Searching for Sugar Man is an Oscar-winning story about a man who should earn a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement and the “Nobel Prize for Life”. His songs were copied by millions, they inspired anti-apartheid warriors, and legends were being told about him, while he worked at home at construction sites. One of the best songwriters from the end of the hippies era has finally earned the merited recognition. We are very happy that Pohodans will be able to enjoy his performance.
His first album Cold Fact was co-produced by Dennis Coffey (he worked with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, etc.). The second album Coming from Reality was produced by Steve Rowland (The Cure, Boney M). Former Motown boss spoke of him as of one of the five artists who most touched him emotionally (while he worked with names such as Bill Withers, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Steve Wonder, Quincy Jones). The above mentioned artist likened Rodriguezʼs song writing talent to the one of Bob Dylan. And the result? The first album did not gain much popularity the second was such a “flop” that the publishing company terminated the contract with him two weeks before Christmas. In 1976, he bought a deserted house in Detroit for $50 (he still lives there). He gradually gave up on music, and despite he graduated from philosophy, he predominantly earned his living as a day labourer in construction sites.
In the meantime, 13,333 km south-east of his home in the Republic of South Africa, he became a cult and his songs were an inspiration of anti-apartheid warriors. His albums have exceeded the sales numbers of Elvis Presleyʼs recordings, while most of his work would spread illegally. Songs such as “Establishment Blues” and “Sugar Man” were a boulder in the eye (ear) of censors who forbade them and systematically destroyed discs and cassettes containing the songs. The legends of his life and death were spread among the fans—it was believed that he ended his career and life with suicide on the stage. Everything changed when in 1997 Rodriguezʼs daughter discovered a page that searched for her father. She contacted the authors on the page, they arranged concerts, and Rodriguez sold out each one of them (he returned to the country several times). Despite his tremendous success in RSA, he returned home and continued his secluded life.
He received recognition not only at home through a documentary film by the Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul Searching for Sugar Man that also won the BAFTA and Oscar Awards. He then appeared on the most popular American shows “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, on the British show “Later... with Jools Holland”, and performed at festivals such as Glastonbury, Sasquatch, and Montreux Jazz. His songs are being remade by the most famous bands; they appear in films, and are listened to by the generation of the age of grandchildren. Sixto Rodriguez, the hero of one of the most incredible musical stories in history, will play his wonderful songs at Pohoda 2018.