Rodriguez - An Introduction

"...maybe the Myth and the Mystery are now gone,
but the Music and the Memories will always remain..."

The Man
The Myths
The Music
The Magic
The Memories
The Forum

Newcomers to the phenomenon that is Rodriguez should
please start here first...

His Music

His music is difficult to categorise as it fuses elements of Rock, Folk, Jazz, Soul, Blues and even Classical flourishes. Rodriguez is a singer-songwriter in the social commentary style of Bob Dylan, with the feel of the old Blues masters and even touches of Rock and Roll.

My inspiration comes from the environment and personal angst...each song is written to a theme...
- Rodriguez, March 1998
I've always concentrated on social issues, because I've always found it easiest to write about things that upset me. But I can (and have) explored the boy-girl theme in music and I enjoy writing ballads too.
- Rodriguez, March 1998

His sound is timeless and doesn't date... it still sounds fresh today.

His Fanbase

Rodriguez has been a household name among the white population in South Africa since the early 70's. The album Cold Fact has become a cult classic in South Africa, but unbelievably Rodriguez was unknown elsewhere (except in Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe). He was never mentioned in any music magazines, rock encyclopedias or any other publications on the history of Rock.

It was this situation of an American artist being famous in South Africa, but unknown in his home country (and, of course, my love for his music!), that led me to set up this website. As one news headline said during the 1998 South African tour: "American Zero, South African Hero". Through this website and the Internet I have discovered that Rodriguez also has fans in Germany, Canada, Japan, England, Brazil, Norway and the USA.

Since 2001 or so, Rodriguez has started getting mentioned in magazines like Mojo and NME, thanks in part to the David Holmes cover of 'Sugar Man'. Shiloh Noone's book 'The Seekers Guide To The Rhythms Of Yesterday' (published by the author in April 2004) also features a section on Rodriguez.

But worldwide fame and fortune still elludes this most humble of musicians.

Fast forward to August 2008 ... all this is changing!!! Read more

His Influence

I've always been fascinated by his music and harsh comments on life. It is amazing to me that he never cracked the big-time world-wide. His influence on South Africans, especially the National Service guys in the 70s and 80s, has been profound. Visit the forum to read more comments (and add your own) on how Rodriguez has affected and influenced so many lives.

Sixto Rodriguez - fifty-something-year-old failed Detroit politician and (in his own country) unknown singer songwriter - is part of our shared cultural heritage. In the deadly SA '70s, his songs of harsh political complaint, of the power of sex and the lure of drugs, awoke something in untold thousands of young (white) breasts. He stoked rebellion and - who knows - helped children of suburbia wake up to the need for change in their own country.
- Guy Willoughby, 9th March 1998

His Websites

Very little was known about him, and most people (including me) thought he was dead! When I first started surfing the net in early 1997, one of the first musicians I looked for was Rodriguez. After finding nothing, I decided to publish my own site. I worked on my page for about a month and just before I was ready to publish, I found The Great Rodriguez Hunt website set up by Sugar Segerman. I felt my site still had something to contribute, so on the 25th October 1997 the fledging Climb Up On My Music archive website was launched.

Since his rediscovery and live tours of South Africa in March 1998 and September 2001 this site has grown way, way beyond my original intentions or my wildest expectations. Since meeting him a large number of my questions have been answered. So maybe the Myth and the Mystery are now gone, but the Music and the Memories will always remain.


The South African Rock Encyclopedia
This website is part of the South African Rock Encyclopedia.

Yoni's Canadian Cold Fact Tribute page. Website by a Canadian guy who knew nothing about Rodriguez, not even the song titles on 'Cold Fact', but who loves his music.

Thanks (For Your Time)

A huge number of people have contributed to this ever-growing website and this is where I thank them.

My late mother, Joan, who never saw this website, but who encouraged and supported my passion for music from an early age.

The Man himself, Rodriguez for making all our questions disappear (well, some of them anyway). When I met him in March 1998, he was very patient and answered my trivial questions about album release dates, musicians, etc. This site is dedicated to him for inspiring my passion (and obsession) for all things Rodriguez.

Eva Alicia Rodriguez (his first-born daughter), who was incredible in sharing the memories of her father and his music. She was instrumental in arranging the SA tour and it was a pleasure to meet her after months of e-mail correspondence.

Sandra Rodriguez-Kennedy (his second daughter), for her press clippings from the Australian tour of 1979.

Regan Rodriguez (his daughter with Konny), for her laughter and the "Kool-Aid".

Konny Rodriguez (his second wife), for her memories of Rodriguez and the Australian tours.

Stephen "Sugar" Segerman who helps with a great deal of the information on this site and who has become a special friend through our love for Rodriguez.

Mike Theodore, 'Cold Fact' producer and co-composer of 'Hate Street Dialogue' and 'Gommorah' for info about the recording sessions for 'Cold Fact'.

Gary W Harvey, co-composer of 'Hate Street Dialogue' and 'Gommorah' for the story behind 'Hate Street Dialogue'.

Darin Harvey, for putting me in touch with his father, Gary.

Graham Stewart for his original Cold Fact vinyl album information.

Shaun Millin for information about Rodriguez releases in New Zealand.

André Bakkes for having an original vinyl copy of Coming From Reality.

Craig Bartholomew for being a "music detective" and finding Rodriguez.

Wendy Slade for typing most of the lyrics and re-typing some of the magazine and newspaper articles.

Rob Otto for the chords to Hate Street Dialogue.

Anna Gerber for information about Australian releases.

Louis Pienaar for guitar chords for 5 Cold Fact songs.

Desmond for the scan of the back cover of Alive.

Ray Taylor for the scan of the Cold Fact "white" album.

Mandy Currin who re-typed the USA Today article.

David Viljoen for introducing Craig Bartholomew to the music of Rodriguez (on 8-track, yet!) and for having an original vinyl copy of After The Fact and a 1973 cassette of Cold Fact.

Toshio Nomura from Japan for info and cover scans for the original 1971 US release of Coming From Reality.

Rui de Sousa from Sony Music SA who supplied me with an advance release of Live Fact a month before official release. He also included my original website address in the sleeve notes of the CD.

Chris Venter from PolyGram South Africa for various bits of information about Rodriguez releases.

Barbara Walker and the girls from Rainbow Productions for VIP tickets, backstage passes, posters, etc.

Nigel Walsh from the UK for the cover scan of the 1972 SA release of Coming From Reality.

Mattias Bylund for info on the June 1998 Swedish tour.

Tonia Selley from Big Sky and The Pressure Cookies for all her info on the Blues Room concerts and for making the TV documentary of the SA tour.

Theunis Engelbrecht for reviews and info.

Bruce Hopkins for some guitar chords.

Andrew Bond for his Cold Fact retrospective review, written especially for this site.

David Hutchison for chords to Lifestyles and Halfway Up The Stairs.

Gavin Kelly and Jerry Schollenberger for info on the 1967 single release of I'll Slip Away

Warren for info on the Australian Cold Fact music book.

Kevin Carhart for info on The Family Dogg's The View From Rowland's Head album featuring cover versions of Rodriguez tracks.

Tim Forster for the tape of 'You'd Like To Admit It' and the article in Mojo magazine, August 2002.

John Samson for the scan of the 'Alive' album and for info on the Reggae Rod cover versions.

Kurt Shoemaker for copies of 'I'll Slip Away' (1967) and Monkeywrench's version of 'Sugar Man'.

Jim Haynes for spotting the missing lyrics in 'Establishment Blues' - "Can you pass the Roshach test?"

David Stodel, for the videos

Daniel Dennis, for the Cold Fact Songbook

Jeff Smith, for info on Australian singles

Terry Fairweather and Bill Robb for caring enough to ask for my help in re-issuing 'Cold Fact' in August 2002.

...and everyone else who has contributed in some way to this site or added their messages to the Forum.


Some people have said some very nice things about this site so in a fit of self-indulgence here are some quotes:

You really have done some outstanding work on your web site. I really appreciate it (Eva)

...the updates are fantastic and I love the music you've added... (Anna from Oz)

It's one of my frequently visited sites lately and I congratulate you on having one of the very few sites on the www, with information about the great man. (Andrew from UK)

What a great site, great achievement. VERY VERY interesting. All I can say is that I am impressed. (André)

Well done on a well-structured (consistently too) web site. (Craig) are doing a great job...keep up the good work, keep us informed. (Jeanine)

...brilliant work (Stephen)

Your site is just wonderful... (Sugar)'s great (Toshiaki from Japan)

Thanks for the site on the web - I LOVE IT!!! (Micci)

Truly amazing (Eva)

Thanks for your time...stay bent (Sixto)

Great site (Rui)

I love your site (Shauna)

We love your site - keep it up (Kolie and Megan from Washington DC)

If you enjoy Brian's site as much as I do then you have to keep reloading it every chance you got because he updates it faster then you can read it (Yoni from Canada)

..thank you for all the work you do to keep the dream colourful (Chad and Camilla from Gothenburg, Sweden)

..your site was just totally amazing. Thanks again and again for the mind-blowing page!! (Jason)

Thanks for all your hard work to keep us updated on Rodriguez. (Theunis)

I was really surprised (and pleased!!) to find your Web site. Thanks for all your work - it must have taken you ages to collate all this information on such an enigmatic person but the results are fantastic (Greg from Oz)

Thanks for all the effort... (Craig from UK)

What a great website. Keep up your excellent work on this site!! (Craig)

Thanks for a very good home page (Magnus from Sweden)

A superb job well done!! I love this site... (Johan)

You have done a superb job... (Konny from Detroit)

The new website looks excellent. I think the Web architecture is great, easy to use and well defined (Alan)

Just had a look at the Vagabond and Rodriguez sites and what can I say... I'm impressed. I think it looks great and I like the feel of the navigation. Well done!! (John)

Want to congratulate you on your wonderful Rodriguez site, it is really great (Peter from Zambia)

I play the guitar, and to get the real chords/tabs/lyrics blew my mind.... Great site. (Henning from Norway)

I just wanted to commend you on the quality of the site and it's content. (Danny from Australia)

First may I say that I think your Web Site is excellent... (Jeanette from Australia)

All previously published articles, images and sounds appearing on this site are reproduced here, in a non-profit forum and manner, for the purposes of research, comment and criticism. Credit is given wherever possible for news reports, photos, lyrics, songs, etc. Please advise of any omissions.

Site design and concept Brian Currin 1997-2009.


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