I touted the great new doc Searching for Sugarman a couple of days ago here, and watching it I did wonder: The lost, ripped-off, redeemed performer Rodriquez recorded a song called "Inner City Blues" a year, or at least a few months, before Marvin Gaye's different and fantastic song of 1971--of the same title. They both hailed from Detroit. Make me wanna holla? Coincidence?
A piece about the film in The New Yorker last month found an even more amazing fact--a musician who played on the Rodriguez track also played on the Gaye track. Did he mention the song or title to Marvin? I waited for the punch line. No, the musician replied. I can't even remember Rodriguez, let alone his song....That obscurity is as much a fit with the movie as any theft might have been. In any case: the two songs are decidedly different. Here's the Rodriguez song.
Monday, September 3, 2012
'Inner City' Robbery?
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch