The Cold FAQs (Facts)
Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Rodriguez and his music. OK, some questions are not asked that frequently... in fact, some have only been asked once, probably by me!
Question: Where can I buy his CDs?
Answer: Read the current situation here...
Q: Who is Rodriguez really? What is his real name? Where does he live? Where has he been all this time?
He was born and bred and still livesin Detroit, Michigan in the USA.
I like to tell people that I was born on Michigan Avenue, five blocks from the centre of Detroit
He was often referred to as Jesus Rodriguez by South African fans because of the composer credits on the classic album Cold Fact. Songs were credited to Jesus Rodriguez and Sixth Prince.The name Jesus Rodriguez was usedas a "political move" to avoid release delays. Jesus (pronounced "Hey-soos")is actually Rodriguez's brother."Sixth Prince" (Rodriguez's birthorder) and "Sandrevan"(named after daughters, Sandra and Eva) were publishing corporations usedfor copyright protection.
His parents were hard working classpeople who immigrated from Mexico in the 1920's. Rodriguez is also hard working class.
I like mend roofs, build walls, I worked in a gas station...
He has teaching experience and graduated from Wayne State University (Detroit)in 1981 with a BA in Philosophy. He has been a candidate for various cityand state political offices: State Representative (twice), City Council(three times), Mayor (twice) and one attempt for Senator.
...he had slipped from music into social work, participating in child development programs for the city of Detroit. "I saw some things I thought people should be made aware of" he explains, "but I was unable to do that with my music".
We went swimming in Grand Bend and to pow-wows (a magical Indian ceremony) throughout Michigan. As far back as 1974 I was involved in organising an American-Indian pow-wow at Wayne State University Campus.
I've done a bit of this, a bit of that. I'm solid working class. I finished a BA in philosophy at Wayne State University. I joined in Indian pow-wows throughout Michigan. I stand for the American Indian in jail, for justice and I ran for election.
I've been working on my conciousness for the past 20 years, and on an arts degree (majoring in philosophy) for the past decade. It took me so long (for the degree) because I was busy with other things in between. I've been mainly based in Detroit, which is where I was born and raised.I ran for mayor twice, for state representative twice and for the city council three times.
Read Eva's brief biography of her father here.
Read a biography published in an Australian music book here.
Read a musician's profile by Nils van der Linden here.
Q: How did the rumours of his death start?
A: No-one seems to know, least-of-all Rodriguez! These rumours were already around in the 70s, judging by the newspaper reports from the 1979 Australia tour.
Dunno, maybe just because I dropped out of sight for so long.
Q: Where can I found his lyrics, song words, chords, sheet music?
A: There was a music book for Cold Fact published in Australia in the early 80's, but it is long out of print. All the lyrics are here. Most of Cold Fact's chords and some for After The Fact are right here!
Q: Did he really tour South Africa? Wasn't it a hoax?
A: Go here and make up your own mind. There was no need for me to stick my fingers into his palms! (for the humour-impaired, that was a joke referring to the fact that he was known as Jesus for so many years).
Q: Who is Jane S Piddy?
A: Though Rodriguez himself personally denied this when I asked him, I believe 'Jane S Piddy' is a deliberate misspelling of "Janis Pity" - a sort of tribute to Janis Joplin. Rodriguez said in March 1998: "The people [in my songs] are fictional. I tapped on the writer's poetic licence giving them names and shape. Almost as a caricature works for the visual artist."
Q: Who is Eva?
A: Eva is Rodriguez's eldest daughter who was instrumental in getting the 1998 SA tour underway. Read some of her memories here.
Q: Did he play at Woodstock in 1969? 1999?
A: No and no.
Q: Who is responsible for the brilliant guitar solo on Climb Up On My Music?
A: Chris Spedding, read more here.
Q: Who are the musicians on Cold Fact?
A: Go here
Q: Where is Ixea?
A: The song "It Started Out So Nice" is full of Tolkien-type imagery. Rodriguez sings of a place called Ixea, filled with colourful characters likeOrion, Durock of Avon, Kogi, Genji (pronounced Jeanie), the Wurs, and many others. I have no idea where these come from, maybe Rodriguez invented them himself.
Q: Who is Heikki?
A: Heikki was a real friend of Rodriguez (also referred to as "my Estonian Archangel"), see Eva'smemories.
Q: Where is Dearborn?
A: Rodriguez sings of meeting a girl from Dearborn. It is a city in Michigan state, if you're reallybored take a tour there.
Q: What are the proper lyrics in "A Most Disgusting Song" when Rodriguez sings: "...sloppy-at-weekend sluts..."?
A: Rodriguez, Eva and Konny told me that the correct lyrics are "East Lafayette weekend sluts". A street or area in downtown Detroit.
Q: What is the significance of the little grey shoe on the Coming From Reality album cover?
The shoe had no real meaning. The photographer, Hal Wilson, came in from New York. We walked around Detroit and saw the house. Debris was laying around and the shoe was nearby. I took it and placed it beside mine. We only took seven shots for the album cover. Milton Sincoff designed the cover with Buddha Records and we said at the time: if the album doesn't make it, the cover will!
I had always wondered if it had any significance but my dad says no. He was also holding a piece of glass, sometimes thought to be a plastic bag of "something".
Q: Which songs have titles that are not referred to in the lyrics at all?
Q: What song actually features the words "Cold Fact"?
A: 'The Establishment Blues' has the classic line "... and that's a concrete cold fact". 'Inner City Blues', however also includes the words "cold fact" in its lyrics.
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