Legendary photographer behind some of the most popular photographs from music, Mick Rock has died at the age of 72. The British photographer covered big names including Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and The Stooges, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Syd Barrett, Joan Jett, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Thin Lizzy, Geordie, Mötley Crüe, Blondie, Queen, T. Rex, and David Bowie.
He took the iconic QUEEN II cover in 1974, David Bowie’s 1973 album cover for Pinups among many other directorial works for music videos. Many musicians, singers, and songwriters are all pouring their love and respect for Mick Rock in social media posts and statements.
Mike Garson remembered Mick Rock on his Twitter, “So sad to hear of Mick Rock’s passing. He was one of a kind with such an eye for aesthetics and seizing the right moments. He was also quite fun to travel with back in the days of the Spiders. Mick gave so much to this planet and he adored David. Mick’s journey shall continue…”
Rock also did the album artwork for Miley Cyrus (Plastic Hearts), Atlas Sound (Parallax), and Black Lips (Underneath the Rainbow) to name a few of his later works. “Sad and shocked to hear of the passing of our friend, photographer Mick Rock – who clicked his shutter to capture that iconic image of us for the QUEEN II cover in 1974, at a time when we were NOT very big stars.” Lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May penned his tribute on Instagram.
He added, “The Marlene-Dietrich style lighting applied to the four of us (only ONE light source above for the whole group) gave us an enduring image, inspired part of the ‘look’ of our Bohemian Rhapsody video a couple of years later, and has been widely imitated by others over the years since then. Mick did much memorable work for David Bowie and produced images both in the studio and in the live situation. His oeuvre will definitely shine on. RIP Mr. Rock. Bri”
Mick Rock might have handled his first camera while on acid, but he got fascinated with photography later on while studying at Cambridge when he started covering the local music scene.
His official Twitter account shared the news of his demise, writing, “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.”