Ask any performer, sometimes it takes years before your music catches on. In this case it took about 40 years for people to actually listen to Sixto Rodriguez. Around 1970 he released a few albums "Cold Fact" and "Coming From Reality" along with a few single under the name Rod Riguez.
Critics gave positive reviews but the albums were considered commercial flops. In the modern era, Rodriguez would have been an indie cult figure. But his albums came out in the days before the indie world carried any force. Didn't go quietly into that dark night at first. He toured Australia with the Mark Gillespie Band in 1979 and Midnight Oil in 1981 because of the release of a compilation album called "At His Best" which featured re-releases of his early singles.
After not making it big again, Rodriguez did what any reasonable person would do. He forgot about making it big and went back to working in construction in Detroit, living in a ramshackle house with an archaic wood burning stove. This vie boheme certainly isn't the rock 'n' roll lifestyle which most people think of.
Unbeknownst to him, and nearly all the world, his music became a part of the nascent anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s. Rodriguez became a legend in distant South Africa due to his lyrics of urban struggle. The search for Rodriguez is the subject of the film. Even the short but sweet "60 Minutes" clip captures the essence of Rodriguez and his bid for the limelight well into his 70s.
Be on the lookout for the film to come to a theater near you, along with any performances. Rodriguez performed at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles this last October without much fanfare. Keep up to date at www.SugarMan.org which is the official website for the Rodriguez family. Rodriguez may well end up being the oldest person to perform at the Coachella Festival where he is scheduled to April 14th and April 21st in 2013.
Find a screening of "Searching for Sugar Man" at http://sonyclassics.com/searchingforsugarman/ as the film goes into wider release this year. It is currently playing at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in the Los Angeles area.