View Full Version : Searching for Sugarman

Dan McCosh
11-12-2012, 11:13 AM
Maybe the best film I've seen in many years. It's one of those too-strange-to-be-true stories, actually a documentary. Dunno how much publicity it has had, but it's the tale of a talented singer and songwriter who made a couple of albums in 1971 or so that were dismal failures. Somehow they were bootlegged in South Africa, and became not only the songs of the anti-apathereid movement, but ended up more successful than Elvis or the Rolling Stones, at least in South Africa. Meanwhile, the guy who did the albums went back to doing day labor in the Cass Corridor in Detroit. About 10 years ago, a journalist in South Africa started trying to uncover who this pop star was, and what happened to him. Eventually, he is found still living in the neighborhood, and gets a bit of a boost to a new career at the age of 76. I don't know how well the movie is distributed. (It only played in a handful of small theatres here, even with Rodriguez playing in a local club). I think it is up for an academy award.

Bruce Taylor
11-12-2012, 12:52 PM
We watched it in Ottawa a couple of months ago...really enjoyed it. The filmmakers did stretch the story a bit (they were pretty quiet about the fact that Rodriguez had a following in Australia, and actually toured the country 1979 and '81). Regardless, it's a great story, and the belated success couldn't happen to a more likeable guy.

The soundtrack gave me a couple of persistent earworms, tho'...Sugarmaaan, won't ya hurry....:D

11-12-2012, 05:56 PM
None of his songs rings a bell, so maybe not bigger than the Stones or Elvis, but maybe a better international yardstick for South(ern) Africa in the late '70's and early '80's would be Bob Marley - he was everywhere ... <shrugs>

11-12-2012, 10:03 PM
OZ had and still has a large(ish) group of supporters from way back. More "docotainment" than doco. (we have 2 of his on wax LP)