a highly unlikely and remarkable tale of a mystical poet
when something is more than true,, it is poetry, no?
a brief synopsis: circa 1970, record producers had been hearing of a mysterious inner city poet/singer in detroit, they found him playing in some dive, singing to the corner, back to the audience, a lil strange but they liked the lyrics and the sound and decided to cut an album with high hopes they had found another dylan(of course that comparison is always a kiss of death, and i thought he reminded me of jim croce, but that isnt fair to croce or rodriguez either, sixto has his own unique sound/style)
anyways the record flopped, it had received good reviews but no one bought it.
still record producers were so sure they had found the real thing with rodriguez they decided to cut a second album, another major flop,, and end of story
but not quite
in 1972 in Apartheid south africa someone snuck in a bootleg copy of sixto's Cold Fact
south africa at that time was under the strictest of censorship but Cold Fact quickly spread thru cape town
and 3 record labels there decided to print and distribute the album. yes, demand was that huge
and stayed that way for 25 years---without sixto ever knowing about this---
the mystery grew into legend and the legend into myth as often happens ,,,,well maybe not as often happens, becoz had anything like this ever happened?
anyways there was the story of how sixto committed suicide on stage, presumably becoz he was aware of his immense talent and message that no one ever listened to,,,,,,,,,,,did he set himself on fire on stage, or did he shoot himself,,
there were conflicting accounts of the suicide.
sixto's music in south africa provided courage to the people that they could stand up against the political machinery of pw botha and effect social change.
how big was sixto in south africa? bigger than the rolling stones and elvis combined. 6 and 7 year old children knew the lyrics to all of his songs type of thing.