Friday, 17 August 2012

Film: Searching For Sugar Man

London underground tube poster
One of life's worries can often be the questions 'will people remember me when i'm gone?', will people know i'm here when i'm here. Will there be a lasting legacy from my life?

From a Christian perspective, watching recently released film Searching For Sugarman threw up some interesting answers, amongst lots of questions.

So last weekend I went down to Cineworld Fulham for the first time ever and parted with £11 to see this film.
Before you read further, please note this article contains some spoilers >>

Mottled with beautiful shots of the city, amazing music, poignant interviews and archive scenes, this music expose documents the life of Detroit born singer Sixto Rodriguez.

Sounding a bit like Bob Dylan, Rodriguez' lyrics are steeped in love, politics and telling it how it is.

His debut album Cold Fact was produced by Motown's Dennis Coffey and released in 1971. The album was a commercial flop in his native US, but a single copy of record made it into South Africa, where it went on to shift 'half a million copies' either via bootleg or sold. The word of mouth was incredible and sold the record, even with todays media machine this is one of the ultimate examples of a recommendation from a friend being worth more than any advert.

By the mid nineties Rodriguez was still none the wiser to this, in the 20 years since he'd released an excellent follow up which also didn't move in any great volume in the US and had consequently continued to raise his family and work on building sites as a tradesman.

He simply had no idea how famous he was in South Africa. Luckily he had some super fans who tracked him down to let him know that he was a star out there. And in 1998 sold out shows ensued as he played in front of 20,000+ people. All those record sales, which he was never paid for, started to earn him some money which he promptly shared amongst friends. It was great to see him get the recognition so many people thought his album deserved, a real good moment in the film.

There is so much more to this story, but it's well worth watching. And Rodriguez's music? Timeless.

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