Legendary Music Photographer Mick Rock Dies Aged 72

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The iconic music photographer Mick Rock has passed away aged 72.

Rock was a well known photographer in the music business, with his list of subjects making for an impressive CV.

The likes of Thin Lizzy, Blondie, the Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Lou Reed, the Ramones, Motley Crue, T.Rex, Syd Barrett and Queen all feature on the Mick Rock lens.

Rock had started taking photographs of bands while attending Cambridge University. His snaps later became a regular feature on many classic albums over the years. These albums also include Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, Queen II, Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby and Transformer. His snaps also featured on the Stooges’ Raw Power.

However, it is probably his photos of David Bowie which are the most celebrated, especially during the Ziggy Sawdust era. Rock’s relationship with Bowie stretched into other media outlets too. Rock directed music videos for tracks “John I’m Only Dancing”, “Life On Mars”, “Jean Genie”, and “Space Oddity”.

He was also the chief photographer of films like Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Rocky Picture Horror Show.

Rock also snapped the likes of Lady Gaga, Michael Stipe, Miley Cyrus, the Black Keys, Queens of the Stone Age, Jane’s Addiction and the Killers in a career that spanned 35 years.

He has even published photobooks of his works, with SHOT! by Rock: The Photography of Mick Rock out in 2022.

“The heaviest of hearts”

Rock’s death was confirmed via his social media accounts. 

“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”, a message read.

“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 message also added, “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”.

A cause of death has yet to be confirmed.