It all began with a record.
My friend Craig had heard a musician’s recordings, made in the 1970’s, and decided to find the singer - Sugar Man, the nickname for Sixto Rodriguez. This is a singer, who, in South Africa, Craig’s home, was bigger than the Beatles, touted to be the next Bob Dylan, a huge star. But everyone thought he was dead. He’d recorded no more music after the first two records.There was no information about Sugar Man on the liner notes of his two records, no Wiki information, nothing. Rumours had it that he was dead. Shot by his own hand. While Sugar Man’s records went platinum in South Africa, the musician was living in desperate poverty in Detroit.
After nine months, 72 phone calls, 45 faxes and 142 emails all ended in dead end, Craig started looking at the lyrics of Sugar Man’s songs. He chased clue after clue until finally landing on one that referenced Dearborn in Michigan. From there, it took some strategic phone calls and Sugar Man was found. He played concerts to sellout crowds in South Africa, but returned to Detroit.
All of this was recorded on film, a movie was made and it premiered at Sundance 2012.