimed South African guitarist and songwriter, Nibs, made his first profiled performances 25 years ago. From his humble beginnings at the Durban Folk Club to International stages, it has culminated in the newly released, deluxe (2CD) anthology album ‘Crossing Borders, Driving north’. It spans the creative and diverse body of work from his 9 highly acclaimed solo albums. The bonus second disc, ‘Catching Trains’- Nibs solo live through Europe, traces his footsteps through his many tours through France, Germany and the UK. These intimate solo ‘live’ performances were recorded in theatres, music halls, open air festivals and from within the walls of a maximum security prison.
It seems almost poetic justice that “Crossing Borders, Driving north” should translate into “a journey without limitations”, so it is a fitting retribution to the rites of passage of his work to date and for what is still to come.
His virtuosic acoustic guitar style and mesmeric whispering voice have attracted a worldwide following for its intelligent folk, World and African overtones. He has been nominated 7 times at the South African Music awards, perform with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and share stages across the world with the likes of Ben Harper, Bonnie Rait and Taj Mahal.
Nibs is also busy with the filming of a documentary about himself and his career which will be screened at his upcoming launches in the second half of 2013.
‘Crossing Borders, Driving north’ is available on CD and digital download atand on iTunes and will be available at each concert.
Venue: Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville Dates: 22- 23 November 2013.
The Table Mountain Blues Summit 2013 is set to give you a musical thrill that`s gonna groove your mojo soul! SA`s premier Blues Festival has found a new home at the Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville and on 22 and 23 November, the Cream of South Africa’s Blues- Rock Artists will be taking the stage:
Friday 22 November – 16h00 – 24h30 Tombstone Pete (2 song intro)
Mean Black Mamba
Robin Gallagher Band
Them Tornados Combustion R1500 giveaway Blues Broers
Saturday 23 November 12h30 – 24h30 Tombstone Pete
The Jo Martin Band
Kevin Floyd and Guests
Crimson House Blues
Ann Jangle Fender Guitar Giveaway
Albert Frost Trio
Boulevard Blues and Guests
Black Cat Bones
Now in its 8th year with the continued help of main sponsor Combustion Technology and also Paul Bothner Music, The Table Mountain Blues Summit has established itself as a top music festival and is ready to hit awesome and epic status in 2013.
Mike Combrinck started the Blues Summit on the 15th November 2006 at the Tafelberg Tavern in Cape Town. This debut of the festival saw the reunion of the Blues Broers for a special summit performance, and with the help of Boulevard Blues, Albert Frost, Dan Patlansky, Delta Blue, Piet Botha and Southern Gypsey Queen, it was a great success.
In 2007 Mike entered into negotiation with long time bastion of Blues Rock, Richard Pryor to co-partner him in managing the Blues Summit. Richard ‘a solid man of Rock’ had an axe to grind and was sharpening his blues pencil to take the summit up a notch.His mandate was a musically successful summit with financial independence.
Tapping into his own musical resources, database and Blues Wigi Boards, Richard secured the sponsorship of Combustion Technology to help out financially.
Paul Bothner Music joined as a sponsor in 2009 and they have been a mainstay supporter and sponsor ever since. Fender threw some muscle into the event as well by offering a Genuine Fender axe giveaway at every summit.
Whats on the Blues Menu?
20 top Bands over 2 days.
Top class quality 30000 watt outdoor sound rig.
Huge Lighting and a huge LED screen.
Hillcrest Quarry an awesome place and one of the most dramatic outdoor venues in SA.
Vibrant food and refreshment stalls and plenty of outside bars. Note: Own food and drinks are not allowed.
Plenty of free and secure off street parking.
Fender Guitar Giveaway and the Combustion Technology Cash Prize R1500.
Ticket sales are open and are available at Computicket:
Friday R160 and entry into the Fri Night Combustion Cash Prize Draw.
Saturday R220 and entry into the Sat Night Fender Guitar Lucky Draw.
Full Weekend R320 and entry into both Lucky Draws
Camping Ticket R160 (separate and limited to 200 tickets) Camping is only available for both nights.
Free entrance for children under 10 years.
Note: Only presales tickets qualify for the lucky draws. Winners of the main competitions must be there to claim their Prizes.
Detroit — The Detroit musician who’s suddenly become one of Wayne State University’s more prominent alumni wished the class of 2013 good luck Thursday as he received an honorary degree from the school.
In a short speech thanking the University, musician Sixto Rodriguez wished the graduating students from Wayne State University good luck.
“Well done,” said Rodriguez told students taking commencement Thursday at Detroit’s Ford Field. “Or as we say in Spanish, ‘bien hecho.'”
Rodriguez, who garnered international fame this year after starring in the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony for his “musical genius and commitment to social justice.”
Rodriguez’s two albums in the early 1970s received little attention in the U.S. but he unknowingly developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era.
“I’m not gettin’ old. I’m gettin’ dead.” Sixto Díaz Rodríguez, at age 70, standing before an enthusiastic, sold out crowd at The Warfield in San Francisco last night. He took time away from his set of late 60s folk protest rock and some surprising covers to engage the audience, often with humor (and some of it lighthearted and self deprecating) and incredible charm. I don’t know about the rest of the crowd, but if I could have one wish granted at the show, it would probably be to go up and give him a hug. He seems to be quite a sweet character, and beaming with happiness, which was not quite what I expected having his work on rotation for the 2.5 hour drive into the city. With boots, leather pants, black shirt and coat, and his trademark hat and glasses, he stood before us like some kind of elder statesman rock star… long lost and forgotten, that he was there at all playing on stage was as much unlikely as it seemed to be a part of his destiny. Truly an incredible opportunity to experience his music live and in person, I can’t imagine anyone in the room went away anything less that ecstatic with the show.
Who: Sixto Díaz Rodríguez
Who or Supporting: Giant Giant Sand
Venue: The Warfield
Where: San Francisco, California
When: April 23, 2013
Seating: General Admission Standing (front row center)
There was quite a crowd lined up outside The Warfield even more than an hour before doors, and a lot of excitement in the air about the evening before us.
For me, it was an even more, well, for lack of a better word, unbelievable night, in that I had two concerts planned… completely unrelated at two different venues in San Francisco. First up was Rodríguez… kind of a legend as well as would be legend (as showcased in the Academy Award-winning film, Searching for Sugar Man)… this show ran from 7:00 doors until 10:30. About a mile and a half away, I then caught the “late” Prince show at the DNA Lounge, with the music icon taking the stage there at 11:30 and running until after 2:00 AM… so it was quite a surreal night, and I couldn’t help but to draw some contrasts and comparisons to the two artists.