RIP Mick Rock, Legendary Music Photographer
19 Nov 2021
One of rock's greatest photographers, Mick Rock, has sadly passed away, a statement on his Twitter confirmed earlier today (November 19). He was 72 years old.
Born in 1948 in London, Rock photographed rock icons such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, Iggy Pop, Queen, Talking Heads, Blondie and T. Rex - to name a few. Mick was perhaps best known as David Bowie's official photographer and took some of the most renowned images of David Bowie in history. He immortalised Bowie's Ziggy Stardust character in photographs, as well as producing and directing the music video for 'Life on Mars'.
He continued to shoot well into the 2010s, photographing musicians and artists including Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, The Killers, Daft Punk, and many others, as well as continuing to shoot Reed, Debbie Harry and Bowie. His distinct way of forming close relationships with his subjects was one of the many things that set him apart from his contemporaries.
Mick was later immortalised in a documentary about his life and work, titled SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock
, in which he explored his history with rock and roll. He previously discussed
his work and the making of Transformer
, 'People say, "What makes a good photograph?" and I say, "I haven't got a clue, it's everyone's individual taste." But there's something about a picture that keeps you wanting to come back. I think that maybe it's like a hit record, you want to keep hearing it. I think there are photographs that are like that, and you can argue it's more by luck than judgment, and I'll definitely accept that, but somehow I've got a few of them.'
The statement released last night said that Mick fed off '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 images 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.'
It concluded: 'Let us not mourn the loss, but instead celebrate the fabulous life and extraordinary career of Michael David Rock.'
The team at Genesis are deeply saddened to hear of Mick's passing, as many subscribers will be who met him over the years at various events and signings. Genesis worked with Mick on four books: Moonage Daydream, Transformer, Killer Queen and Psychedelic Renegades. Our wishes go out to his family and friends.