When I was asked to open for 'Rodriguez' on his New Zealand Tour last week, I was humbled to say the least. Inspired by his heart warming story, portrayed in the documentary 'Searching For Sugar Man', I had already used his life and musical influence as an example of what sharing your gift can do, in my TEDx Talk, 'Honest Music' earlier this year.
Accompanied by my husband Michael on the acoustic bass, we played to a crowd of over 2,000 dedicated Rodriguez fans at the sold out ASB Theatre show in Auckland, and to 1,300 foot stomping followers at the beautiful Wellington Opera House.
Both crowds were exstatic to be there and we were warmly welcomed with applause before we even strummed the first chord. We played a forty five minute set including some new songs from my upcoming album.
On the last night, we were invited down to Rodriguez's dressing room to meet the man himself. Greeted by his lovely daughter and friends, we stepped into the florescent lit room. Rodriguez, 72 and nearly blind, extended his hand for a fist bump and thanked us for warming up the crowd. He said 'If you ever come to Detroit, step on the gas.. come find me'. He mentioned he had to use his 'senior advantage', reminding us to promote ourselves and not to do it for anyone else -(record companies).
As you would expect, he was kind, humble and had a spark in his smile. Just an ordinary man who gave what he had to the world. While he was moving peoples fridges in the USA's poorest city, his songs were igniting change in South Africa, and touching thousands of lives. He wasn't reaping the fame or the money, but now he gets to see the impact of what he gave. What a satisfying thing that is.
We want to thank everyone who came to support the shows, and for the generous feedback, we enjoyed ourselves so much!
-Holly & Mike