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Grandlife Interviews: Mick Rock

  • date
  • March 26, 2013

We all know Mick Rock shot punk.

Bowie, Blondie, Barrett—they were his buddies. Lou Reed was his mentor. Madonna, Mercury and Mötley Crüe his muse. And Mick was as gloriously hedonistic as any of them in embracing the idols of nihilism—sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, baby—that killed off half their lot.

But he’s also a major photographer, one of the lone survivors from that era who has proved superhuman in physical and mental fortitude since then. (Mick started having heart attacks in his mid-40s and in 1996 had one requiring quadruple bypass surgery—but says now that his heart and liver remain stronger than ever.)

Recent shows in New York and London were flanked by Phantogram performances and Mark Ronson DJ sets; he’s currently filming a documentary and set to partner with Iggy Pop on a run of some as-yet unreleased prints.

It surprises some to learn that In fact, Mick’s a Cambridge man with the noble discretion of the British (“Lots of people have asked, but no, no, I’d never write a tell-all”) and a disarming way of describing how he’d reference drugs during early interviews without alarming his now-92-year-old mum. (“If I called my indulgences ‘chemical inebriation’ she didn’t seem to pick up in it.”)

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