“Just turn on with me and you’re not alone…” That lyric, from “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide,” might be as close to a manifesto as David Bowie has ever uttered. Indeed, for all the revolutionary tunes and culture-crossing costumes, perhaps his greatest legacy is that he made it okay to be different. Very different. “I suppose that has been Bowie’s most sizable impact,” reckons Victoria Broackes, co-curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s spectacular “David Bowie Is” exhibition, which opened March 23. “Kids saw Bowie on Top of the Pops and their lives changed.”
The show traces the career of arguably the greatest rock star ever by theme, rather than chronology. Most dazzling, as one would expect, are the costumes: the alien-like Ziggy Stardust bodysuits, Kansai Yamamoto’s androgynous Aladdin Sane creations, and on through to the iconic and nervy Alexander McQueen Union Jack coat.
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