Sixto Rodriguez: I Found Sugar Man at The Greek - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Gina Silva

Sixto Rodriguez: I Found Sugar Man at The Greek

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Imagine being famous. I mean really famous. I’m talking larger than the Rolling Stones. Yet, you’re completely unaware of your fame. Sounds crazy, right?

That's the story of Sixto Rodriguez.

In the 1970's he recorded an album called Cold Fact and Coming From Reality. In the states, they didn’t do well. But in South Africa and Australia, they were huge hits. Especially in South Africa which was going through apartheid. Rodriguez’s music considered anti-establishment immediately resonated with the people. Approximately, a million copies were sold. If you ask South Africans, they’ll tell you Rodriguez was bigger than The Stones or The Beatles.

Unfortunately, Rodriguez never got a penny from his record sales. He never knew people loved his music. Feeling like a failure, he gave up on the industry and worked numerous odd jobs, sometimes being homeless.

Meanwhile in South Africa and Australia, fans wanted to know more about the folk singer. No one knew anything except that his name was Rodriguez. One rumor making the rounds, was that Rodriguez had committed suicide on stage either by setting himself on fire or shooting himself in the head. People set up a website called the The Great Rodriguez Hunt. Many years later, a documentary called Searching for Sugar Man was filmed. Rodriguez was found alive living in his native Detroit. If you haven’t seen the documentary, I highly recommend it. It’s great!

Since the film, Rodriguez has been touring the world. I recently photographed him at The Greek Theatre. One of the best venues to enjoy a concert in the LA area. Rodriguez is now in his 70’s but the man still has a great voice. He’s often described as a Bob Dylan type. I actually think he’s better. His songs, I wonder, Rich Folks Hoax, Sugar Man, Crucify Your Mind and Forget it are my favorites. It was a pleasure, photographing him on stage.

As a bonus, I also had a chance to shoot photos of singer LP (Laura Pergolizzi). The singer, songwriter has worked with the likes of Cher, Rihanna and Christina Aguilera. Last year, Vogue Magazine featured LP as one of the people to watch in 2013. I believe it. Just like Rodriguez, LP has a very unique style and voice. Overall, it was an awesome concert at The Greek. If you love going to concerts, check out their summer line up. Some big names are scheduled.

For more photos of Rodriguez and LP, go to my photo website: Ginasilvaphotography.com.

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