Sixto Rodriguez – The Rockstar Who Didn’t Know He Was Famous


Episode Transcription

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Hey Man, what's up? Have you ever heard of six Toe Rodrigres Rod regress? Six Toe Rod regress Rodriguez? I know I was saying a wrong way. You did six toe Rodriguez, six tone rodrigueys. Okay, is six toe a name or is it like a nickname? Look, they got six to so, so it's just six toe. So I watched two separate interviews with people asking him about his name and he said in one of them he said, I don't know, my mom picked it. Yeah, and the other one he said it's because I'm the sixth kid. Oh, all R, another of those words. It's excitings. I thought so, but he, I mean he is the uncle is spike kids, right, is that? Is that who we're talking about? I think that means you're getting waterboard. Is Bro and Jesus what? I got his money this whole time. What did they go to? Australia? not, ma'am, he's dead. Wait a minute, dead. Yeah, come on, you're getting screwed here. Everybody has a grossest thing about them things. Last night he say that because you shot the picture and he does look a lot like he doesn't like did see the picture on accident? Does he does look a lot like the uncle from Spidet. I accidentally saw the picture, but no, he was not in he is not that actor, nor is he an actor at all. The six Rodriguez here's here's something interesting. His his a. What do you call this wikipedia page on his occupation? He is the only person on wikipedia that has an occupation that includes demolition worker and excavation worker. Right. No, you think he's the only person? Yeah, I think there's no, no one else. You think how to Webb for age? No, I don't know how you would confirmed that. Look at every personal page on people and don't make definitive statements like the person. No, because mine says that. Here's the thing. I was talked to have a wikipedia page. Now you know, I'm not going to tell you is I'm gonna go and I was like. I was like, you know what, I'm just might be the first person who got waterboarded and is still on speaking terms of the person who water boards them. And he was like, sick things. I didn't get water board he straight up was like now you're not okay. So you talked to him about getting waterboarded. Then I did talk to me. Have someone in our building, who is military? Yeah, we can't know his name. I said his name. BLEEP it out. Who knows how to water board? Yeah, yeah, and I think that means you're getting waterboarded, Bro. anyways, so six toh, he's his occupation is a list and says list is singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, excavation worker, demolition worker. Those are his occupies. So he's an uncle from sprike. He's a Jack of vulture. It's okay. So here's the story. This is a crazy story. So the guy he listen Detroit Michigan kind of came up in Detroit Michigan is from our resently from Mexico. His family moves, moved away and then he moved to Detroit and while he was there he was a local musician, played the bar scene, run a lot of songs. This is this is a long time ago. This is in Detroit. Yeah, so this is in the his born in forty two. So he's in Detroit in the S. okay, and so he is a very young guy coming up in the bar scene, writing songs, playing and shows and he gets discovered. Discovered, well, I mean some local who is looking for people who know. I thought you were going to be like. So I think you're like straight up be like. Well, you know, Walt Disney was just happy to be in Detroit, you know, looking for his epcot land, and goes into a local bar because he had a drinking problem. MMM, and then just heard what is this sweet music? What is this melody? And let's when is that man has six toes because he plays barefoot. He plays like where you can see his sixth I hate when warship leaders would lead barefoot. I still closer to God. Why it was? It's holy ground. Take off your shoes, because that what they do it. Yeah, yeah, they're trying to be like most makes sense. I guess. No, it doesn't. There's a justification for your college had to make a rule that you had to wear some kind of shoes in the cafeteria because one person, who I'm pretty sure listens to our podcast, he know you, know who you are, you know who you are, would walk in and just into the cafeteria. He just walk the whole campus barefoot. Yeah, he I don't think he wash. She's like two years. I don't think you did either. Yeah, what's it? I mean, honestly, goes to you like that's impressive. I'm impressed, is it? I like him a lot. Yeah, I guess, a really fun guy, Hey guy, but that's the grossest thing about him and I love him and I would say that everybody has a grossest thing about that. The grossers think about you is what I don't know. You have to tell me that pimple on your nose? Yeah, I got a pretty fix it up my nose today. Thanks for pointing it out. Apreciate yeah, the gross thing about you is that you still have an iphone eight. Why would I up grade? It works. It does. It works, it's paint. Flip through the cameras were quicker and show it's it's paid off. If you're watching this, can you just guess which one is his? It works, it's paid off. Why would I have Craig, I'm going to edit this. I'm not giving into apples schemes. I'm going to edit this. I'm going to make your angle just upside down. Horrible, Gosh, sitting is so he gets discovered by a guy who works for a pretty nature record label. Hey, and the guys like, Hey, we want to sign you. Yeah, it's called Sussex records. It's out of business now. But it was an offshoot of Buddha records, which was fairly large record label. Some pretty pretty artists. An artist, none that I had heard of, but I according to the big recording big. I mean I'd know, I'd horrible, but I mean it was sixty years ago. I think about this. Cling to them and I was just looking at like like tick tock. Today I stumbled across on account that eight million followers. Yeah, and I was just like, I've never seen you before my entire life. Well, here's here's what I realize. I was watching the other two yesterday. Unless see a car came on and I was like, I've no idea who this is, no idea, no idea. This is how I know I'm an old person now. Yeah, I was an old person. I'm saying there's so much. There are twitch streamers. You have millions of fans and are making an insane amount of money. Yeah, and we don't know about them at all. Think here's an interesting question. Do you think that, with the Internet and really tick Tock and twitch and those kind of platforms, where past the point of household names? No, I still think we have household names. Yeah, because I think there's a different level of celebrity. Yeah, I guess, you know, I guess you can have there will always be a Kim Kardashian. There will always be. I'm serious, though you don't think you're right. There will always be. Even if I don't listen to Kanye, I know who Kanye is. That's fact, you know, that's right. There will always be that level of celebrity, super level superstars. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that it is shifting, but what's interesting to me too, is that you are able to create a pocket, you know, in a way that I don't think we've seen before. True, could have a couple million like devoted fans. Yes, yeah, yeah, and that was the fear of the Internet, was that it was going to create like this one world thing where it was just be like, here's this government and here's these, these are your now international celebrities in this is it kind of thing. But when it up happening was it is created a bunch of, you know, fractions of this person has eight million followers and makes a killer living doing this. Yeah, and I've never I and you know I'll I still will never see any other content. HMM. Yeah, that's fair. That is fair. So that wasn't the case with was six town. He put out two records with this record label, one in seventy and seventy, one originally under the name Rod Space Reguez. Oh, was he hated the label ways that decision. Yeah, they're like, we don't like your name. Yeah, it was like yeah, okay, and they let him switch it back to Rodriguez after the putting out a single. That didn't do well, and so then he put out an album called fact in nineteen seventy and then another album coming from reality in nine seventy one. Do we know any of his songs? Yeah, which we can talk about that. Well, hmmm, maybe, I mean kind of. So they didn't sell well at all. Then do good. And so he was quickly dropped from the label and then he bummer. He kept playing like local shows. I will also say this about the Internet, is that there is more power in the artist's hands now, because then he gets d off from the label, What does he do? He just goes back to playing boshes. Right, yeah, you just go you maybe try to get a local radio stations help. Yeah, like, what do you you? There's there is a gatekeeper. You have to go through that's you're going to be on the radio. You got to get now. and honestly, what sucks now to though, is that you could be so talented, you can have you can build all the streams on social media and all that, but now what a record label wants is for you to have a viral hit on tick tock. Yep. So you can get a viral hit on Tick Tock, get a record deal, or you can do this other way. Get a bunch of streams, build a huge fan base, be touring already, but you don't have the viral tick Tock. The record label want to touch it them. You know, yeah, right, all right, but either you don't need the record label anymore, though you're already tore your to do with stuff. The record label only picks up people that they don't have to put the work into. Now. Yes, well, before they would go out and actively search for people of talent. Same thing with the talent agency that once you know, Reagan to do commercials and once in they were they were like hey, can we signed jere into? But they won't talk to me, they haven't emailed me. They want to like and and they're just like they wouldn't add anything to what I'm doing. Yeuh, yea. Anyway, that's pretty fair. I I'm already getting hands. You listen this episode right now. There's probably a pretty little add. I'm already getting commercials. Baby, cut to the AD break. We'll see if it hits. Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, that's right, that's when new episodes drop on Patreon. Patreons a way to get early access to episodes and as their content and exclusive merchandise. And we're not going to stop there, because we had a private discord with our host and producers in it for less than seventeen cents a date. That's right, that's five a month. You two can be a patreon supporter and not here advertisements in this freaking podcast anymore text till in the six six eighty sixty six. Otherwise I'll come to your house, I will find you, I will destroy everything that's good in your life until we're the only thing left. Anyway, here's another advertisement. Listen to that. See, take that, talent, Scout. Take that. I don't need your celebrity. So I got magic spool cereal. So he goes back. So this he gets cut pretty much right. Have the RECO came out and seventy one, his second record. No one bought this. Yeah, like, people don't like you. So he went to not out there. You have a lot of fans, it's just people don't like you. Here here at the record label, there's a lot of people who don't. So he kept playing music for about five years, releasing singles on like small independent labels and stuff like that, but it didn't really go anywhere. Never really took off. Since seventy six he kind of gave gave up on his music career and he bought a house in Detroit at a government auction for fifty bucks in a not great neighborhood, but fifty house. Did a little bit of workty dollars. Yeah, yeah, did a little bit bit of work to renovate it. And what year? Seventy six. That's still obscene leaf cheap, obscenely cheap. That's not like an inflation number. Yeah, I mean it's like at this that is it would have cost him two hundred and twenty seven dollars today. That's the inclusion. Yeah, that's the inflation of him out. So that's he thought it at us. This was not a lead cheese is not a house. We bought a front porch. I mean it were a house used to be. I mean the way wikipedia describes it as a derelict Detroit House. So it's not in great shape. Okay, he did a lot of work to renovate it, though, and then he became a day labor literally his life after this was he would he was one of those guys who would go hang out at different stores around town, Beck, you need any work done, and then he would go do some demo word for you or pick up trash around your yard, like you. Literally would just find people and say hey, you knowed anything done? n't have a job, like he was just a day laborer. So very much lived in kind of poverty right. Well, in the early s something happened, and it's not really clear how it happened, but somehow he he went like viral in Australia. And so, okay, one of his songs just took off. Yeah, and people in Australia loved it. So some local Australian record label found Buddha, the company that owned the company he releases records on, and they really purchase the Australian rights to the record. Oh, and so they started selling the record in Australian it went platinum. You know, Australia, Australia. That's honestly a dream of mine. I was I really hope that our show is just insanely popular in Australia. So they end up, they end up tracking them down and then the early s he does two tours in Australia, like massive, like theater tour, sold out tours, big theater tour making money. Yeah, worse. Yeah, big tours, goes out and does those twice. That's you know, that's where owl city does really. You know, owl city still tours like in Asian countries. You know, it's really funny. said that. There's a music commentator that I watched some of his videos. He sorry, shaking his head. Do you show me for this guy's videos this week? Anyway, he mentioned into the other day in a video. He was like, he's like, it's like here's the thing. He's like, he's like you find any of these bad artists from ten years ago? They are doing huge tours in Europe and as right now. Yep, and he was like, he's like here's the thing and he's he's like this isn't like a mean thing at all. And he's like those countries just have lower standards for music. Oh my gosh, no, he's he's like here's the thing. He's like they like anything. He's like, if it's he's like, they're just like, oh, yeah, we like that, that's cool, we'll go to the show. Yeah, in the US we'll hate everything. We're just a little stiff, you know. He's and so he was more he was more port than the finger out as being like where jerks. God, were like, Oh, it's all. I'm not others to that anymore. I know what that's what. So that's what's crazy about ow wil city is that he lives in in a small town in Minnesota. HMM, the town I've been to like three times this year to do shows. H He lives there. Yeah, in this smaller than Mount Vernon town. Yeah, and tours, those just these massive, crazy tours. Interesting, that's crazy. Concurs. That's Naze. So six toe, so six to see indust really to the assid tours in Australia. They indust really exist in the EIES. How long has really been there? When did they build Australia? So he does a couple tours. Yeah, starts getting some some royalties from it, but it's kind of like he's getting kind of robbed. He makes some money from the tours, though. Yeah, he makes some money from the tours. He's getting some royalties from the record sales, but it's not what he should be getting. Split is he's getting robbed. Yeah, the thing is he continues to live a very humble lift style. He goes back from Australia and he continues working as a day labor. He's like, I is that his five hundred dollars. That's ten houses. Becomes a squatting mogul, right, he's just buy all these government auction homes for fifty bucks. Yeah. Well, now he gives all the money away. He's like the government's like, this one's on fire right now. Fitted are fifty bucks. So now he just goes and starts giving all his money to friends of family when he comes back from these tours. And then he just goes and goes back to to building stuff for random people. Okay. And so I does his Australia tours and then it just kind of goes quiet. So it's like eighty two. It was his last Australian tour, and then it's like yeah, he's done with music forever. Okay. Well, meanwhile, in the mid S, just about right after his record comes out, somebody in South Africa discovers him and same thing. He's been eating step in South Africa. Something the same thing happens. He goes viral and in South Africa and it gets the point where music like Aficionados in South Africa say he was bigger than Elvis in South Africa. South Africa like multi platinum and so selling all these records. But there was he became almost this mythic figure. Who was who owned the rights to those things? In South Africa it was a similar scenario where someone bought the local rights. Okay, it from the previous record label, which will get to that in a second, because that one's a little bit more froudy, okay, but he blows up, but it becomes like this mythic figure in South Africa. Sure, and so there's there's the legend. The legend goes that somebody in South Africa was dating a girl from the US because he was away on college, or Uni as they would say, and so he comes back from some time in the states and that girl he was dating had one of his records and so he brings it back home. That's how he loved it, and then everybody started making copies. Eventually a local label found it, got the rights and started printing it and distributing it and he just became massive in South Africa. But they knew, well at least they heard, that he wasn't playing shows anywhere anymore. Yeah, what years? This mid S, so pretty much right after they came out, seventy eight before is Australia tour. HMM, before those, even before he blows up in Australia. So somethin. Sure, it blew up in South Africa and they took it to Australia and that's why here. But that, that train is hard to pinpoint. Sure. But so hey, there's becomes this like legend of well, he's got to be dead because he doesn't play shows anymore, and so he's like this national icon, but they're convinced he's doesn't exist, like he's not alive. Yeah, and so the storyline, at least for South Africa, was that he didn't get the reconuisie nation he deserved in the US and one night he was playing a show in Detroit and there was all these technical issues. Are some sound problems. One of the guys in his band was missing some notes, like it was just one thing after another not going right and he was already really frustrated with how his records were performing. And finally, at some point in the night the crowd just starts to boo because it was going so bad. And it's like a fifty person show, like there's not a lot of people. There were gods booing him. This is the legend. Yeah, this is the legend. And so then, as the legend goes six to finish the song and he said this is my last performance and he shoots himself on stage. Oh my God, what everybody in South Africa like honestly believes, like that's what happened, like yeah, this guy did that on stage. Yeah, and so that was the story. Like they just everybody just always believed that that's what happened, except for our two reporters in like local reporters. For some reason. We're just like, I don't think that's true, there's no way that's real. Yeah, they're like there's no way. And so they spent twenty years trying to track this guy down, and so they literally and they literally had nothing. They just had a songs, like they had no info about him, like he wasn't doing any large enough tours that they were hearing about it in South Africa. There was like no news that fact that they couldn't find anything about it. This is pretty Internet. Yeah, so all they had were the lyrics to his songs, and so they were looking through the lyrics of the song is trying to track this guy down. They even know he's from Detroit. Oh those who like the little luckily, the lyrics one of the songs was just bought me fifty home in the Troit went on tour in Australia, bought another home in Detroit and they're like, I beaty is in Detroit and Detroit tell what was confusing is the actually had a song. He had a song way references, I think it was Florida, and so they thought he lived in Florida for a long time. He had another song where he referenced the tallest building in the states. So I thought maybe he lived in New York for a little bit, that the tallest building in the states is the David busters down the Road Kansas Right. It's use you've seen them before. The giant David's. That's big. David Busters Empire State Building, busters serve. That was the biggest building block states. That's hilarious. We should do that. The world's largest David Busters. Also the low tar tallest tower in the world, tallast tower in the world, David Buster, Daven busters. Man, if we were rich, golly, that'd be so funny. Oh Gosh. anyways, so now white guys bill so tall power. It's really about the power for us. It's really about the fact that it's just really funny. Not Musters. Say it out loud. Say the tallest building in the world is he David Busters. Say That's untillowed yourself and don't giggle. Yeah, how about that? It's that you giggled. That's why we did it. That's objectively, Holliday Arus, all right, and I know that you, maybe you know, don't have the same sense of humor whatever, but I think we could all agree. But that's funny. Oh my gosh, that's so good. So these guys spend twenty one years trying to hire into the s. They here about the Australia tours. HMM. They hear about the east other tours, and so they spent all these years looking for him, trying to check this guy down. Eventually one of the guys, one of these reporters, ends up finding his old manager and calls his manager and the managers like yeah, I know, I don't know Rodriguez. Oh, I thought it was really I don't remember him at all. Or we had like two records with him whatever. Yeah, and so he's asking him all these questions about his music, about his influence, about like where he live, all stuff, all six tour yeah, and then he says, Hey, how did he die? And he was like, oh, he's not dead, and the guy was like what? He's like, he's like no, he's alive. He's like, want me to give them your number, and he was like yeah, yes, and so later that night, middle of the night, this guy wakes up to a phone call. Santa the phone or reporter Wasats up the phone call. I answer this phone no of the night, and he's like hello, and he here's on the other side the phone six to say hello. He recognizes a voice because it listen to it so much, and he was like six toe and he was like yeah, he's like, he's like I hear you like my music. And so he had this long conversation with him and basically was like you are a household name in South Africa, and six to like thinks it's a joke. He's it's got to be chunked. Yeah, finally this guy convinces six to that it's true and says just come out to South Africa, like will fly you out here just so you can like meet the people. Yeah, we play a show or something. So they plan a six in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. They fly them out there. They plan a six stop tour around South Africa, stopping in some of the biggest cities in South Africa. And this is an arena tour and every stop is sold out. Thirty, fortyzero people coming out to see him, and there's videos of him coming on to the stage and it is literal minutes, five, six, seven minutes of applause before he can start playing, because he is literally a legend. How bonkers would that be? Literally, the day before he came out, he's picking up trash in Detroit for like thirty bucks and then he goes and does an arena tour in South Africa. How much money did you make from those I don't know exactly how much bonkers a bonker's amount of mutter. Have you heard of tilling podcast March? That's right, we have a merge store full of tilling bread and teas, hoodies, mugs and so much more. We also make new designs for every single episode, but those are only available for a limited time, so get them while they're hot. Text till into six, six, eight sixty six to get your till in March today. So he he does this tour and what's crazy is like he has a security detail ill with him at all times. He is staying in presidential sweets at hotels. His family came with him. He has a couple daughters and his his daughter said, like he's always been just a super like humble guy, which, yeah, he lives in a fifty house. Well, he's the thing, like he goes to these hotels and he's like, actually, is there a motel six we could stay at? Y'All have those here. So he like, and I this is a little like change it to motel six toe if you want. So he goes and he's in the presidential sweets king bed, but his daughter said he was sleeping on the couch in the sweet because he didn't want a made to have to make the bed after all. Like this is a kind of guy he has and he literally all the prophets he made from this tour he gave away to friends and family, like literally just didn't keep any of it. He's okay, yeah, and then does this arena tour. Look at me in the eyes if this happened to me where I'm doing theaters and arenas. Yeah, I'M gonna sleep in the bed and you're not getting a kidding any of it. All right, that's fair. That's what the arena tour happens. He does the arena TORP, goes back to Detroit to fifty dollar house and just goes back to day labor and went on literally to this day. Every few years takes a trip back to South Africa. They fly him out private jet like presidential suite. Arena tore and then just flies back to Detroit. No, why? His Little Day labor life. He's done that tour. I think they said it's like eight times now. New Songs. He has put out a couple new albums since that happened. So he's making royalties. Well, he is now. He is now, Oh, so that's important. So the South African company. Yeah, they bought the rights, the local rights, from his original record label and then they did some very strange legal Jiu Jitsu that is not clear. It's hard, okay, to find exactly what happened here, but basically what they did is the legend was that he died and so they played off that legend and they said, well, he's dead, he's there's a benefactor that all his realties have to go to. The benefactor was a made up person that, ironically, they named Jesus, and this Jesus Rodrigus. There as this person Jesus, who got all of his royalties from South Africa, and so he actually hasn't gotten any of that in a net. Ever, ever, initially he didn't care, like initially he he was like, he's like no, I'm happy with my life, like that's literally what he would say. And then eventually it was kind of like as she and twenty in two thousand and eighteen, things changed and he's like he's been convinced to start pursuing this, and so he is kids. Yeah, yeah, I mean his kids are adults now. Yeah, but I'm saying like the probably has grandkids. He's got an adult children who go wait a minute dead, yeah, come on, you're getting screwed here. Yeah, probably, honestly. Yeah, when they're like five they don't understand, you know. But when you got to give my dad is his business getting hosed over, I'd be like Hey, hold on, Ye, go get that. Yeah, go get your bag, go get that bread. And so now he's actually gone after it. Well, in two thousand and twelve a documentary was produced about this. Okay, called searching for sugar man, very good documentary. Sugar Man is one of his songs. And say, do we know some of the songs? So sugar man was actually sampled in a little NAS song, which was before the documentary. So it's interesting that he found it. that. Other was a little no song. Let me look it up. When was the documentary? Two Thousand and twelve. Little Nas has not been doing little, not little nos NAS. Oh, okay, that's sorry. I said a little NAS. You did NAS, which is confusing. That shouldn't be allowed. Yeah, laws is smaller. So in Nas Song. Yeah, a NAS song. He was sampled at a NAS song. I can't find where that was. where. That's that. There was a rapper that came to our youth group. Who was he went by NAS it was I think it was NASA. Is what his NA NASA. His name was NASA. I think his name is NASA. NASA. Two Thousand and one is when the song h yeah, was when Nazis Song. Okay, you're the man. So he sampled a line from sugar man, which is popular. Rodriguez is song. Right, yeah. So and after that, after the record came out, he kind of got a cult following everywhere, because I thought that movie was super successful and every darky mom and story and people went and started listening to his music. And so a lot of people listen to him now. And he does like festivals. So he'll do occasional tours in the states. He's gone back to Australia, South Africa, Europe, but he still works as a day labor. So he goes and does these arena tours. Is Massive festivals, just goes back to his fifty dollar house in De try, it still lives there, and does day Labor. Imagine that you're just going to like Home Depot. Yeah, right. And then drake, it's like hey, bed, you need no bulls, you need like any work that he's done today and you're just like you're drake. Yeah, I'll pull all the weeds in your house for like Twenty Five Bucks, twenty and earlier. You're like you just said twenty five. You're undercutting yourself. He's like fifteen, you know. He's really bad and negotiated and says our you know, like that's okay. Pretty much what's happening here. Like this guy is, I mean huge, like in the states he ended up, after after everything blew up, he ended up going gold on his first album, oh my gosh, and platinum on on the second. So like massive, he's. Yeah, massive artist. Almost didn't know it, like very close to never knowing any of this. If those reporters hadn't tracked him down with any and I'm literally never would have known, never wanted him, and they wouldn't have known he's alive. They would have thought that that legend was true the whole time and Jesus would have got his money this whole time. Oh my gosh. So, and that's crazy. That's bonkers. Yeah, but that documentary is very good. You should watch it. Well, what's nuts is just like how content he is, like he's so content with his life. Like he's like, yeah, I go do these tours every once in a while, but, like, I like my life. I think he actually says that in the documentary, something along the lines of like, Oh, no, he said, he said real life is better. That's what he says, real life is better. I hate that. That hit me to my core. Yeah, they're like hurt me on the inside a second there. And so literally, like up until recently, yeah, he has given his royalties aways, given his tor money away. Recently something switched. I don't know if, like he fell into hard time, needs the money or what, but something switching. Now he's trying to get that money. Never be that humble, but music actually really good. I just want our hopes up. I don't want you to be like I'm holding you know, the reason I have it upgraded my phone is because Jaron's going to give me a new one. Oh, I'm not all right. I don't want you to hold out hope. I don't want you to think. I don't want you to keep living that crappy house you live in thinking the Jar's going to buy you a new one one. They all right, you gotta develop your own life. But he's on. He's on spotify. All of his records on spotify. They're actually under a sick to good under Rodriguez. It's just Rodriguez. Okay. He has almost a million monthly listeners. Sugar man is his biggest song. Is Forty nine million on spotify. So like really good sugar man, crisfy your mind. Those two are very good. I listen about those. I like them a lot. Definitely like old school, like rock and roll. And she's go to South Africa. Oh, that reminds me. I'm so, so glad you about this. Up, Elon Musk was raised on Rodriguez. Here's another thing. Dave Matthews band was influenced by Rodrigue. okay, so dave matthews bands from South Africa. I didn't know that. Yeah, and they were influenced by Rodriguez, like he's a legitimate influence and wow sound. And so they played together. No, I don't think so. They should. We should set that up. You know, hey, we've done an episode about both of you. Dave Matthews, don't listen to the one we did about you. It's not very flattery, is not. Yeah, six, so we're gonna get you your own boss don't worry about it, all right, so get to your own we should position Chicago to rename that bridge the Dave Matthews break. I don't know why we didn't make that joke earlier, but we should. They I do know that Dave Matthews covered sugar man on tour. I don't know if he's played, if they play with him, or I would imagine they would try to, unless Dave Matthew still thinks he's dead, and which time and he's dead. Like now, Hey, who guys influence by off your Rodriguez? You know this miss musician who pretty crazy story stuff, but he's he's I mean he's been dead for a long time. Like you mean that Guy, that guy? He said, that's not Rodriguez, that's Rodrigez. Yeah, play it. The Guy Mowing the lawn over here, he's Rodriguez. He's just mowing the you guys shoveling up all your violinist poop. The bus driver. Bus driver, yeah, the reas. That happens because we got a day label as a bus driver. Didn't even have a CDL man, but man could he play guitar. He's pretty talented. That's crazy. That's Rodriguez made a real sick. I guess is a fiddle. MMM, there you go. Things of the last night is a production of space tim media, produced by Christian Taylor. Audio is edited by Alice Garnett, video by connerbet social media is run by Caleb Walker and graphic designed by Caleb Goldberg. Our hoster, Jeremyers and Tim Stone. Please follow us on social media at Tilling podcast, that's Tillo in podcast. Leave a review, comment, subscribe wherever you are. Thank you for listening to things on the last night.

Sixto Rodriguez was an aspiring musician in the late ’60s. After little success, he retired from music and worked as a day laborer in Detroit, Michigan. While Rodriguez spent his days doing odd jobs, his music made waves overseas. This is the story of Sixto Rodriguez, the rock icon that sold more records than Elvis Presley in South Africa. The only problem? He had no idea.

Who Was Sixto Rogriguez

In the late 1960s, young Sixto Rodriguez began a short-lived music career. After playing a few shows at local Detroit bars, he received his big break. He signed a record deal with a small recording company in Detroit. A couple of years later, he signed with a more prominent label Sussex Records. He put out two full-length albums that had little impact in the US Sixto called it quits on his music career in 1976.

Rodriguez Overseas

At the end of his music career, Sixto Rodriguez bought a house at a government auction and began as a day laborer. He spent years working odd jobs around Detroit. Meanwhile, his records hit Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They flew off the shelves in these three countries. In Australia, his albums went platinum, and in South Africa, local music experts say he sold more records than Elvis. He became larger than life. But he had no idea.

The way this happened is because his record label shut down just a year after he retired from music. When the overseas record labels saw the interest in their home countries, they quickly purchased the rights to the albums from Sussex’s parent company and started selling the records. However, no one bothered to tell Sixto about the album sales. Furthermore, in the case of South Africa, the record company had fabricated a lie that he died. They used this lie to move the money so Rodriguez would never receive a dime of it.

On Tour In South Africa

A group of South African radio hosts did not believe the popular story that Rodriguez was dead. So the group worked together to track down Sixto and ended up on a phone call with him. They arranged a six-stop tour across South Africa in 1997. He headlined an arena tour that was sold out at every stop. He stayed in the presidential suite at every hotel along the tour, traveled with a security detail, and was flown in private jets. Then he just returned to his small Detroit house and went back to working day labor. Every couple of years, he goes back and tours South Africa.

A documentary was released in 2012 called Searching for Sugar Man made Rodriguez, a more significant success in the US and internationally. Today he continues to tour internationally and in the US. For years Sixto was not interested in getting in the legal battle for the money kept from him in South Africa. However, recently he began legal action to win his funds. That case is still outstanding.


Sixto Rodriguez is the most successful musician to never know about his success. It’s unbelievable to think of Rodriguez selling out an arena tour and then returning to Detroit to mow lawns and do demo work. He never took the time to pursue the success he had in South Africa because, according to him, “Real life is better.” Sixto Rodriguez can teach us all a thing or two about contentment.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning, and laughing a whole lot while you do, then you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




Sixto Rodriguez – Wikipedia

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