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Rodriguez Should Have Been the Next Dylan

He should have been the next Bob Dylan!

But here he is… doing my favorite Bob Dylan song!


I saw Rodriguez play last night at the Warfield in San Francisco. SPECTACULAR!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all… HOW GOOD COULD HE BE? He’s a 70 year-old man… whose musical career was stabbed in the heart by failure… only to be resurrected 40 years later by the Oscar-winning documentary, Searching For Sugar Man.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that 60 Minutes featured him on the same episode that showcased Adele, the hottest singer on the planet at the time. People tuned in for her… and what they got next was a story so fantastical… it captured the curiosity of America… and finally clued us in on what South Africans had known for decades… Rodriguez was… and is a treasure.


Flanked by his daughters, Sixto Rodriguez had to be helped to the center of the stage. He appeared every bit the frail old man of seventy. Dressed in black clothes, black glasses, and a black hat pulled down over his eyes, he looked like he should have been Johnny Cash’s sidekick in a western movie.

Once he got to the microphone… a transformation happened. He took off his jacket. His sleeveless shirt revealed the still powerful-looking arms that only a lifetime of hard labor can forge. He didn’t seem like an old man anymore. His voice had strength and soul. His guitar playing was powerful. (He uses his fingertips… like Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.)

Crucify Your Mind. Sugar Man. Can’t Get Away. The Establishment Blues. He played all the favorites… plus some great covers too. Little Richard’s LucilleBlue Suede ShoesPeggy Lee’s FeverDylan’s Like a Rolling Stone. (All huge crowd pleasers.)

My favorite song of the concert was Like Janis – one of his many Dylan’esque compositions. I sang so loud and proud… that when it was over… a fellow crowd member quizzed me on the lyrics - to make sure she was singing them right. (All those times in the hallway at work, singing along to my iPod, paid off!)

The feel-good moment of the night came early in the show. The crowd erupted at the first few notes of I Wonder. Everyone was so jacked up… singing along… that I got a keen sense of what it must have felt like to be in that South African crowd in the movie… when their Elvis… their Jimi Hendrix… their Jim Morrison… came back to life to sing them the words they’d been singing along to… for years. MAGIC!

“I wonder… how many times you’ve had sex…

and I wonder… do you know who’ll be next?”

As for me… now the morning after… reflecting on a great show… I wonder… how many great songs he WOULD HAVE WRITTEN… had success come forty years earlier… when it should have.

 - johnnypromo


Live concert date info:


Buy Rodriguez's music... It's more than worth the money!




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