Cape Times, Monday, 16th February 1998
Rodriguez? He’s playing here in fact...
CULT icon of the 1970s, Rodriguez will tour South Africa next month.
KAREN RUTTER checks out the phenomenon.
He was only a real superstar in South Africa (and a minor celebrity in Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand), but local fans never seemed to mind (or notice) that he was anonymous everywhere else. Singer/guitarist Rodriguez became something of a cult phenomenon in this country during the 1970s when his two albums, Cold Fact and After the Fact, were released. Anti-establishment folk songs such as Inner City Blues and I Wonder became major themes for a generation of listeners who could (and probably still can) repeat every earnest lyric from each track on the albums. The fact that sex, drugs and a scaled-down version of rock 'n roll played a major part of the narratives also helped fuel Rodriguez's success in oh-so-uptight South Africa.
And then the guy disappeared. No more albums. No more sing-along lyrics. No more hippy-communist rhetoric. There were rumours that he was dead. That agents of The System had killed him. That his death was blamed on an unfortunate accident with an electric guitar and a faulty wall-socket.
Then he was spotted, alongside Elvis, in a supermarket and everybody heaved a sigh of relief. But there have been no more recordings from the enigmatic singer, unfortunately. However, Capetonians can re-live those heady days of the past when the artist will appear LIVE in concert at the Bellville Velodrome on March 6 and 7.
Yup, it's really him, and he's gonna do all those songs from yesteryear. Lord knows what he's been up to for the past two decades, but he still apparently remembers the words to Sugar Man, at least. Support act will be Steve Louw and his Big Sky band, consisting of Steve on vocals and guitar, Willem Möller (guitar), Russel Taylor (Keyboards), Reuben Samuels (drums/percussion), Graeme Currie (bass) and Tonia Selley (vocals/percussion).
Tickets (all seated) range from R90-R150. Book through Computicket.