Rodriguez - The Memories

"...trying to find where the wind blows,
to empty corners past dusty memories..."

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Everyone has their own special memories of Rodriguez and his music.

Here you can share memories from Eva, his daughter, see some photos from the SA tour, take a look at my souvenirs, read what the newspapers have said over the years, and just absorb the influence this great humble man has had on the lives of so many of his fans.

The Forum is the place to read other people's memories and experiences of Rodriguez. Go there and read what people have written and maybe add your own comments.

Read Sugar's story at The Great Rodriguez Website.

Read about Chad and Camilla's experiences in Sweden.

A collection of memories from around the world...

Depressing?: I've heard some people call Rodriguez "depressing". How wrong they are! Rodriguez brings back good memories of school, parties, life on the border in SWA and simply feeling good. He's the best!
- Anthony Reed, February 1998, South Africa

Establishment Blues: I grew up in a conservative, freaky small Free State town, Bethlehem. I discovered Rodriguez's Cold Fact while in high school. It made a lasting impression on me. The song 'Establishment Blues' was the direct inspiration for me to write my first Afrikaans song, 'Jong Dames Dinamiek maak my siek', a full-out attack on the Afrikaner establishment. After that I wrote a number of other songs as well.

So ja, if it was not for ESTABLISHMENT BLUES, Die Naaimasjiene would probably not exist!
- Theunis Engelbrecht, November 1998, South Africa

Fan from Canada: My name is Danielle Duval. How I came to be involved and fascinated with the subject of the mystical "Rodriguez". I guess you could say it all started because my father grew up in Durban, South Africa and I have family in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Knysna.

Summer of 1997. My cousin Luc Duval came to Montreal (where I am from) to visit from Cape Town. We were out on the porch enjoying a well deserved Braai when Luc put on his favourite CD. Unusual; I had never heard it before. Incredible; Dylanesque yet more of a soulful/ fusion vibe to the sound. Eloquent, groundbreaking lyrics.

By my second listen I was obsessed with the CD entitled "Cold Fact". Luc told me the entire story as he knew it. "Practically every household in South Africa owns a copy of this CD; it is a landmark." He grew up with it; parties, the military barracks, and at home. No one knows where this guy is, or why he did not attain fame in his own land; USA. People think him dead of a drug overdose like many songwriters/ performers of that time period; 60's-70's. Luc went back to South Africa and left me wondering and extremely curious. I searched for the CD to no avail.

Luc returned to Montreal in February of 1998. "Danielle, remember Rodriguez? Well, he's from Detroit, he is second generation Mexican, and he has been washing cars for the last 15 years." This man is a cultural Icon in South Africa and he had no idea. Then he told me about you and Craig. Persistence and passion found him.

"As we speak, he is playing every major stadium in South Africa." Rodriguez; Alive at the Velodrome.

To go from nothing to playing stadiums where every audience member knows every line to every song. Woh! As a songwriter, performer, and recording artist myself, I can only imagine the intensity of that experience.
- Danielle Duval, 19th October 1998, Canada

Fan from Norway: The first time I exerienced Rodriguez was actually in Sharm El Sheik (Egypt). My diving instructor had the Cold Fact CD which he would play every time we were dressing up for the dive. I was amazed that I'd never heard about this great musician before. My problem was to get hold of the record, you see I live in Norway, and no one had ever heard about this guy. Also I play the guitar, and to get the real chords/tabs/lyrics blew my mind.... Great site.
- Henning H. Johannessen, January 1999, Norway

A Poet: To me Bob Dylan was the greatest poet of his time, Rodriguez is the greatest of all and any time. His insight into life is brutally honest, haven't we all thought a lot of what he sings, but have been too scared to say it. Mind you, you wouldn't want to be too depressed when you listen to most of his songs, because they sometimes make you want to reach for a razor blade. But hey, if you can't take the honesty, don't listen.

His music seems to appeal to people who live in the real world. Not those who won't or can't see lifes basic realities. Look I could go on for ages about this, but I'm sure that most of his fans feel the same as I. My son is nearly 13 years old, and I hope that he will be able to learn from the lyrics of Rodriguez, Myself, I'm 36 now, and am still getting a lot out of his music.
- Jeanette Dunphy, January 1999, Australia

Fan from Australia: I really like your site, I have been a moderate fan of Rodriguez over the years. I can remember the first time I heard his music it was in 1972 at The Entrance, a holiday town on the NSW central coast. I was on a surfing weekend and a very impressionable 17 year old. The images were very powerful.
The great thing is that his music has never dated. It is also surprising how many people are Rodriguez fans over here. Since I have been reviving my interest in his music and mentioning it to my friends and acquaintances, so many people have one of his records or tapes and you can see their faces when this thought evokes pleasant memories of their younger years. You go back to the places you were and friends you were with and associate that with the music. I noted somewhere in the text that someone suggested that his music was depressing. I have never found sad songs to be depressing. The most depressing music to my mind is the formulated Top 40 shit, being churned out by record companies and lapped up by a gullible youth that know no better and their elders who should know better, but just have no appreciation of art. Once again congratulations on the site. You know it is appreciated over here.
- Danny Lloyd, March 1999, Australia

Fan from Dearborn: I was amazed to learn that Rodriguez has such a huge following in South Africa, as well as in Australia. I live in Dearborn, Michigan (USA), which is only about 5 miles from Detroit, Michigan, and believe it or not, nobody in the Detroit/ Dearborn area has ever heard of Sixto Rodriguez, with the exception of a few record collectors. I have to admit that I didn't know anything about him other than that he recorded one single for the local Detroit Impact label.

I would certainly like to learn much more about him, because I really like the song, 'I'll Slip Away'. Could you help me get some of his South African CD's that are available?... I would love to hear more of his music.
- Jerry Schollenberger, The Best Of Impact Records producer, May 1999, USA

Rodriguez at City Hall: I first met Rodriguez around 1973/74, he came into the Wayne State University daily newspaper "The South End". He had just finished an unsuccessful election campaign for some sort of political office with the city of Detroit. He convinced my editor that we should cover the meeting of leaders of the local Hispanic community with the then mayor of Detroit - Coleman Young. So I marched off with him and his elder brother to city hall for their meeting with the mayor. Rodriguez was different. He was always promoting something in the community. He helped staged a Pow-Wow - an Native American dance gathering in 1974 - in of all places Detroit, Michigan. Pow-Wows occur in places like Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Oregon and the like - but Detroit, MI?

That was typical Rodriguez. My fondest memory of Rodriguez is when I followed him to a local house party at a communal household. He entertained everyone singing 50's and 60's rock 'n roll on his acoustic guitar. A memorable evening. You always had the feeling that his time was going to come and that people would discover this gentle soul. I'm so glad to hear that the people of South Africa and Australia have discovered him. I just purchased 'Cold Fact' on Amazon.com and am looking forward to hearing a voice I have not heard since 1973-74 when I was at university.
- Janice Prezzato, May 2001

The Memories

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