I was extremely excited when I heard the premise for this program; which teased reviewers with, “By the second half of 1971 David Bowie was justifiably being branded a one-hit-wonder, Lou Reed was considered washed-up following a disastrous solo debut, and Iggy Pop was seen as merely a drug crazed ex-Stooge – the band having split the year before for reasons linked to his deepening habit. But a meeting of minds at the New York venue ‘Max’s Kansas City’ in that year’s closing months was the catalyst for an extraordinary turnaround of fortunes for these three musical geniuses, resulting in the most dramatic shift in musical style since the dawn of the rock age, fifteen years before.” But, it falls short.
Sure, “The Sacred Triangle Bowie, Iggy and Lou 1971-1973” is an interesting watch … but it doesn’t deliver on what it seemingly promised. I went into it thinking there was going to be some previously unknown or recently uncovered secret partnership which led Bowie, Pop and Reed to new heights in popularity and relevance. Not so. Sure, the three were aware of each, may have been influenced by each other, worked together during this period and, possibly, were even friends. But, I see nothing in the presentation, which comes across as forced at times, that leads me to believe that there was anything sacred, calculated, nor even triangular in their relationship. Simply put, each was at a low point in their respective careers and they begged, borrowed and stole (sometimes from each other and sometimes with the assistance of the others) to reinvent and market themselves for the greater good. It was what each needed to do to remain viable and to thrive as an artist. And thank god that they were as hungry as they were.
The tale is told through archival concert and interview footage of Bowie, Pop and Reed and present day interviews with insiders, such as Bowie’s ex-wife Angie; Andy Warhol’s Factory assistant Billy Name; music-industry executive Danny Fields; and New York scenester Jayne (nee Wayne) County.