I am a firm believer that on occasions the history behind the music is as important as the music itself. The unlikely triumvirate of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed is very much a case in point. Unless you are older than dirt (like me) the chances are that you do not remember the halcyon days of the early 1970’s music world.

It was in some ways the great watershed of the 20th century. Born here were styles that would shape a generation, and indeed continue to have influence.

Few people understand the relationship of the three very different performers, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop. David Bowie was one of the defining elements in the development of Glam Rock, while many credit Iggy Pop with the title of the father of Punk, and Lou Reed oscillated between various styles of rock.

The three seem to have little in common however as this DVD explains, there lives were very interconnected during the early 1970’s.

Although this is very much a documentary the creators have included a good number of vintage music video clips which are are wonderful time capsules of a key period in the evolution of modern music.

Rarely have I enjoyed a music documentary as much as I did this one. Although during this period my personal music interests did not really include these three, looking back I now understand their significance.

All three were risk takers, Bowie’s were dangerous but calculated, Iggy Pop’s were often accidental and drug induced, Lou Reed hovered somewhere between the two extremes.

The Sacred Triangle devotes time to look at each artist and provides the viewer with much food for thought. It discusses Bowie at some length, and contains information that many fans may not be aware of. His friendship with Marc Bolan of T-Rex is one that certainly caught my attention, and made me have a What If moment.

Bolan was at the top of his game, T-Rex had reinvented itself from the more cumbersome Tyrannosaurus Rex and was undoubtedly headed for greatness in the Glam Rock world. The top ten hits were piling up. Bolan’s final hit was not on Billboard, it was behind the wheel of a small car driving at high speed that connected with a large tree.

If that had not happened, I wonder how the Bolan Bowie friendship might have further influenced popular music?

The Sacred Triangle brings up another interesting observation about Bowie, it was during the 71-73 period that he had reinvented himself into Ziggy Stardust, and his band became The Spiders From Mars. Bisexuality was a word that few people had even heard of, it was a Taboo subject. Yet Bowie took the calculated risk of using it as a sales tool. He himself did not say it, but likely engineered the ‘leak’.

This is just a guess from the recess of my mind. I for one wonder if Lou Reed was playing off a similar thought with Walk On The Wild Side? A song by the way that is musically but lyrically different to one on the Velvet Underground album White Light White Heat, The Gift.

The Sacred Triangle has some interesting comments about Iggy Pop. Iggy had a career that was stalled. His relationship with Bowie had it once again moving, Bowie as record producer seemed the answer. Bowie though was unavailable due to a world tour, and rather than wait, Iggy rushed an album through. Most people agree that it was pretty bad. Bowie did try to remix it, but the master tape was a three track, there was little he could do.

Thus, Punk was formed!

I enjoyed this DVD a great deal. The commentary is well done, the ideas are thought provoking, and the archival footage well selected. Anyone that is a lover of the history of popular music will want this in their library. You can order your copy from the Amazon link above.

Simon Barrett

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