Big Concerts has announced that the legendary Rodriguez will return to South Africa this summer for live shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The two performances are scheduled on Friday, 15 February at the Big Top Arena, Carnival City in Johannesburg and Wednesday, 20 February at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town. The tour will be produced by Big Concerts, and presented by Talk Radio 702, 567 CapeTalk and M-Net.
The Mexican-American singer-songwriter had been working on his music career in Detroit since the early 1960s. He recorded an album in 1969 that many believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. Instead, Cold Fact bombed and the Rodriguez seemingly disappeared into obscurity, even being subject to rumours that he had committed suicide by setting himself on fire on stage. Album banned
The album took on a life of its own when a bootleg recording found its way into South Africa. Banned by the Apartheid government, the album became a nationwide phenomenon over the next two decades, and the soundtrack to a resistance movement of liberal African youth. Back in Detroit, living a hard-scrabble life, Rodriguez was totally unaware that he was not just a folk hero but a household name thousands of miles away.
Eventually, two South African fans set out to find out what really happened to their hero, and their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the many myths they have heard. Their story forms the basis of the recently released documentary Searching For Sugarman which was a big hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival where it won the world documentary audience award and a special jury award.