Friday, February 22, 2013

SIXTO RODRIGUEZ: A Tale of Three Continents… and the #MassMarketing of #BigBox #America

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Primero, Segundo, Tercero, Cuarto, Quinto, and… and… Sixto, ahhhh…  And the sixth time was a charm (not that the first five weren’t), and Sixto Diaz (Jesus) Rodriguez came into this world on July 10, 1942, the sixth son of Mexican immigrants working in war-time Detroit, more than three years before atomic bombs would fall on Japan and twenty-five years before rockets would land men on the moon.  No one would have predicted that his life would have been easy, but no one would have predicted that it would turn out like it did, either.  It all started with his love of music and song and… words full of meaning.  In case you don’t know the story yet—though you likely will soon if all goes well at the Oscars Sunday night---it goes something like this: in 1967 he released his first single “I’ll Slip Away” on a small label, to general neglect, and in 1970 and 1971 he released two killer albums, “Cold Fact” and “Coming from Reality,” on a larger label, also to general neglect.  He was immediately dropped from the label, of course, and so he discontinued his musical career in favor of jobs generally revolving around the related acts of construction and demolition.  But an Australian company picked up the rights to his work because his stuff was selling a bit there.  He even toured Oz in 1979 and 1981 with Midnight Oil.  And that was that.  He remained philosophical, of course, so in 1981 he got a BA in philosophy; so did I. 

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