David Bowie and The Jean Genie Music Video
Oct 28, 2011 | Michael Thompson
How photographer Mick Rock’s music video for David Bowie’s The Jean Genie revolutionized the music industry.
In August 1981, the world was given MTV. Since then and to every generation that followed the ability to watch music videos featuring their favorite music artists for entertainment has been made readily available. However, why watch them? Music is not a visual medium such as movies or regular television. By making it one, the music video has to appeal to more than just eager ears, but as well satisfy hungry eyes. In a sense, music videos must tell the audience a story without using regular story telling techniques, but instead rely on the brain’s psychological power of perception.
This is called synaethesia or the mixing of the senses. It is the human brain’s capabilty to experience secondary perception’s that stimulate from primary ones. Thus people sometimes feel that they can taste colors or see what they hear. This is also how modern music videos tell stories that stimulate the brain without usually telling any kind of story at all.
Today, this point is obvious, but where did music videos stop being mockumentries made by The Beatles and start becoming what they are now?
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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