Bowie, who had patiently been looking for a way to incorporate avant-garde theatricality (and Rock & Roll) into his singer-songwriter act, and his manager, Tony Defries, purchased footage of Iggy’s 1970 performance at Cincinnati Pop Festival.
The album he produced for Reed, Transformer, was a breakthrough — its single, “Walk on the Wild Side,” one of the most striking Top 40 hits of all time. His relationship with the drug-troubled Pop was more problematic, but he did help raise his profile, critical regard (and spirits).
This DVD’s releasing company, Sexy Intellectual, is affiliated with Britain’s Chrome Dreams, which has been putting out some deeply researched DVDs investigating the formative influences on major Rock figures. (Apparently, without those figures’ cooperation.) This has extensive archival footage, matched with contemporary observations from biographers, employees of Defries’ flamboyant MainMan Productions and especially Bowie’s down-to-earth, no-nonsense ex-wife Angie. It’s highly interesting and illuminating about how seismic changes in Pop music start underground. Grade: B