A Conversation with Legendary Rock Photographer MICK ROCK

By Lori Zimmer

May 2012

— Mick Rock is the man responsible for preserving the glamour, guts and sexual energy that was part and parcel with rock n roll in the ’70s and ’80s. With his camera, Rock captured Iggy Pop’s cosmic back bends, a thickly kohl-eyed Syd Barrett in his living room, a very young Debbie Harry, and dozens of intimate tour moments with David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust.

The photos are older than me, but they seem new. The glam rock style is still influencing fashion today, thanks in large part to Rock’s epic catalogue of work that went beyond the average rock show documentation, and instead captured snippets of the real lives of rock n roll legends.

It wasn’t just about snapping the perfect image at the decisive moment. Rock’s images are so powerful because they convey a glimpse into the private lives of musicians that have shaped music today, in a time when music waseverything (more than just something to download).

Not to discount the talented musicians of today, but the rock n roll of Rock’s time had the inherent electric energy that only revolution can bring, a new movement that, without the immediate accessibility of today’s world, had a magic to all of those involved. From fans to Bowie, Lou Reed, Queen and the Sex Pistols themselves, music felt like being a part of something special, that only others “in the know” were a part of too.