He’s enjoyed more highs and lows than most, and shores up here for this ultra-special, one-off London show.
The Detroit native started out in the Seventies, plying his trade with acoustic singer-songwriter tunes in the clubs and bars of the Motor City.
He recorded some albums, was going to be bigger than Dylan, but then promptly sank without a trace.
Rumours circulated, with the more outlandish suggesting he had committed on-stage suicide.
But in reality, he’d returned to life as a labourer. Meanwhile, his albums elsewhere in the world had taken on a life of their own.
Rodriguez’s records and their anti-establishment, stand-up-for-your-rights philosophising, chimed with post-apartheid era South Africa, where they sold by the bucketload.
It was only many years later, when two inquisitive Saffas set out to find the truth that the man, the myth and his fanbase were united.
With this year’s cult hit documentary Searching For Sugar Man by filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul – a retrospective that follows Rodriguez’s tumultuous journey to the present – his story has been immortalised.
The new lease of life the film alone has given him is a fitting next chapter in a tale that feels too good to be true but is, in fact, as heartwarming and inspiring as you’ll get.
The Royal Festival Hall welcomes the ‘Sugar Man’ (so named after his 1977 single) as he runs through hits from his Cold Fact and Coming From Reality albums.
Royal Festival Hall, SE1 8XX
Sat, nov 17 | Doors at 7.30pm | £10+
Tube | Waterloo