Sugar Man

Somehow, we need to dissociate ourselves from our present circumstances.

The way to do this is different and variable, because what works for one might not work for another.

Here is the story of a man who thought he was not successful and while he lived his life as if that was a fact, he was unaware of the real situation.

We may not always be as trapped as we think we are.

Something, somewhere out there may be happening beyond our horizon.

Our sense of true north may not be our true north.

This is a newspaper interview and article about a documentary called Searching for Sugar Man:

When Rodriguez first came to notice at the start of the 70s, he had the makings of a folkrock star – the next Bob Dylan, as his co-producer Dennis Coffey put it.

But somehow stardom eluded him.

His albums, Cold Fact and Coming from Reality, sank without a trace in the US and Rodriguez sank with them.

In fact, he returned quietly to Detroit and became a labourer.

Meanwhile, totally unknown to him, his music was gaining a huge fan base in South Africa where it’s politically charged lyrics had struck a chord with a growing anti-apartheid movement.

His South African fans believed he was dead, and neither word of his popularity in that isolated country nor royalties from hundreds of thousands of his albums trickled back to the US.

The documentary tells how, after the fall of apartheid, three dedicated fans finally tracked Rodriguez down to a tiny house in Detroit and flew him to South Africa in 1998 for a triumphant, back-from-the-dead tour.

“It was incredible,” he says.

“They were just so good to me.”

“It was amazing.”

Isn’t this man lucky and unlucky at the same time?

He missed his opportunity through no fault of his own and then because of three good people he was reunited with the success that was always his.

And some of the money that belonged to him.

His dream became a reality.

Maybe in his early life he walked and talked as if he had a lot to contribute to the music scene.

He was inspiring people in a far-off land and he did not know it.

He was making money and he did not know it.

He was successful and he was the last person to find out about that success.

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