專題文章 » Searching for Sugar Man 讓我痛哭

Searching for Sugar Man 讓我痛哭

草薙
草薙
酷愛音樂的貓奴
發表於 2013年04月23日 00:25
文章內容為筆者觀點,不一定代表音樂一週立場
Searching for Sugar Man 讓我痛哭

Searching for Sugarman 讓我痛哭

奇蹟有如蒲公英的種子,它不知會被風吹到那兒,或許,有一天在地球某方開花結果。

正如有heart的聲音,或許,某天也會遇上知音人。

這正是今屆奧斯卡最佳紀錄片《Searching For Sugar Man》(港譯:尋找隱世巨星) 給我的啟示。

看到影片尾聲時,我已為主角Rodriguez離奇過傳奇的音樂人生際遇流下感動的淚來。如果形容音樂紀錄片《Searching for Sugar Man》故事中的美國搖滾歌手Rodriguez的經歷是一個現代童話實不為過,這是一部非常值得向《音樂一週》讀者、樂迷甚至普羅大眾推薦的電影,也值得讓各位音樂同好好認識這位曾經被忽視的優秀搖擺唱作歌手。


影片主人翁Sixto Rodriguez在70年代推出過兩張唱片,雖未能在美國成功闖出音樂事業,卻在地球另一方南非成為了深入民心的搖滾icon人物,彼方樂迷對Rodriguez有如神一般的神秘icon,甚至有傳他因事業失意在舞台上吞槍自殺,後來卻憑南非的一間唱片舖老闆和當地樂評人的努力,尋找到離開樂壇默默隱世生活的Rodriguez。導演Malik Bendjelloul一次機緣巧合到南非找尋拍攝題材,去到一間唱片店,遇到了身為Rodriguez樂迷的老闆Stephen ”Sugar” Segerman,Sugar將Searching for Rodriguez的離奇經歷告訴了Malik,於是促成電影《Searching for Sugarman》的誕生。

影片一開場已聽到Rodriguez的代表作《Sugar Man》

Sugar man, won't you hurry
'Cos I'm tired of these scenes
For a blue coin won't you bring back
All those colors to my dreams

Silver magic ships you carry
Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane

Sugar man met a false friend
On a lonely dusty road
Lost my heart when I found it
It had turned to dead black coal

Silver magic ships you carry
Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane

Sugar man you're the answer
That makes my questions disappear
Sugar man 'cos I'm weary
Of those double games I hear

Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man,
Sugar man, Sugar man, Sugar man

Sugar man, won't you hurry
'Cos I'm tired of these scenes
For the blue coin won't you bring back
All those colors to my dreams

Silver magic ships you carry
Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane

Sugar man met a false friend
On a lonely dusty road
Lost my heart when I found it
It had turned to dead black coal

Silver magic ships you carry
Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane

Sugar man you're the answer
That makes my questions disappear


單在開場聽到這曲,便會愛上Rodriguez的歌聲,不過,在電影開場只能聽到這曲的前半部份,未能完全見識到Rodriguez的真章。如果聽完這像Bob Dylan或The Beatles歌曲歌詞有迷幻藥隱喻的首歌,你會發現Rodriguez所玩的不是平凡簡約的Folk song,而是帶有迷幻音效的Psyche Folk,再不簡單的還有負責歌曲session的樂手是來自騷靈重鎮Motown的音樂人,絕不簡單。

Rodriguez真人未在片中出現,導演已訪問了多位在69至71年跟Rodriguez合作過的音樂人,有曾在70年為Rodriguez處男專輯《Cold Fact》擔任共同監製的Dennis Coffey,此君來得頭不少,他不是蘇聯Motown,但 正是騷靈Motown的重要音樂人之一,曾為Marvin Gaye、Stevie Wonder、The Temptations、The Supremes、Ringo Starr、The Four Tops、Wilson Pickett合作,他與《Cold Fact》另一位監製Mike Theodore曾在Motown旗下的Sussex Records打造了不少暢銷作品,Dennis憶說:「第一次見Rodriguez演出,只見到他的背影,看不到他的樣貌,所以更專注留意他的歌詞。覺得他寫得跟Bob Dylan一樣好。」

接著影片中第一次介紹Rodriguez出場,是以動畫的形式呈現他在積雪的街頭行走的場面,同時還播出了Rodriguez另一動人作品《Crucify Your Mind》。

《Crucify Your Mind》

Was it a huntsman or a player
That made you pay the cost
That now assumes relaxed positions
And prostitutes your loss?
Were you tortured by your own thirst
In those pleasures that you seek
That made you Tom the curious
That makes you James the weak?

And you claim you got something going
Something you call unique
But I've seen your self-pity showing
And the tears rolled down your cheeks.

Soon you know I'll leave you
And I'll never look behind
'Cos I was born for the purpose
That crucifies your mind.
So con, convince your mirror
As you've always done before
Giving substance to shadows
Giving substance ever more.

And you assume you got something to offer
Secrets shiny and new
But how much of you is repetition
That you didn't whisper to him too.


《Crucify Your Mind》是Rodriguez另一首令人動容的作品,木結他之上加上了響亮的電結他與管樂器交織下的歌曲引子,已有一種風景緩緩移動的意景,當中And prostitutes your loss?Were you tortured by your own thirstIn those pleasures that you seekThat made you Tom the curiousThat makes you James the weak?他用的詞用字很特別,也像詩,內容正如"As The Tears Roll Down Your Cheeks"一句有著令人淚流的力量。

影片中另一個很emotion的場面,就是訪問了Rodriguez於1971年發表的第二張專輯《Coming From Reality》的監製Steve Rowland,這位Record Producer也來頭不少,曾為Jerry Lee Lewis、The Cure、Peter Framptom、Gloria Gaynor、Boney M、The Pretty Things的唱片操刀的他對揚言對Rodriguez很難忘,盛讚他是智者是先知,超越一般的歌手。憶起聽第二張大碟的cassette demo時,已覺得歌曲很出色,他親自播一首歌,這首歌叫《Cause》,Steve表現得很心酸,因為這是最後一首跟Rodriguez合作的歌曲,也是Rodriguez最後一首灌錄的歌曲,大碟於1971年11月面世,期望大賣,但沒有任何回響,正如開首歌詞"Cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas"一樣,在聖誕來臨的兩星期前,唱片公司Sussex把Rodriguez炒掉,所以Steve形成Ridriguez是先知,他預料到自己的遭遇。Stever的話仍令人難忘,他感覺得可惜的說:「This guy deserves recognition. Nobody in America had even heard of him. Nobody even was interested in listening to him.」

《Cause》

Cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas
And I talked to Jesus at the sewer
And the Pope said it was none of his God-damned business

While the rain drank champagne
My Estonian Archangel came and got me wasted
Cause the sweetest kiss I ever got is the one I've never tasted

Oh but they'll take their bonus pay to Molly McDonald,
Neon ladies, beauty is that which obeys, is bought or borrowed

Cause my heart's become a crooked hotel full of rumours
But it's I who pays the rent for these fingered-face out-of-tuners

And I make 16 solid half hour friendships every evening
Cause your queen of hearts who is half a stone
And likes to laugh alone is always threatening you with leaving

Oh but they play those token games on Willy Thompson
And give a medal to replace the son of Mrs. Annie Johnson

Cause they told me everybody's got to pay their dues
And I explained that I had overpaid them
So overdued I went to the company store
and the clerk there said that they had just been invaded

So I set sail in a teardrop and escaped beneath the doorsill
Cause the smell of her perfume echoes in my head still

Cause I see my people trying to drown the sun
In weekends of whiskey sours
Cause how many times can you wake up in this comic book and plant flowers?

《Cause》也是Rodriguez的重要傑作,也是另一首令筆者動容的歌曲,雖然他在下水道對上天提出控訴,但在木結他與弦樂的點綴下氣氛很莊嚴美麗,令我聯想到Terrence Malick的電影《To the Wonder》中充滿了神聖自然光的畫面,神聖不是來自沒有慈悲之心的牧師、不是你需要祂時祂未必會現身的神,而是來自人性的內心真摯的呼喊。難道這首歌也不叫你動容?

說回電影,作為一部紀錄片又或一部音樂片,《Searching for Sugarman》製作及鋪排上都很出色。前部份介紹Rodriguez這位主角的生平就帶著神秘、陰暗、懸疑的氣氛,他真的身一直尚未出現,他真的在舞台上死了嗎?繼而當導演將故事背景轉到南非,我們就先可聽到一段很跳脫的bassline音樂引子,這正是Rodriguez在南非引起了極大回響的代表名曲《I Wonder》的前奏。

Rodriguez代表名曲《I Wonder》

I wonder how many times you've been had
And I wonder how many plans have gone bad
I wonder how many times you had sex
And I wonder do you know who'll be next
I wonder I wonder wonder I do

I wonder about the love you can't find
And I wonder about the loneliness that's mine
I wonder how much going have you got
And I wonder about your friends that are not
I wonder I wonder wonder I do

I wonder about the tears in children's eyes
And I wonder about the soldier that dies
I wonder will this hatred ever end
I wonder and worry my friend
I wonder I wonder wonder don't you?

I wonder how many times you been had
And I wonder how many dreams have gone bad
I wonder how many times you had sex
And I wonder do you know who'll be next
I wonder I wonder wonder I do

《I Wonder》歌詞中提到了性與社會風俗,甚有我們《音樂一週》的編輯先生Edwin的幽默,又在如Bob Dylan的《Like a Rolling Stone》中行雲流水式Organ聲中控訴出政治、經濟與種族的不平等。片中解釋說,正是這些特點特別吸引在地球另一端的全南非反對種族隔離制度與加爾文主義道德觀的年輕白人,Rodriguez啟發了他們反對政府壓迫的意識,當年深受Rodriguez音樂影響而組成反政府南非樂隊的音樂人也亮相片中受訪。一個在70、80甚至90年代在美國寂寂無聞的Rodriguez,在南就像The Rolling Stones和Elvis Presley一樣受歡迎,在70、80年代差不多每一個南非的中產家庭,除了有Bob Dylan、Simon and Garfunkel的唱片,就必定有Rodriguez那張《Cold Fact》黑膠。

片中還提到在互聯網出現之前的時代,南非實行種族隔離制度,因為本國的文化審查和國際制裁,與主流流行文化完全隔絕,影片還展示了當年南非如何封殺Rodriguez的音樂,如何禁止電台公開播放,反而更令當地的年輕人認為擁有Rodriguez的唱片是何等酷爆的事情。

由於南非的樂迷根本不知道Rodriguez隱姓埋名的痛苦遭遇,自稱Sugar的南非唱片店老闆Stephen ”Sugar” Segerman跟當地一位樂評人透過Rodriguez的歌詞以及蛛絲馬跡找尋偶像的下落,所以影片下半部是活像是一個偵探故事,也像是一個關於復活的故事。

我們可以見到已放棄了歌唱事業、為家庭為三個女兒踏實做地盤工人的Rodriguez奇跡般地再以歌手身份到了南非如巨星般獲得歌迷及傳媒的迎接,他在人山人海的體育館內為全場爆滿的觀眾唱著自己的歌,眼前每一個都是他的知音,在Rodriguez毫不知情下他們都是聽著Rodriguez的歌長大。難得的是Rodriguez沒有被「成名」沖昏頭腦,他仍踏實地做人,也沒有為音樂事業的得與失而懊惱後悔。正如他的老朋友盛讚Rodriguez不斷去Searching for life、searching for human spirit。

作為電影觀眾、作為一名樂迷,筆者看到電影尾聲,已被Rodriguez傳奇的人生、他的勝不驕敗不餒的踏實人生態度及電影帶給我的啟示而深深打動,還止不住對著流下感動的熱淚。

在影片奪得奧斯卡最佳紀錄片前,我有機會在飛機上看這部片卻沒有認真地看,有機會在LA買他的唱片卻沒有去尋找。對於也是對Rodriguez後知後覺的我而言,看這部片是Searching for Sugar Man的人生之旅,看完片後也是另一個尋找旅程的開始。

坦然筆者在影片奪得奧斯卡最佳紀錄片後才追看了此片,才追回Rodriguez的黑膠唱片,這個時候自然是Rodriguez「最紅」的時候,要買回電影的soundtrack或他兩張個人大碟不難,最難卻是購買他這三張黑膠,電影soundteack的限量初版double white vinyl已被炒至1,000港元,尤是《Cold Fact》就最難入手,奇就奇在ebay及discog都有Rodriguez的二手黑膠出售,都是來自澳洲。原來電影中並於有提過Rodriguez除了在南非,其實在澳洲也大受歡迎,只是導演的取捨以凸顯Rodriguez的傳奇,難怪在澳洲有不少他的二手黑膠出售。

有趣是筆者在同日收到了唱片公司寄來的歐洲版電影soundtrack CD及由英國寄來的《Cold Fact》re-issue版黑膠,兩碟也有Rodriguez的簡介外,還標明唱片的版稅會全交Rodriguez本人,因為電影中提過在70至90年代即使他的唱片在南非非常暢銷,但Rodriguez從沒有袋過一分一毫。

在拆開我張《Cold Fact》黑膠之前,我便在一個晚上聽了soundtrack CD好幾遍,重聽《Sugar Man》、《I Wonder》、《Cause》、《Crucify Your Mind》固然更喜歡,更留心到每首歌曲特別的編曲,而當中一首《Like Janis》則是在看電影時沒有留意的,但在聽CD時卻令我重複地聽了近20遍,因為曲調很catchy外,歌詞也像唱出了筆者的心聲。

《Like Janis》

And you measure for wealth by the things you can hold
And you measure for love by the sweet things you're told
And you live in the past or a dream that you're in
And your selfishness is your cardinal sin.

And you want to be held with highest regard
It delights you so much if he's trying so hard
And you try to conceal your ordinary ways
With a smile or a shrug or some stolen cliché.

'Cos don't you understand, and don't you look about
I'm trying to take nothing from you
So why should you act so put out for me?

'Cos emotionally you're the same basic trip
And you know that I know of the times that you've slipped
So don't try to impress me, you're just pins and paint
And don't try to charm me with things that you ain't.

And don't try to enchant me with your manner of dress
'Cos a monkey in silk is a monkey no less
So measure for measure reflect on my said
And when I won't see you then measure it dead.

'Cos don't you understand, and don't you look about
I'm trying to take nothing from you
So why should you act so put out for me?

有人讚Rodriguez是Bob Dylan、Donovan及Cat Stevens的混合,沒錯,這首歌中的Rodriguez唱腔很有Cat Stevens的味道,但歌曲仍流露出Dylan的氣息,結他上的編曲卻令我覺得像是Dylan名曲《Desolation Row》濃縮版,詞就像Dylan另一名曲《Like A Rolling Stone》,有一種斯文而有力的控訴,如“And don't try to enchant me with your manner of dress/'Cos a monkey in silk is a monkey no less/So measure for measure reflect on my saidAnd when I won't see you then measure it dead.” 歌詞開頭也道盡了生命的意義,我們不應以眼前所擁有而去量度一個人的財富,也不應只用說得出的甜蜜美好事情去量度獲得的愛。我們也不應只留戀過去或已逝去的夢。他那幾句"Cos don't you understand, and don't you look about/ I'am trying to take nothing from you/ So why should you act so put out for me ?" 或許,可以是當你我遇上一些只做損人不利己的好事之徒,又或面對無故作出仇視態度者時最佳的回應。

誠然,Rodriguez的好歌還有很多值得去講,如《This is not a song, it's an outburst》充滿了Bob Dylan的呢喃式Blues Folk色彩、《Can't Get Away》的編曲令人以為是來自Curtis Mayfield的Soulful勵志歌曲、曲風重型又狠勁十足的《Only Good For Conversation》可說是Rodriguez版的《Hurdy Gurdy Man》.....你會聽得出他的歌有許多嘗試有許多特色。已過了70歲的Rodriguez,自小從父親學會演奏樂器,他的父親是一個墨西哥移民,在底特律的汽車廠工作。音樂上,他浸淫於20世紀60年代有抗爭意識的歌手之中,愛聽Tim Hardin、Fred Neil、Tom Paxton、Phil Ochs,當然還有Bob Dylan。
以下都是Rodriguez的音樂根源:

奇蹟有如蒲公英的種子,它不知會被風吹到那兒,或許,有一天在地球某方開花結果。


正如有heart的聲音,或許,某天也會遇上知音人。

正如我們努力推介的好聲音,可能在某天傳到知音人的耳朵與內心,或許,某天會栽出奇蹟的果實。有沒有也仍要像Rodriguez踏實做人。

看完《Searching for Sugar Man》,可能你未必像我會為主角Rodriguez離奇過傳奇的音樂人生際遇流下感動的淚來,但相信作為樂迷的你,最起碼,會記得在Detroit的音樂圈中,除了有Iggy Pop、MC5、Jack White、The White Stripes,應該還有Rodriguez這個值得留意的名字。