His name is Rodriguez…Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, and, among other things, he sang about “jumpers, coke, sweet mary jane,” and would reportedly only gig at “hooker bars, inner city dives, and biker bars.” Sounds like a party, no? If you haven’t heard of him, it is most likely because he dropped out of the music world decades ago, existing semi sub rosa in Detroit, all the while unknowingly becoming a cult figure in South Africa. In fact, by the mid-late ’70s the man’s music was inspiring people all around the world; and that’s when the myths began; but you can read about all of that here.
The music: Cult of personality aside, Rodriguez’s Cold Fact is a quirky, eccentric and kitschy piece of late sixties psychedelia. At times **Dylan-esque folk , at times Donovan like whimsy with occasional bits of era appropriate bubblegum pop thrown in, the album swerves on two wheels more than once, yet always manages to right itself before getting too far off track.
Below: The track “Sugar Man” is bound to get a lot of love, and rightly so, but be sure to check out the LP’s second track, “Only Good For Conversation,” as well. Here Rodriguez switches gears completely, ranting, raving and eventually telling a lover she’s “the coldest bitch he knows.” And yes, those guitars you hear at the beginning do sound just like Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein.” Niiice.
** “This Is Not A Song, It’s An Outburst” is an amusing yet blatant ripoff of Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”