Hi, would you by any chance know the hour of birth of Mr. RODRIGUEZ ? I’m asking because when someone has such an amazing life story, you can find roots in their astro birth chart, but without the time it is imprecise. Many thanks for your attention,
The documentary on your life blew me away. I think I have listened to your music every day since seeing it! You are such an inspiration – your humility is just amazing. When you say in the film that you don’t have regret/anger/resentment regarding the time you did not know that your music was such a success is something everyone should take note of and learn from. And what an incredible impact you had on the South Africans struggling with Apartheid!
Your daughters are also amazing – so thoughtful, articulate, and full of pride for their father.
Please continue to make your music. I’m 70 and hope to be enjoying your music for the next 30 years 🙂
I know this won’t be you reading this but if possible I’d love my words to be passed on to you especially in such strange times. My name is Jacob Hall and I’m a 19 year old university student from England and came across your music about 2 years ago and since you have been my favourite musician of all time! Your lyrics are truly mind blowing accompanied by your philosophy towards life which I have seen glimpses on within your famous documentary and brief interviews with magazines. A response from you or your team would be great and as seen on your website an autograph would be one of the great from one of my idols : ) I hope you have kept safe during this pandemic and hope to hear a response from you or your team! Stay safe and thank you for your music Rodriguez.
I recently saw for the second time, Searching for Sugarman. It is a fascinating documentary of a musician, Sixto Rodriguez, who recorded two albums in the late sixties in Detroit. After being dropped from his record label in 1970, he went into obscurity, giving up his career as a professional musician and turning to construction for his living.
His record producers (who also produced the greats of Motown) said Sixto Rodriguez was one of the best they had ever heard. They ranked him greater than Bob Dylan. But for whatever reason, the early 70’s American public did not embrace him. A cloud of obscurity enveloped him and success eluded him. About the time he was hanging up his guitar, a young American woman shared his album with friends in South Africa. What follows is a lesson for all of us.
Apartheid was in full force in South Africa when Rodriguez’s music came to light. That sharing of an album started a grassroots effort that unfolded into Rodriguez selling over half a million records and becoming a rock superstar in South Africa for more than 30 years. He became a household name bigger than Elvis, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. However, this newfound fame was unbeknownst to Rodriguez as well as his producers. It was only through the efforts of a South African journalist and a jewelry store owner that he found out, 30 years later, that he was famous in a country halfway around the world.
Everyone in South Africa thought Rodriguez was dead. Rumors of different death scenarios had circulated for years as there was no information available on him during this pre-internet time. When a journalist found out he was alive and well, many people in South Africa did not believe it. The story unfolds from there to an invitation for Rodriguez to do a nationwide South African tour, which he did before thousands of adoring fans.
Rodriguez’s art had a life of its own that went well beyond his or anyone’s expectations and touched a nation that badly needed his words. His music had meaning for millions of people. His art providentially found its audience.
As artists, life can get in the way of getting to the easel. Sometimes thoughts of quitting float in your head. You may never feel good enough. But I am here to say, push those thoughts aside. The world needs your voice. It is never whether you are good enough because we all have something to say at every stage of our artistic journey. The better path is to keep working, striving to grow each day, being honest about strengths and weaknesses in your work, and looking for ways to improve. Always improve! Risk, experiment, try new mediums, ask and welcome feedback, be mentored and mentor others, make adjustments in your work, always set your standards high, but tell your story!
We each have a unique artistic voice that was given us. In searching for that voice in your painting, and being true to it, you may just find yourself unintentionally touching lives that you never knew possible.
Searching for the Sugarman, can be found on Vudu as a rental.
April 6 2021, Capetown, SA: Today, much-revered South African singer/songwriter/guitarist, Steve Louw releases, “Crazy River,” the first track from his forthcoming album, Headlight Dreams to be released in May via BFD/The Orchard.
The song itself is an upbeat, transcendent ode to the beauty of a river, its timelessness against the impermanent world it runs through, and the aspects of ourselves that long to be just like it. Louw, with a rich lifetime of music making under the belt, gets it and embraces the moment. The video puts him occasionally front and center, singing and playing with millennial enthusiasm, yet with the confidence that experience brings, his image juxtaposed with footage and stills of lives lived large against a backdrop of mountains, valleys and rapids. So lush is it all that one could just jump at the screen before getting a hold of themselves.
Says Louw of the song, “I once took a long canoe trip down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon and out again. It was a very spacy spiritual place and it felt like I was on a journey to the middle of the earth. I wrote this after the trip. On one level the song is about the river trip and the journey deep inside the raw power and beating heart of nature, but it also reflects on time, our time on Earth, how we experience it, and how the bonds of deep personal relationships with our fellow travellers nurture our souls. I played the acoustic guitar using a few African-style riffs and the band picked up on that feel. Guitarist Rob McNelley contributed beautiful slide guitar.”
From the moment he jumped into the South African music scene in the eighties, he was swimming with the best of em. At that time, he fronted All Night Radio, a group that would release two hit records, The Heart’s the Best Part (1984) and The Killing Floor (1986) and establish Louw as a force to be reckoned with on the SA music scene. But in 1990, Steve achieved legendary status after forming Big Sky, who won the honour of Best South African Rock Act in 1996 and were subsequently accepted into the SA Rock Hall of Fame. In 1998, they supported Rodriguez on tour and were incidentally featured in the film, Searching For Sugar Man.
In 2003, Steve collaborated with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Anastacia and Brian May (Queen) on a song called “Amandla” that was performed for the Madiba’s 46664 concert in Cape Town by Beyonce and Bono.
He also played and recorded with the aforementioned Rodriguez, Blondie Chaplin and Kevin Shirley, who produced Headlight Dreams. The new album also features a guest spot from heroic guitarist Joe Bonamassa on “Wind In Your Hair.”
Hello my name is Lenore Long, I am 85 years old and love your music. You are so creative with the words in your songs. It was my boss at work who told me to go watch Sugar Man at the movie theater, and said that you were so much better than Bob Dylan. After watching your movie I immediately bought your CD. It is one of my greatest joys listening to your music.
What makes Pat Simmons, a retired engineer, give up his comfortable middle class living and wade across a crocodile infested river with a bicycle strapped to his back, in order to teach chess to schoolchildren at the Mission station?
To find out you will have to read the latest novel by Shiloh Noone called ‘A Bicycle, a Chess Set, an African River‘. This brand new release follows previous books by Shiloh Noone including his earlier novel, ‘Witches of Sark’, a book of poetry called ‘Forty -Two for the Chosen Few’, and ‘Seeker’s Guide to the Rhythm of Yesteryear’.
For many years, this well-known Cape Town DJ and author, was a regular contributor to the weekly SA Rock Digest email newsletter. Each week, in the ‘Classic Rock’ section of ‘The Digest’, Shiloh would expound, and educate us, on many of the lesser known members of the South African and international pop-rock family.
As a DJ on stations like Love Radio Amsterdam, Radio Kol HaShalom (The Voice of Peace) in Israel, Q Radio in Gory Castle on the island of Jersey, Radio Matie (MFM) in Stellenbosch, 567 Cape Talk, and a long stint at FMR Radio in Cape Town, Shiloh’s musical knowledge increased until he decided to compile a 750-page book on the history of rock entitled ‘Seeker’s Guide to the Rhythm of Yesteryear’.
That 600-page reference work covered many musicians and genres like Blues, Rock n’ Roll, Surf guitar, Folk Music, Psychedelia, British Beat, and Progressive rock from the period between the years 1950 and 1979. This book has sold well around the world and received many excellent reviews, including a 3-star review by Record Collector magazine and a 4-star review by Rolling Stone magazine.
‘A Bicycle, a Chess Set, an African River’ is published by Naledi Books in Cape Town, and is a fascinating African adventure that also encapsulates spiritual revelations about Africa, its indigenous people and tribal customs, as well as a fascinating description of the bountiful animal, bird, insect and plant life that still flourishes in that area. This new novel is also as much about recognising the intricate patterns of life as it is about life-skills and the resilience of the human spirit.
Shiloh wrote this book in his new home in Onrus, near Cape Town, alongside his Matshana Tribal Arts Museum and Lodge where he teaches chess to the young children in that area.
My father, Albert Rojas, was a labor and human rights organizer for over 50 years.
He was born on 31st July 1938 and he died on March 20, 2021.
He was the co-founder of UFW (The Farmworkers Union from California). He never got the credit, nor the fame, for building this union. He took his family on the Grape boycott to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 3 years, and remained as head UFW organizer earning $5 a week. We lived off donated food, clothing, and housing.
In Pittsburgh it was the Jewish, Catholic, and Black communities that supported our family with love, and on the Grape Boycott. My father believed in ending indentured servitude and child labor in the fields, as he was a farmworker himself.
He help co-found 2 other unions, and saved many lives in Mexico when labor activists were killing teachers of the Teachers Union, GM Workers, Electrical workers and the Farm Workers of San Quintin BC in Mexico who called for today’s Driscoll boycott.
He is being recognized in Mexico as “Comandante Al Rojas” because he was fearless in helping the desperate and poor. He used his legacy to save lives.
Your song ‘I Think Of You’ is carrying me through. So I’m asking if you would please consider performing this song for my father in front of 500 people in Sacramento at Southside Park on April 24th.
My father was never recognized a lot, like your life, until now. The Universe is mysterious and also perfect in time and how it loves…….
Please, please would you consider?
Maybe, because of the Covid, we could maybe get a video of Rodriguez performing the song (‘I Think of You’) with a message, which would also be so gratefully received too. But, of course we would Love to have him perform. Although we wouldn’t be able to pay him what he normally gets for his live performances as we dont have the amount of money to pay him. This, in my book is worth every cent. But we just dont have this kind of money. So I’m also suggesting and hopefully requesting a video of this song with maybe a dedication?
I would be very grateful if someone could please contact me.
My cell number is 916-390-0874
I’m Albert Rojas’ daughter and I’ve been at my father’s side my whole life politically.
My name is Jay, I am a rapper living in the UK, and I was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in South Africa in the post-apartheid, ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ era. I spent my youth watching Cheech and Chong films and Listening to Sixto in various shebeens around Johannesburg, smoking good weed.
I unfortunately ended up in Jail which led me to the UK, upon my release. I then followed a path of music to steer my life away from drugs and the perils that come with it. I decided to do a ‘Sugar Man’ remix, which is an ode and a story of my perils with a modern era take, with the original chorus to keep authentic and change the verse to rap style vocals.
I have registered and released the remix and obviously Sixto is the beneficiary of this, which I am more than happy with. I am writing to request an opinion or a short moment for feedback. The album and song in particular were such a huge part of my up-bringing and being from South Africa, where the story is Legend, I was hoping I may get a moment of feedback.
In truth it took me over ten years to complete, as one, I was on a journey (sure you can relate) and two, I wanted it to be a worthy offering. There were various different versions made between bpm’s etc, however it took ages to get to the point where I thought I would one, hopefully keep the essence and make Sixto proud however and two, still reach this modern generation. So, to get some feedback would be awesome, please.
I also hope I have not offended anyone in this process, as it was done with pure love and inspiration in mind and, as I mentioned, Sixto is the beneficiary who I am happy to send info relating to.
I also have a cool artwork animation on my insta profile (@riskology) where the artwork of the table and menu all become interactive and trippy. I have attached a short animation of the artwork that my biz partner, Rowan L Designs, made for the release , it took her years to perfect and this artwork took hours/months to produce as each item is an individual layer and all parts interact, she did an amazing job.
Anyway – I hope this email finds you all well in these crazy times. And, on behalf of my whole generation, Thank You for the love, light, and inspiration, I look forward to hearing back from you 1love,
This is a complete long shot but here it goes. My husband is a nurse and came down with covid back in April. The entire time he was quarantined in his room he listened to you and watched your documentary. You really got him through it and he listens to you on his drive home every night. His 50th birthday is tomorrow or today if you get this on March 13. Do you ever email or send messages? My husband is Eric but my contact info is Jennifer Altri Altrijennifer@gmail.com (978)886-5953