Mick Rock, Legendary Photographer of Classic Rock Bands, Dead at 72
British photographer Mick Rock, the rock music documentarian known as "The Man Who Shot the Seventies," has died at 72. He took iconic images of influential artists such as Queen, David Bowie, Motley Crue, Joan Jett, the Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and many others throughout his career.
Listeners have probably seen his work. Rock shot the album covers for Queen's Queen II, Joan Jett's I Love Rock 'n' Roll and Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power, as Rolling Stone pointed out. The photographer was also multi-faceted — he directed music videos for several Bowie songs in addition to photographing the star. Word of Rock's death emerged on Thursday (Nov. 18) via a statement on his social media pages.
"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," the post said. "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."
It continued, "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."
Rock, born Michael David Rock in London in 1948, first began photographing bands while attending England's Cambridge University, as UCR noted.
In the wake of his death, several musicians and entertainers reacted to the news and offered their condolences online. See below.
Thursday's statement offered no cause for Rock's death and said no further comment would be made. "Let us not mourn the loss, but instead celebrate [his] fabulous life and extraordinary career," it added. "While you do so in your own way, we must ask that the privacy of his nearest and dearest be respected at this time."