With a name seemingly given to him by the gods of music themselves, Mick Rock is no stranger to the saints and sinners of music history. The British-born, New York-based photographer and director, whose career spans just shy of half a century, has collaborated with a who’s who of rock and roll mythology. His legendary album covers, including David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Lou Reed’s Transformer, not to mention Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, as well as iconic images of the likes of Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, and Iggy Pop, to name just a limited few, have quite literally had a hand in shaping the legacy of rock music that is still felt today. Here, he discusses his long creative relationship with Bowie and Reed, his brush with death, and what it takes to capture the perfect image.
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