Last night at CBGB the John Varvatos store in NYC, Lou Reed and Mick Rock spoke about their friendship and work relationship spanning from the very beginning of both of their careers in music and photography to now. The gathering was to celebrate the launch of their photo-filled bookTransformer, showcasing many previously unseen images of Lou by Rock, and a few of Rock by Lou.
After guests milled about the store with cocktails, perusing the fruits of the artists’ labor, Rock and Lou took their places on a stage, not to perform, but to talk about their history. Lou Reed’s adoration of Mick Rock came from a few things: his ability to capture him in a way that felt alive, and real (as opposed to what he described as movie theater cardboard cutouts,) and for their shared affinity for staying up all night.
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