Craig Bartholow Strydom and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman talk to Danie Marais at US Woordfees 2016

 

 

woordfees

Craig Bartholow Strydom and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman talk to Danie Marais, 7 March 2016 at 10: 30.

Oscar-winning documentary gets extended-play treatment | Winnipeg Free Press

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/books/oscar-winning-documentary-gets-extended-play-treatment-367083501.html

The story of Sixto Rodriguez as depicted in the Academy Award-winning 2012 documentarySearching for Sugar Man was one that intrigued the world.

The plot centred around Rodriguez, a musician based out of Detroit in the ’60s and ’70s, who was never able to gain traction in the United States despite numerous industry professionals comparing his songwriting chops to those of Bob Dylan — but perhaps even better.

But more than a story about a musician who somehow sadly flew so far under the radar, the film — and now the book, Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez — are about a man who unknowingly became the soundtrack for a revolution half a world away. His first album, Cold Fact, became immensely popular in South Africa during the time of apartheid, unbeknownst to the singer himself.

The film follows two South African men as they search for Rodriguez (the name Sugar Man references a line in one of his songs), who was presumed to be dead. Once they discover he’s alive and well and living in Detroit, they take him to South Africa to perform for thousands of fans and to give him a taste of the life he should have had.

Written by Craig Bartholomew Strydom and Stephen (Sugar) Segerman, two men who play a large role in the film, Sugar Man is an exhaustively detailed account of all that happened before, during and after the time frame covered in the film. Segerman’s first encounter with a Rodriguez song while doing his mandatory time in the army, Rodriguez’s multiple stints in local politics, the eventual suicide of director Malik Bendajelloul not long after the film won an Academy Award — every conversation, every email, Sugar Man covers it all.

The book is broken up into four sections — the mystery, the man, the music and the movie — which is very helpful given the amount of voices and storylines that weave together to create the narrative picture as a whole.

On occasion, however, all the details and historic references do become overwhelming, and are not always necessary in order to move the story forward. In certain instances, it feels more productive to skim over those parts instead of reading word for word.

The most interesting tidbits are those excluded from the film (or that hadn’t happened until after the film was made), namely the fact that after his initial shows in South Africa, Rodriguez toured the country several more times in the early and mid-2000s with varying success, and the surprising falling out between Segerman and Rodriguez spurred by Segerman’s move into a more managerial role.

For those who loved the documentary, Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez is an excellent companion piece that bookends the film beautifully, answering any and all questions one may have about the lives of all those involved, both pre- and post-documentary.

In the prologue of the book, Strydom and Segerman say the film was “the search for the man who didn’t know he was lost.” This book proves to be the rest of the story we didn’t know we were missing.

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer at the Free Press.

Capetonians pen the journey to find musician Sixto Rodriguez in new book | Cape Talk

Stephen
Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, Craig Bartholomew Strydom

The two men at the centre of the search for musician Sixto Rodriguez have written the story of their journey. Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew-Strydom authored the book “Sugar Man – the life, death and resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez”, after the success of the documentary film that was made about their quest. The pair share the tale of what they call an ‘irresistible story” about Rodriguez, who was rumoured to have killed himself on stage. Listen to the full conversation (with John Maytham standing in) on CapeTalk’s Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

Source: Capetonians pen the journey to find musician Sixto Rodriguez in new book

The triumph and tragedy of Searching for Sugar Man – Telegraph

Searching for Sugar Man is a brilliant testament to the briefly glittering talents of its director and star

Fleeting fame: Malik Bendjelloul and Sixto Rodriguez at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, Los Angeles in January 2013 Photo: Rex Features
Fleeting fame: Malik Bendjelloul and Sixto Rodriguez at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Los Angeles in January 2013 Photo: Rex Features

In 2006, an aspiring young documentary maker called Malik Bendjelloul left his job at Swedish state TV and went to Africa in search of material for his first feature. He eventually found himself in Cape Town, where a record store owner told him the story of Sixto Rodriguez, a brilliant Mexican-American singer-songwriter whose two albums, released in the early 1970s, had unexpectedly bombed in the US — but, by some magic, later found an audience in apartheid South Africa, where they sold hundreds of thousands of copies. As a consequence, Rodriguez became more popular than Elvis in the country, and inspired a generation of anti-establishment songwriters.

For years, the store owner explained, listeners in South Africa had presumed that Rodriguez was dead: apartheid censorship laws meant that information about him was scant, and rumours circulated that he’d committed suicide on stage somewhere in America. But then, in the late 1990s, a resourceful South African music journalist called Craig Bartholomew-Strydom started digging — and made an astonishing discovery.

It was hardly surprising that Bendjelloul grabbed this story with both hands and set to work turning it into a documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, named after his most famous song and released in 2012. What was surprising, at least to those who didn’t know him, was that this offbeat debut feature – written, directed, edited and co-produced by Bendjelloul – turned out to be a film of such elegance, poignancy and directorial sure-footedness. It was a hit with audiences and won dozens of awards, including the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2013, and seemed to promise Bendjelloul the kind of long, glittering career that had been denied to his subject.

Sadly, this was not to be the case: earlier this month, Bendjelloul committed suicide back at home in Sweden. He was thirty-six, and working on a project based on the conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s book The Elephant Whisperer.

Read more at The triumph and tragedy of Searching for Sugar Man – Telegraph.

Rich Folks Hoax

In 1987 when I was busking my way around Spain, this song received the best response, and the most money into my open guitar case. – Craig Bartholomew Strydom

 

 

Rich Folks Hoax is available on the Cold Fact album.

 

Lyrics

The moon is hanging in the purple sky
The baby’s sleeping while its mother sighs

Talking ’bout the rich folks
Rich folks have the same jokes
And they park in basic places.

The priest is preaching from a shallow grave
He counts his money, then he paints you saved

Talking to the young folks
Young folks share the same jokes
But they meet in older places.

So don’t tell me about your success
Nor your recipes for my happiness
Smoke in bed
I never could digest
Those illusions you claim to have going.

The sun is shining, as it’s always done
Coffin dust is the fate of everyone

Talking ’bout the rich folks
The poor create the rich hoax
And only late breast-fed fools believe it.

So don’t tell me about your success
Nor your recipes for my happiness
Smoke in bed
I never could digest
Those illusions you claim to have going.

 

Selected Videos (Rodriguez live and cover versions)

 


Chords (transcribed by Guy Buttery)

Am                          Dm     E 
The moon is hanging in a purple sky
Am                            Dm     E 
Baby's sleeping while his mother sighs
Dm  E                 Am
Talking about the rich folks
                            Dm
The rich folks have the same jokes
             E             Am
But they park in basic places


The priest is preaching from a shallow grave
Counts his money, then he paints you saved
Talking 'bout the young folks
Young folks share the same jokes
But they meet in older places


CHORUS: 
    Dm    E            Am
So don't tell me about your success
Dm         E              Am
Nor your recipes for my happiness
Dm        E             Am
Smoke in bed, I never could digest
        Dm       E                 Am
Those illusions you claim to have going

The sun is shining as it always done
Coffin dust is the fate of everyone
Talking about the rich folks
The poor create the rich hoax
And only late breast fed fools believe it


CHORUS:

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