When he passed permanently into the next dimension in 2006, Syd Barrett s life had developed into something far more significant than he could ever have imagined. The man who turned his back on probable fame, fortune and the entire rock music scene over thirty years ago had become an involuntary legend. Was he a genius or just a madman? The definitive answer to this question will never be known. But Psychedelic Renegades goes a long way towards unraveling the enigma that was Syd s personality. Mick Rock s extraordinary images and frank text expose a man with enormous natural charisma, whose moods could be dark and brooding as well as buoyant with madcap laughter. Mick shared a friendship with Syd that began in the acid haze of the sixties and endured until the early seventies when Syd locked himself away. This superbly produced book covers the period 1969-71, and features the photo session in and around Syd’s London flat that produced the cover for his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs; it also features images Mick shot for the now famous Rolling Stone interview in 1971, which became the last photos Syd ever posed for.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share our beloved psychedelic renegade Mick Rock has made the Jungian journey to the other side. Those who had the pleasure of existing in his orbit, know that Mick was always so much more than ’The Man Who Shot The 70s.’ He was a photographic poet — a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way.
The stars seemed to effortlessly align for Mick when he was behind the camera; feeding off of the unique charisma of his subjects electrified and energized him. His intent always intense. His focus always total. A man fascinated with image, he absorbed visual beings through his lens and immersed himself in their art, thus creating some of the most magnificent photographs rock music has ever seen. To know Mick was to love him. He was a mythical creature; the likes of which we shall never experience again.
Let us not mourn the loss, but instead, celebrate the fabulous life and extraordinary career of Michael David Rock. While you do so in your own way, we must ask that the privacy of his nearest and dearest be respected at this time. Therefore, there will be no further comments.
Photo: Nathalie Rock