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Live Fact

"... I've played every kind of gig there is to play now ..."

A live album recorded during the 1998 South African tour

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Live Fact
Live Fact

Live Fact
Live Fact - back cover

Live Fact - cassette
Live Fact - cassette

Live Fact - Limited Edition Re-issue 2013
Live Fact - Limited Edition Re-issue 2013 | Discogs

Track List

Track times measured by a PC CD player.

  1. I Wonder (3.27) (3.32 on cassette - see comments)
    from Cold Fact
  2. Only Good For Conversation (4.06)
    from Cold Fact
  3. Can't Get Away (3.51)
    from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best
  4. Crucify Your Mind (2.35)
    from Cold Fact
  5. Jane S. Piddy (2.45)
    from Cold Fact
  6. To Whom It May Concern (4.49)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  7. Like Janis (2.56)
    from Cold Fact
  8. Inner City Blues (3.21)
    from Cold Fact
  9. Street Boy (5.13)
    from The Best Of Rodriguez / At His Best
  10. A Most Disgusting Song (4.21)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  11. Halfway Up The Stairs (3.44)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  12. I Think Of You (4.24)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  13. Rich Folks Hoax (2.51)
    from Cold Fact
  14. Climb Up On My Music (5.52)
    from Coming From Reality / After The Fact
  15. Sugar Man (4.47) (5.09 on cassette - see comments)
    from Cold Fact
  16. Establishment Blues (2.00)
    from Cold Fact
  17. Forget It (3.37)
    from Cold Fact

Total time: 64.39


On the 12th June 1998 this CD was released by Sony Music South Africa on the Columbia label with catalogue number CDCOL 5542 H. A few weeks later the cassette appeared with MCCOL 5542 H as its number. In 2013 there was a very limited release by Sony Music South Africa with catalogue number CDCOL 7480.


sold out
Sold Out!

Recorded live at The Standard Bank Arena Johannesburg, 10th March 1998.
Engineer: Dave Segal
Mastering and editing: Peter Pearlson
Introduction: Tony Blewitt

All songs composed by Rodriguez and copyright EMI Music (SA)


Sixto Rodriguez: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Willem Möller: Electric Guitar
Russel Taylor: Keyboards
Reuben Samuels: Drums, percussion
Graeme Currie: Electric bass, acoustic bass
Tonia Selley: Background vocals, percussion
Robin Walsh: Acoustic Guitar (overdubbed later, did not appear on stage)

Rodriguez and Big Sky
Rodriguez and Big Sky - March 1998 (left-to-right): Willem Moller, Sixto Rodriguez, Tonia Selley, Steve Louw, Graeme Currie, Reuben Samuels, kneeling front: Russel Taylor

Sleeve Notes

Since South Africa's re-admission into the international arena, we have been fortunate to see a number of established artists perform in the country, such as The Rolling Stores, Michael Jackson and U2. But probably the most surprising and unexpected tour (greeted in most cases with a sense of amazement and disbelief) was a tour by one Sixto Rodriguez.

Long a South African phenomenon, Rodriguez has spawned many an urban legend in South Africa. Suicide, incarceration for life and death by drug overdose were some of the stories doing the rounds on the supposed untimely demise of this mysterious performer. The reality is in fact the complete opposite, Rodriguez is alive and well.

His daughter Eva had this to say about Rodriguez in 1997 - "My father is in great health, physically and mentally. In my eyes he is ageless, creative, strong, intellectual and different. He has kept his hand and mind on music, living a surprisingly average and somewhat alternative life. He has raised three daughters, laboured, got an education, ran for political office and pays dues and debts like the rest of us."

"Live Fact" was recorded during his sold-out Johannesburg shows, and is a fitting reminder of what it feels like to attend a Rodriguez concert. South Africans have always related to Rodriguez' heartfelt lyrics and honest music, and the concert was a reflection of what Rodriguez stands for - peace, love, honesty and music.

It was an amazing experience to hear the crowd sing along and know virtually all the lyrics to every song. If you were at one of the shows, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. If you missed him perform live, this album is a taste of what it felt like.

Rui de Sousa, May 1998

Poster: The Cold Facts… South African Tour 1998
Poster: The Cold Facts… South African Tour 1998

Live Fact - inside booklet
Live Fact - inside booklet



I've been to a couple of Rodriguez concerts lately. Much to my regret, I wasn't in Cape Town and I won't be at Woodstock 3. Instead, I've been listening to two live concert recordings: 'Rodriguez Alive' from Australia in 1979, and 'Live Fact' (South Africa 1998).

On 'Live Fact' not only is the audience perfectly happy to be there, but he is in perfect rapport with his audience. This helps me create the illusion that I'm about fifth row center. The crystal clear fidelity of the recording helps. I imagine this is a true-to-life representation of a Rodriguez concert, and a worthy substitute if one can't make an actual performance.

The ten tracks on the Australian 'Rodriguez Alive' are all on 'Live Fact', but as with 'To Whom It May Concern', one gets different versions of the songs. On both sets the bands, whoever played in Australia {The Mark Gillespie Band - ed} and Big Sky in South Africa, stretch out instrumentally and jam. One doesn't need to be a completist collector to want both live recordings.

Both backing bands are excellent, no matter on what continent Rodriguez finds his pick-up bands. The SA live recording has the excellent Willem Möller on guitar.

As well as pretending to actually attend some Rodriguez shows, I've also been dropping in on him at work in the studio (all right, I've been listening to 'Cold Fact' and 'After the Fact'). My conclusion is that y'all in SA have discerning musical taste and sound musical judgment. Thanks for keeping him alive, as he says.

Last week, when talking about 'The Best of Rodriguez' I thought of him as a folk singer with a band, but now I think of him as a particularly fine intelligent rock singer -- witness the hard-rocking 'Only Good for Conversation' and 'Climb Up On My Music'. Rodriguez the writer and performer is an all-round talent, from pop to folk to rock.

Since one human quality is our need to categorize, I've met that need and come up with a concise phrase that neatly pigeonholes Rodriguez's talents. How about: "Rodriguez is a lyric-oriented, social-commentating, urban-consciousness performer who is at times a rhymester, is frequently a melodist, and a folk, pop, and rock singer, as well as a songwriter of the first water"? Unwieldy, it's the shortest I can say it all in. His work is music to live with.

Speaking of his music, is it dated? To some ears perhaps, but not to mine. The problems and hopes sung of in my well-intentioned youth are still with us in the on-going processes of life.

Timely? Good Lord, yes. His message for the 21st Century is to end the violence and "accept peace".

Timeless? As long as the civilization I live in, with all its urban environments and street urbanity, still exists it is timeless. Rodriguez sings astute social commentary and clever human observations in soundly-written thinking-person lyrics. And his music is fun to listen to. There is both intellectual and emotional range here.

After steeping myself in Rodriguez's songs this week ('Cold Fact', 'After the Fact', 'Rodriguez Alive', and 'Live Fact'), I can only say, "Thanks, Sixto, for the time well spent." Forget it? Not likely.

Kurt Shoemaker, Blanco, Texas, SA Rock Digest Issue #123, 24th September 2001

I thoroughly enjoyed the "live" experience, listening to it in all its glory.... although the Great Man's voice isn't as strong as it used to be, it was a rattling good show, and the SA musos certainly complimented him well.

Guy Flint, London, August 1998 in a letter to Sugar, after hearing the CD.

I saw this concert and now I have a CD memory of a wonderful night. Live Fact is fantastic!!!

Scott, 17th June 1998

The folkie who came in from the cold plays live in Johannesburg. He's written some fine songs but the voice falters a bit.

Pieter van der Lugt, You magazine, 15th October 1998

Well we've all lived through "Cold Fact" and now we have "Live Fact". This album is a recording of the concert that Rodriguez gave in Johannesburg. Many will notice that his songs are toned down versions of old favourites like "Only Good For Conversation" and "I Wonder". The best part about this album is that it's sort of a 'best of'. Rodriguez certainly didn't disappoint hardened fans at the concert - he sang all the songs you would want to hear him sing. "Inner City Blues" sounds so great on this album - typical Rodriguez loses none of his magic with his no-nonsense lyrics and vocals. "Rich Folks Hoax" and of course the unforgettable "Sugarman" have the crowd chanting along. He closes with "Forget It" - "Thanks for your time, then you can thank me for mine and after that's said, forget it". Man I wished I hadn't missed that concert.

Juliette Stanson, Collect magazine, Issue 1, November 1998


Review by André Bakkes of the concert on the 10th March 1998

At last Rodriguez arrived and I was going to see a show by the Man. It was with a bit of uncertainty that I went to the show. I wanted to go, but I also didn’t want to go. The thing that struck me was how mellow the people were, there was no pushing at the doors to get in, there was a nice steady flow into the arena. People from all walks of life were there. In the audience I saw serious new wave ravers (the one’s who cut their hair except for a little lock on the front of the hairline), also there were old guys with bald heads. I could not believe that Rodriguez had such a wide spectrum of followers.

When he came on the crowd went wild. The same type of reaction as at recent, very well known bands concerts. As the songs were sung the people sang with him and they vibed to the sounds and the music. The jazzing up of “Climb up on my Music” was brilliant and could do well as a mix for the dance floor. It seems that Rodriguez is such a NICE person he would rather give limelight to his support band than hog it himself. He came across as an absolute gentleman and unaffected by the hype. My overwhelming feeling as I left the concert was one of peace and fulfillment, here was a person whose music stood the test of time and was honestly grateful that we paid money to see him perform.

Long live Rodriguez!! I hope you do very well.


Dead Men Don't Tour

The soundtrack for the "Dead Men Don't Tour" TV documentary is based on the Live Fact CD with video collages from various performances. The concert footage is linked with interviews, backstage antics, rehearsals, etc.

Dead Men Don't Tour


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