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Maureen Dent
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Rodrigues is a Sad Sack

01 February 2013, 15:00

Last night I was forced to watch a film called ‘Searching for Sugar Man’, which is about a hunt for ‘missing’ singer, Rodrigues. What a waste of 90 minutes and a sad indictment of white South African musical tastes. 

Can there be a more depressing musician in the world than this failed American; a man who moans about “Talking to Jesus at the sewer” in his lyrics? The self-pity evident in his ‘songs’ is record-breaking. Clearly he suffers from PLUM syndrome: Poor Little Unfortunate Me *laughs*.

As the movie drags on it becomes apparent that it is really just a subtle media punt for Cape Town, as we constantly see shots of Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles. It then swings back to dingy Detroit and we hear how Rodrigues used to sing with his back to the crowd. Mmm. Personally, I think it was the crowd who had their back to the singer, such is the dire tunes that warble out of the man. Is it any wonder he was not a hit in any country other than SA? And is it any wonder that rumours spread about Rodrigues committing huri kiri on the stage?

The ‘singer’ toured with Midnight Oil in Australia, so he had his shot at fame but wasn’t able to rise to the challenge. Think about it, if he was so good, surely he would have taken off in the USA, UK or Australia at least?

But we hear boasts about how he was ‘bigger than Elvis’ in South Africa!

*Laughs again*  

I mean really . . . based on what sales records? We hear a vague thumb suck of 500 thousand records sold here, but no hard core sales figures.  When I was younger, the only Rodrigues albums I suffered through were pirated copies. Yet, it is these same pirates who are now so quick to snap up tickets to watch their geriatric idle perform one last time. Oh the irony!

Surely if it was deep, meaningful and beautiful music you were after, you would opt for a Leonard Cohen album? Or Binky’s personal and timeless favourite, The Cure?

Even Steven Hofmeyer offers more vocal range and at least he has had an interesting life.

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