The Blues Room, June 1998

Performance Dates

June 16The State Of The Nation concert, Johannesburg
(Rodriguez appears on stage with Just Jinger but doesn’t perform)
June 17Blues Room, Village Walk, Johannesburg
(Record Company Launch)
June 18Blues Room, Village Walk, Johannesburg


Sixto Rodriguez: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Willem Möller: Electric Guitar
Reuben Samuels: Drums, percussion
Graeme Currie: Electric bass, acoustic bass
Tonia Selley: Background vocals, percussion
Russel Taylor: Keyboards
Robin Walsh: Acoustic guitar

Willem Möller and Rodriguez | photo: Nadine Hutton
Willem Möller and Rodriguez | photo: Nadine Hutton

The Set list

  1. I Wonder
    from Cold Fact
  2. Only Good For Conversation
    from Cold Fact
  3. Can’t Get Away only on 17th
    from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best
  4. Crucify Your Mind
    from Cold Fact
  5. Jane S. Piddy only on 17th
    from Cold Fact
  6. To Whom It May Concern
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  7. Like Janis
    from Cold Fact
  8. Inner City Blues
    from Cold Fact
  9. Street Boy
    from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best
  10. Halfway Up The Stairs
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  11. I Think Of You
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  12. Rich Folks Hoax
    from Cold Fact
  13. Climb Up On My Music
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  14. Sugar Man
    from Cold Fact
  15. Forget It
    from Cold Fact


The State Of The Nation Concert 16th June 1998 (Youth Day)

Yesterday I attended the State of the Nation concert in the Standard Bank Arena. When Just Jinger played Sugarman, surprise surprise: Rodriguez appeared on stage. The crowd went CRAZY – he had the best welcome and applause – but didn’t sing, he just thanked Just Jinger.

Theunis Engelbrecht, Punt Radio, 17th June 1998
Sugarmen (The Art Of Rodriguez) | Photo: Adam Beinash
Sugarmen (The Art Of Rodriguez) | Photo: Adam Beinash

Epic, August 1998

The State Of The Nation Concert, 16th June 1998

(an extract from a magazine review)

…and Just Jinger amply live up to crowd expectations and even having the original sugarman Rodriguez wobble onto stage for a bit of a photo opportunity (and a hand-shake), seemed a nice touch to all gathered before them.

I saw Rodriguez live at the Blues Room. Mind blowing. Meeting the man himself has left a lasting impression.

Bridget, 18th June 1998

The Blues Room

by Theunis Engelbrecht, 17th June 1998

The launch was a very strange experience. I don’t think The Blues Room is the right venue for a Rodriguez show. What irritated me the most, was the people who stood around drinking and talking while Rodriguez was playing.  There was a bit of skew irony about it all as well: while Rodriguez was singing “Like Janis”, I stood right behind a woman who got approached by a man who clearly tried to chat her up, and they were talking non-stop — it made me think of “A Most Disgusting Song”. Rodriguez deserves a much better venue, like a small theatre. I found the bigmouth people’s behaviour a sign of insensitivity towards Rodriguez’s work.

But there was some magic – there’s always some kind of magic in the air when a Rodriguez song is playing. In my review of the Live Fact CD on my radio show I said it would be unrealistic and unfair to expect the man and his music to sound like it did 30 years ago. But music is dynamic, and when an artist’s work is timeless, it gets new nuances all the time. The band was even better than during the tour. Unfortunately the audience spoiled most of the evening with their erratic behaviour. The Blues Room is more of a bar than a concert hall. Rodriguez was his old humble self and didn’t talk a lot during the set.

In the Sunday Independent of 21 June Darryl Accone also bitched about the industry people’s bad behaviour at the CD launch.

The Citizen, 25th June 1998


GIG: Rodriguez – Live Fact (Blues Room, Rivonia)
By Tracy Croucamp

Rodriguez is back. No, he did not commit suicide or overdose on drugs, as the stories and rumours went. In fact he is alive and well and has just recorded his third album, Live Fact, in South Africa. Aptly named, because the album was recorded live at his sell-out concert in Johannesburg in March this year.


The new CD was launched at the Blues Room in Rivonia, where invited guests were totally spoilt to an exclusive, and wonderful, evening of Rodriguez live. He performed all the songs from the album which includes favourites such as Sugar Man, Forget It and I Wonder. I had never seen him live before so this evening was a special treat for me. He has the most incredible sense of calm about him. His face and smile are so kind and his voice so smooth and melodic one just can’t get enough. Besides that, he carries no air of arrogance about him whatsoever. He even acknowledged and greeted a few people in the audience such as ex-Natal rugby player, Guy Kebble. I am pleased to say that his music and style hasn’t changed from the Cold Fact album which I’m sure most know. And as much of an urban legend that he is, I found him to be almost humble. He spent much of his time praising his musicians. It was almost as though he was their guest. I was so in awe by him that this gesture struck me as insane! No offence to the musicians because they were great, but Rodriguez is the one to be praised here.


The musicians were Russel Taylor (keyboards), Reuben Samuels (drums), Graeme Currie (bass), Tonia Selley (percussion), Willem Möller and Robin Walsh (guitar), as well as Rodriguez himself on acoustic and electric guitar. The Blues Room stage seems tiny in comparison to the number of artists it carried, but they seemed quite comfortable up there! It is a relatively large venue but there is a cosy atmosphere which helps create the mood for the evening. Not that Rodriguez needs anything else but his music and songs to set the atmosphere! Although the venue wasn’t filled to capacity, is fact, it was empty in comparison to it’s size, Rodriguez’s music filled the room. What was disappointing though was the fact the people who were there were so absorbed in their own little circles of conversation that they hardly listened or applauded.


Is that how we treat such a special person? I was even embarrassed by the fact that Rodriguez thanked us for “stepping out” to see him yet some didn’t even have the courtesy to applaud him. Well, all I can say is that it was an utter pleasure and honour to step out to see you, Rodriguez.

South African Tour 1998

Tour Programme | Tour Dates | Set Lists | Reviews | Tour Diary |
Photo Gallery | Live Fact CD | Musicians | Dead Men Don’t Tour Film

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