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Remembering Mick Rock Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

19 November 2021

British rock music photographer Mick Rock has died at the age of 72.

Known as "The Man Who Shot the Seventies", Rock photographed Queen, David Bowie, T. Rex, Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Sex Pistols, Ozzy Osbourne, The Ramones, Joan Jett, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Thin Lizzy, Geordie, Mötley Crüe and Blondie.

But he got his start visiting a friend at Cambridge "who had all the toys," including a camera. He picked up the camera and started playing with it. "Every time I clicked, there was an explosion and I saw a lady's face in a million iterations," he said.

He was tripping not just on acid but on photography.

"I picked up what I needed to know as I went along," the native of London added. "I realized that you didn't need to know much when it came to photography."

Bowie, who had become a friend, hired him in 1972 as his photographer. And his career took off.

He was the chief photographer on the films The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus.

He pursued his photography well beyond the 1970s, capturing subjects like Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus and others. He published several books of his work, as well, including The Rise of David Bowie: 1972-1973 (2015). In 2016, he was the subject of the documentary Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.

In 2006, he received the Diesel U Music Legends Award for his contribution to the industry.

A post on his Instagram account with a photo by his daughter memorialized him:

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.

Rock, who lived in Staten Island, is survived by his wife Pati and their daughter Nathalie.

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