the following article was written by Stephen "Sugar" Segerman in mid - 1996


Rodriguez --- Cult or Crap? The Cold Facts

During November 1996 the third in the trilogy of Rodriguez LPs "The Best of Rodriguez" will be released in South Africa on CD for the first time.
Earlier in `96 the previously unavailable "After the Fact/Coming From Reality" joined "Cold Fact" on the CD shelves after Polygram, recognising the huge demand for this LP, launched a search to fund a usable copy of what proved to be an extremely rare record. "Cold Fact" has sold steadily through the years and "After the Fact" has proved equally successful, hence the release of the "Best" CD. Now if you grew up in S.A. during the 70s then this could be major news especially if you now live overseas because with the exception of a few sightings in Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand, these three LPs have been almost totally unknown and unavailable anywhere else in the world.

There are no references to Rodriguez or his work in any of the rock (or general music) reference books Originally released on Buddah Records in the U.S.A., the masters of the three LPs became the property of A & M Records when they bought Buddah Records. The three LPs were subsequently pressed and released in S.A. For an assortment of reasons, of the three, "Cold Fact" achieved the most success and sold like the proverbial bushfire.
It nestled in the record collections of practically every home that already had "Abbey Road" "Bridge over Troubled Water", "Aqualung", "Leonard Cohens Greatest Hits" and "Harvest". It featured a nasal Hispanic-American singing sweet but vitriolic folk-songs about `DRUCKS`, unrequited lust and big city misery; but everyone around here knew all the words and would sing along without having any idea what Rodriguez was really moaning about.

When "Cold Fact" first appeared on CD,it found many of the S.A. Baby Boomers living in a multitude of new (adopted ) countries where Rodriguez was as well known as Bles Bridges; so the locally pressed CD was soon on the list of things to be sent to family and friends overseas, that were `unavailable anywhere` like fishpaste and biltong. .
Hearing "Sugar Man, won`t you hurry, cause I`m tired of these scenes." Is like closing your eyes, clicking your heels together and zooming off back to the old homestead like Dorothy did, and that essentially is its` appeal ..When "After the Fact" first appeared on CD , it attracted a critical response largely,and adversely, centering on the fact that Rodriguez (like Cat Stephens) was just 70s' crap and deserves no more mystical perusing then "Tea for the Tillerman" does .

To them I say "Well I wonder how many times you`ve been had,and I wonder if all your dreams have gone badů." There is something in these records that resists analysis and objectivity, you just had to be there! "After the Fact" is mostly as unknown as "Cold Fact" is known, so it should be interesting to see how it`s judged by `The old fans`. It is a strong L.P. and bears close comparison with "Cold Fact". "The Best of Rodriguez" contains songs mostly from the two 'Fact' LPs with a few rarities thrown in.
Who Rodriguez was or is remains a mystery with even the record companies still religiously paying royalties to an unknown source or recipient somewhere in the USA. A query about Rodriguez recently appeared in Q magazine. A search on the Net has been underway for some time now as to any information about Rodriguez but none`s been forthcoming. Still, as with all musical mysteries and taste disputes, the bottom line is the music and you`ll just have to judge this for yourselves by buying and listening to these CDs and that ,as Rodriguez says is .`A concrete cold fact !!!! `


Read more reports from Sugar that have been printed and published:

Sleeve notes for After The Fact CD re-issue
Fan traces "lost" artist Rodriguez
Sugar And The Sugarman
Programme notes for 1998 SA tour
Post-tour message on the Forum
On The Trail Of A Living Legend in the Big Issue
Hi Wonder - concert reviews


mythology

forum

cold fact

after the fact

best of...
Live Fact
live fact

buy