Review: Triumph Rock & Roll Machine Documentary

In Columns

To say I am one of Triumph’s super-fans, well, that would be obvious to anyone who knows me. I am part of that family of people that love that band beyond words. When you look at my smartphone Triumph is my screen with the cover of Allied Forces. When you look at my PC, Triumph is my screen saver that rotates endless pictures of the band back in the day. Triumph has always been my favorite band. I even published a book about them and the 1980s.

When I heard that Banger Films was going to do a documentary on my band, my head exploded. Banger did so many great docs including ZZ Top, Iron Maiden, Rush, and others. These were the guys who do films on the bands I love and grew up with, and they do it well. It would be hard for me to articulate how Triumph was such a big part of my youth and then my adulthood. I was born in 1969 and this band landed when I was coming of age. The band spoke to me at the perfect time in my life and created a lifelong fan.

So word came down that on May 13th, 2022 at 8:30 pm EST the worldwide release of the film would be unleashed online. I was so frustrated because that film had already been released in Canada months before, and I could not get my hands on it. Of course, Triumph is a Canadian band, and they got the first shot in the documentary. But I did not care, America made Triumph and I wanted the film now. I relentlessly harassed the person that runs the band’s Twitter account who was kind and told me to just have some patience. Well, I had no choice, I waited.

So, the day came, and I got to watch the film. I loved it. I can’t believe how funny it was, I laughed so much. The guys of the band are so damn funny. The film transported me back to the 1980s, and between the laughter and the tears, I was once again reminded why Triumph is the best hard rock band that ever was. I learned a lot that I did not know about their history, and I was reminded of much. That band took us on a magic carpet ride that never ended for so many of us. To know that I am not alone in my appreciation of Triumph brought me joy.

If I’d have one critique of the film, it would be a big one. One of the biggest draws to seeing the film was the fact that, after all these decades, the band got together at the end of the film and played three songs for three hundred super-fans. I could not wait to see these guys play once again. This was huge, the guys were going to play together again. However, the film just gave us clips of it and we never got to see the three songs in their entirety.

Banger Films made a catastrophic mistake in this regard. This left the viewer upset at the end of the film, I felt robbed. I could not believe the decision to edit that way. What a bone head move. It left a bad taste in my mouth, one minute I am flying high in nostalgia, and the next I am so upset. I do not know whether the filmmakers did not like the band’s song choice. I don’t know if Banger Films thought Triumph sucked after all these years and they did not want to embarrass the old guys. I just know we the fans deserved to see them play those three songs.

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