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Lou Reed and Mick Rock

In November 1972, Transformer launched Lou Reed from the underground way up to Mars, with a little help from Starman Bowie. Mick Rock was there to capture Reed's flight on film, beginning with the iconic album cover and continuing through the wild side of the Seventies.

40 years later, Lou Reed, rock icon, artist and poet, collaborated with legendary photographer Mick Rock in one of the most visually exciting books Genesis has ever produced.

'I'm happy our relationship has weathered the slings and arrows and outrageous antics of the past 40 years, enabling us to come together to produce such a beautiful tome.' Mick Rock

'I received Transformer this week, and a magnificent publication it is too. A really fitting document of two exceptionally talented people, and up to Genesis's superb production standards. I will treasure it for along time to come.' M. Whittingham, Subscriber, Singapore
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The Photography


Images from throughout the Seventies chronicle Lou's transformations from the unique perspective of a close friend. Transformer presents Lou's choice of photographs, from the famous to the never-before-seen.

'I like Mick and I like what he photographs, so shooting with him was never a problem. All these moments would be gone forever if it wasn't for him.' Lou Reed 
Showcasing several of Lou's album covers, beginning with Transformer - a lucky development that established Mick and Lou's 40-year friendship and became one of the most iconic images of modern music. The book also features unseen outtakes, studio sessions, spontaneous shots and friends including Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.

'Many people asked me to do a Transformer book, but when I knew Genesis wanted to do it, that was it. I wasn't going to do it without Lou. It's a collaboration. He chose the pictures that he loved.' Mick Rock
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The Manuscript


In Transformer, Lou Reed tells the truth behind the sartorial gestures, innovative stage set-ups, subversive acts and legendary albums that made him one of the most intriguing artists in modern music.

'My image is all-encompassing.' Lou Reed

Lou and Mick discuss the photographs and their friendship in a completely original, no-holds-barred dialogue. The authors recall walking 60 blocks of New York in the snow, the 'TV tour', staying awake for nights on end creating visuals and discussing poetry. Their mutual admiration and affection is apparent throughout the book, through both their words and the candour displayed in the photographs.

In addition to the original edition offering, the book is complemented with a new booklet presenting 25 previously unseen photographs and a 2000-word essay by Mick Rock.
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The Authors


Lou Reed's unguarded words, coupled with Mick's stories and spontaneous photographs, reveal the man behind the mask. We continue Mick's 'interpretation and propagation' of Lou's groundbreaking art in this celebratory chronicle.

Mick Rock shares his journey as a photographer and the techniques that resulted in his reputation as 'the man who shot the Seventies', along with the associations that accompanied this role, giving unprecedented insight into the two artists. 

'I'm curious. Did you study photography?' Lou Reed

'No, I picked up a friend's camera in college on an acid trip. That's how it all began.' Mick Rock

'Well, there you go; now the secret's out.'  Lou Reed
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The Limited Edition


Published in a limited edition of 2,000 books, each copy of Transformer is signed by Mick Rock and authenticated with a Lou Reed Estate Stamp. Additionally, a limited edition 7" vinyl picture disc featuring the tracks 'Walk on the Wild Side' and 'Coney Island Baby' is included.

'It's exquisite. I've done three books with Genesis and they've all been beautiful, but as a piece of art, this might be the finest.' Mick Rock

Lou and Mick's Transformer image is recreated on the cover of this craft-bound book, with a variety of foil detailing. Printed on heavyweight Italian art and trace papers, the book is finished with gilt page edging. The large format edition is presented in a slipcase, with Mick's annotated contact strips inset.

In addition to the original edition offering, the book now comes with a new booklet presenting 25 previously unseen photographs and a 2000-word essay by Mick Rock, and a facsimile lyric sheet of 'Rock and Roll Heart', handwritten by Lou Reed.
'When I saw the book, I was just overwhelmed by how beautiful it is. It brought back all that energy and all that virility, captured over that period of time. The book is like an energy bomb. And it's beautiful.' Lou Reed



Mick Rock discusses art, life, music, his friendship with Lou Reed - and the making of their signed limited edition book, Transformer.


Select from the following editions:



  • ISBN:
  • Collector:
    1650 copies
  • Signed by:
    Mick Rock, Lou Reed Estate Stamp
  • Paper:
    Matt art paper and tracing paper leaves
  • Binding:
    Lou and Mick's Transformer image is recreated by hand on the cover of this craft-bound book in black, white and gold foil detailing.
  • Box:
    The large format edition (290mm x 390mm / 11.5" x 15.5") is presented in a slipcase, with Mick's annotated contact strips inset.
  • Extras:
    Additionally, a limited edition 7" vinyl, a picture disc featuring the tracks 'Walk on the Wild Side' and 'Coney Island Baby' is enclosed.
Now shipping worldwide.

Now also including:
  • A new 24-page booklet with an essay by Mick Rock and 50 previously unpublished photographs
  • A looseleaf 'Rock and Roll Heart' facsimile handwritten lyric sheet
  • Collector Edition £325
    Available from £107.25 per month. Learn more >
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    The story of your book

    Since 1974 Genesis has created signed limited edition books on behalf of authors and artists ranging from the Beatles to Buckingham Palace.


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