In memory, Rodriguez is on the turntable this morning.

Detroit, and the music world, lost a special one yesterday.

During the pandemic, I was watching all sorts of documentaries to pass the days. I had heard of the doc “Searching for Sugar Man” before, but had never seen it. This was the perfect time to give it a watch. It was fascinating. A Detroit folk artist, who resided in the heart of the city, was a giant star in southern Africa. He didn’t know this at the time. He recorded his songs, put out records and went about his life. Well, as the story goes, back in the day he was bigger than Elvis in that part of the world. I’m not going to tell you too much about it, watch it for yourself.

Fast forward to Arts, Beats & Eats in the late summer of 2021. Stone Temple Pilots is headlining that Friday night. As I walked around backstage, singer, and local boy, Jeff Gutt came up to me all excited. He told me that Sixto was actually there! He was really fired up. At some point, his assistant introduced me to Sugar Man’s daughter. She told me I could meet him but would have to wear a mask.

I recall going back into this dark tented area. There he was, top hat on, dark sunglasses, sitting with a cane propping up his arms. I just expressed how nice it was to meet him. Told him I loved the documentary. He didn’t say much, but smiled politely and nodded. He was frail, but seemed humbled by my words. The meeting lasted all of thirty seconds, but it was something I’ll never forget. Jeff did give him a shoutout on stage that night.

It might not be in everyone’s wheelhouse, but give his music a listen if you get the chance. At least watch the documentary. You’ll be glad you did.

Rest easy, Sugar Man…


  • Searching for Sugar man

  • searching for sugar man

  • Rodrigues plays africa

  • sixto rodriguez - sugar man

  • sugar man - The Official Rodriguez Website.

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