My gig with Rodriguez

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The film Searching for Sugar Man has been a global winner. Since its premiere at the Sundance Festival in America in January it has not only received rave reviews worldwide, it’s been a box-office success in America as well as in Britain and South Africa.

It tells the incredible story of Sixto Rodriguez, the Mexican-American singer-songwriter who in the early ’70s made two brilliant folk-rock albums then almost immediately disappeared when his record company collapsed.

Yet somehow his music made it to SA where he became a superstar among young white South Africans, more than ready for his anti-establishment songs at a time when the apartheid regime had an oppressive grip on what you could read, listen to and watch.

The film, by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, tells the feel-good story of how a few SA fans decided to find out what really happened to Rodriguez – and found him alive and well in Detroit. And of his subsequent 1998 tour of SA, which proved to his fans – and, perhaps even more so, to himself – that he was indeed alive.

Read about Willem Möller’s remarkable experience playing in Rodriguez’s backing band for the 1998 tour in YOU 1 November 2012.

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