Everyone has their own special memories of Rodriguez and his music.
Here you can share memories from Eva, his daughter, see some photos from the SA tour, take a look at my souvenirs, read what the newspapers have said over the years, and just absorb the influence this great humble man has had on the lives of so many of his fans.
The Forum is the place to read other people's memories and experiences of Rodriguez. Go there and read what people have written and maybe add your own comments.
Read Sugar's story at The Great Rodriguez Website.
Read about Chad and Camilla's experiences in Sweden.
A collection of memories from around the world...
Depressing?:I've heard some people call Rodriguez "depressing". How wrong they are! Rodriguez brings back good memories of school, parties, life on the border in SWA and simply feeling good. He's the best!
- Anthony Reed, February 1998, South Africa
Establishment Blues:I grew up in a conservative, freaky small Free State town, Bethlehem. I discovered Rodriguez's Cold Fact while in high school. It made a lasting impression on me. The song 'Establishment Blues' was the direct inspiration for me to write my first Afrikaans song, 'Jong Dames Dinamiek maak my siek', a full-out attack on the Afrikaner establishment. After that I wrote a number of other songs as well.
So ja, if it was not for ESTABLISHMENT BLUES, Die Naaimasjiene would probably not exist!
- Theunis Engelbrecht, November 1998, South Africa
Fan from Canada: My name is Danielle Duval. How I came to be involved and fascinated withthe subject of the mystical "Rodriguez". I guess you could say it allstarted because my father grew up in Durban, South Africa and I have familyin Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Knysna.
Summer of 1997. My cousin Luc Duval came to Montreal (where I am from) tovisit from Cape Town. We were out on the porch enjoying a well deservedBraai when Luc put on his favourite CD. Unusual; I had never heard itbefore. Incredible; Dylanesque yet more of a soulful/ fusion vibe to thesound. Eloquent, groundbreaking lyrics.
By my second listen I was obsessed with the CD entitled "Cold Fact". Luctold me the entire story as he knew it. "Practically every household inSouth Africa owns a copy of this CD; it is a landmark." He grew up withit; parties, the military barracks, and at home. No one knows where thisguy is, or why he did not attain fame in his own land; USA. People thinkhim dead of a drug overdose like many songwriters/ performers of that timeperiod; 60's-70's. Luc went back to South Africa and left me wondering andextremely curious. I searched for the CD to no avail.
Luc returned to Montreal in February of 1998. "Danielle, rememberRodriguez? Well, he's from Detroit, he is second generation Mexican, and he has beenwashing cars for the last 15 years." This man is a cultural Icon in SouthAfrica and he had no idea. Then he told me about you and Craig. Persistence and passion found him.
"As we speak, he is playing every major stadium in South Africa."Rodriguez; Alive at the Velodrome.
To go from nothing to playing stadiums where every audience member knowsevery line to every song. Woh! As a songwriter, performer, and recordingartist myself, I can only imagine the intensity of that experience.
- Danielle Duval, 19th October 1998, Canada
Fan from Norway: The first time I exerienced Rodriguez was actually in Sharm El Sheik (Egypt).My diving instructor had the Cold Fact CD which he would play every time we were dressingup for the dive.I was amazed that I'd never heard about this great musician before. My problem was to get hold of the record, you see I live in Norway, and no one had ever heard about this guy. Also I play the guitar, and to get the real chords/tabs/lyrics blew my mind.... Great site.
- Henning H. Johannessen, January 1999, Norway
A Poet: To me Bob Dylan wasthe greatest poet of his time, Rodriguez is the greatest of all and anytime. His insight into life is brutally honest, haven't we all thought alot of what he sings, but have been too scared to say it. Mind you, youwouldn't want to be too depressed when you listen to most of his songs,because they sometimes make you want to reach for a razor blade. Buthey, if you can't take the honesty, don't listen.
His music seems to appeal to people who live in the real world. Notthose who won't or can't see lifes basic realities.Look I could go on for ages about this, but I'm sure that most of hisfans feel the same as I. My son is nearly 13 years old, and I hope thathe will be able to learn from the lyrics of Rodriguez, Myself, I'm 36now, and am still getting a lot out of his music.
- Jeanette Dunphy, January 1999, Australia
Fan from Australia: I really like your site, I have been a moderate fan ofRodriguez over the years. I can remember the first timeI heard his music it was in 1972 at The Entrance, a holidaytown on the NSW central coast. I was on a surfing weekendand a very impressionable 17 year old. The images werevery powerful.
The great thing is that his music has never dated. It is alsosurprising how many people are Rodriguez fans over here.Since I have been reviving my interest in his music and mentioningit to my friends and acquaintances, so many people have oneof his records or tapes and you can see their faces when thisthought evokes pleasant memories of their younger years.You go back to the places you were and friends you were withand associate that with the music. I noted somewhere in thetext that someone suggested that his music was depressing.I have never found sad songs to be depressing. The mostdepressing music to my mind is the formulated Top 40 shit,being churned out by record companies and lapped up by agullible youth that know no better and their elders who shouldknow better, but just have no appreciation of art.Once again congratulations on the site. You know it is appreciatedover here.
- Danny Lloyd, March 1999, Australia
Fan from Dearborn:I was amazed to learn that Rodriguez has such a huge following inSouth Africa, as well as in Australia. I live in Dearborn, Michigan(USA), which is only about 5 miles from Detroit, Michigan, and believeit or not, nobody in the Detroit/ Dearborn area has ever heard of SixtoRodriguez, with the exception of a few record collectors. I have toadmit that I didn't know anything about him other than that he recordedone single for the local Detroit Impact label.
I would certainly like to learn much more about him, because I really like the song, 'I'll SlipAway'. Could you help me get some of his South African CD's that areavailable?... I would love to hear more of his music.
- Jerry Schollenberger, The Best Of Impact Records producer, May 1999, USA
Rodriguez at City Hall: I first met Rodriguez around 1973/74, he came into the Wayne State University daily newspaper "The South End". He had just finished an unsuccessful election campaign for some sort of political office with the city of Detroit. He convinced my editor that we should cover the meeting of leaders of the local Hispanic community with the then mayor of Detroit - Coleman Young. So I marched off with him and his elder brother to city hall for their meeting with the mayor. Rodriguez was different. He was always promoting something in the community. He helped staged a Pow-Wow - an Native American dance gathering in 1974 - in of all places Detroit, Michigan. Pow-Wows occur in places like Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Oregon and the like - but Detroit, MI?
That was typical Rodriguez. My fondest memory of Rodriguez is when I followed him to a local house party at a communal household. He entertained everyone singing 50's and 60's rock 'n roll on his acoustic guitar. A memorable evening. You always had the feeling that his time was going to come and that people would discover this gentle soul. I'm so glad to hear that the people of South Africa and Australia have discovered him. I just purchased 'Cold Fact' on Amazon.com and am looking forward to hearing a voice I have not heard since 1973-74 when I was at university.
- Janice Prezzato, May 2001