OMG. Greg and I went to go see the Searching for Sugar Man documentary back in January of 2013, and I have to say, it has had such a lasting impact on me. If you do not know the story, its about two South Africans quest to discover whether the rumored death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez (Rodriguez) was true, and, if not, to discover what had actually happened to him. There were rumors he killed himself on stage in the most violent way. Once you get to know Rodriguez through this documentary, you realize how absurd such rumors actually were.
Rodriguez is a 1970’s hispanic folk singer from Detroit who for reasons unknown, never made it in the United States. Back in the day, someone from South Africa got a hold of a bootleg copy of one of his records and took it home to Cape Town. The fans went wild for him. He did tour there for a while and then seemingly fell off the map. Turns out he spent the next 20 years working hard labor in Detroit living in the same walk up brownstone in which he was raised. In the 1990’s his cds were re-released in South Africa and the mystery surrounding him escalated thus inspiring this documentary. He had no idea how much he was revered until his daughter came across a website dedicated to him. The rest is history.
The thing that inspires me most about this man, is his incredibly kind soul. I don’t think he kept, or keeps, most of the money he has made over the years. He has been giving it away to friends and family. Until recently, he has been living at poverty levels. He is such an amazing man that when this documentary won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Rodriguez declined to attend the award ceremony as he didn’t want to overshadow the filmmakers’ achievement if he came up on stage with them (per wikipedia). That pretty much sums it all up for me. I just want to reach out and hug him, honor him, and take care of him. (ok that sounds a little stalker – like, but you know what I mean.)
On a whim, I started scouting (ok stalking) the Rodriguez Website to see if he was on tour and sure enough he is touring all over the place! He came to Colorado on Tuesday, April 30 and of course I was there to cheer him on. I think the dry air and altitude might have impacted him a bit, not to mention he is now 70 years old, but let me tell you I loved every second of it. To see the legend in the flesh was definitely one of the highlights of the Life Bus! I left with a full heart and a beloved Rodriguez concert t-shirt that I will sleep in every night for next decade. What I did not leave with was a good picture to share, but the one I posted will give you an idea of my thrill!
If there is something that inspires you, take a minute to do some research and find a way to experience it first hand. You will be so glad you did!