One of the most moving, and inspiring films I have ever seen is Searching for Sugarman, the story of a search for the artist, Sixto Rodriguez-a deeply talented man, who experienced a burst of overwhelming fame and national acclaim for his singing/songwriting. The depth of his lyrics was compared to those of Bob Dylan. He was managed by a greedy and unscrupulous manager, ripped off by the record company that promoted him and sold millions of his albums.
But more that that, Sixto was a pure creator, who couldn’t deal with the machine that chews up and spits out talent. So he retreated, and “disappeared”, became a kind of legend in Europe…and was found to be working as a handy man, living a quiet life utterly removed from the word of fame.
I think any artist who has experienced the sudden jolt into notoriety would understand the impulse to run away. We have some kind of built in protection of our muse, and without the right conditions for the gift to emerge, artists honestly can go mad…
The director of this film, Malik Bendjelloul, won the 2013 Academy Award for Directing.
Less than one year later, he committed suicide on the subway tracks in Sweden.The sensitivity that he had to the complex gift of Sixto Rodriguez perhaps led him on the journey to “find” that artist. We will never know why, exactly, he killed himself, but the loss is huge.
Tom Bernard and Michael Barker of Sony Pictures classics compared Bendjelloui to the subject of his debut feature.
“Much like Rodriguez himself,Malik was a genuine person who chased the world for stories to tell”, they said in a joint statement. “He didn’t chase fame or fortune or awards, although those accolades still found him as many others recognized his story telling.”
After running out of money to shoot his film, Bendjelloul finished shooting the documentary using an iPhone app, the iPhone Super 8 app.
Here is a link to the full story.
The work of T.R.I.B.E. honors and is focused upon supporting the soul journey of the artist.
Shamans go into the Invisible and bring back a gift, but without the correct conditions, the gift and the giver, are commodified, commercialized, misused.
It is my belief that we cannot continue to lose the message or the messengers who are bringing forth prescient truths to heal our world.
Over the next few months, I will be refocusing my work, and including T.R.I.B.E. as one part of that work. We will be working on a website, on a delivery system for our wonderful events and seminars, retreats, counseling sessions, classes and gatherings, that allows a virtual community to really communicate with each other.
After next week’s newsletter, we will be switching the frequency of newsletters to once a month. If you want to be part of the ongoing discussion, please do make sure to check into the present website, Tribealive.org, and our Facebook page for inspiration and updates.
And soon there will be more:)
So get in touch with us on the site, on twitter or Facebook or contact me directly at
Guard your precious selves dear ones.