Legendary rock photographer Mick Rock is often referred to as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies,” due to his iconic images of Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Blondie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more. He has shot more than 100 album covers.
His recent subjects include Snoop Dogg, Father John Misty, Lenny Kravitz, Janelle Monae, Jimmy Fallon, The Black Keys, Karen O, Ellie Goulding, Alicia Keys, Michael Buble, Daft Punk, Perry Farrell, Motley Crue, TV On The Radio, Pharrell, Josh Groban, Flaming Lips, Nas, Rufus Wainwright, Kings of Leon, R Kelly, The Black Lips and Queens of The Stone Age.
Rock was instrumental in creating many key rock images, including album covers for Syd Barrett’s Madcap Laughs, Lou Reed’s Transformer and Coney Island Baby, Iggy and The Stooges’ Raw Power, Queen’s Queen II (recreated for their classic music video Bohemian Rhapsody) and Sheer Heart Attack, The Ramones’ End of the Century, and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, among many others. He was the chief photographer on the films The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus and recently shot special stills for the TV version of Rocky Horror, featuring the transgender actress Laverne Cox as Frank n Furter. He also produced and directed seminal music videos for David Bowie including: John, I’m Only Dancing, Jean Genie, Space Oddity, and Life On Mars.
In recent years he has published a series of books, mostly based on his classic images, including:
- A Photographic Record 1969-1980 (foreword by Lou Reed) (Century 22 Books, 1995)
- Glam: An Eyewitness Account (foreword by David Bowie) (Omnibus Books, 2006)
- Psychedelic Renegades/Syd Barrett (Genesis Publications, 2002)
- Moonage Daydream/Ziggy Stardust (with David Bowie) (Genesis Publications, 2002)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Eye (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2003)
- Killer Queen (with Brian May and Roger Taylor) (Genesis Publications, 2003)
- Picture This/Debbie Harry & Blondie (foreword by Debbie Harry) (Omnibus Books, 2004)
- Raw Power/Iggy & The Stooges (foreword by Iggy Pop) (Omnibus Books, 2005)
- Rocky Horror (foreword by Richard O’Brien) (Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2006)
- Classic Queen (Sterling Press, 2007)
- Tamashii: Mick Rock Meets Kanzaburo (Kabuki Theatre Photos) (Hachette Fujingaho, Japan, 2007)
- Psychedelic Renegades (Gingko Press, 2007)
- EXPOSED (Hardcover, Chronicle Books, 2010)
- Transformer (with Lou Reed), (Genesis Publications 2013)
- EXPOSED (Softcover, Palazzo Editions, 2014)
His most recent book, The Rise of David Bowie 1972-1973, a spectacular, limited edition co-signed with David Bowie, was published in September 2015 by Taschen Books and sold out just before Bowie’s death. It was Taschen’s fastest-selling-ever limited edition publication.
A documentary about Rock’s career, produced by Vice Films and Straight Up Films, called SHOT!’ was launched at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016, and is distributed by Magnolia Pictures. Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said, “The number of iconic photos that Mick Rock has taken and the access to the most compelling figures of our time is staggering.”
Rock is also featured in an episode of the Red Bull Films series Visions of Greatness, which was initially broadcast in Spring 2017.
Rock has had major exhibitions in cities throughout the world including Tokyo, Toronto, London, Liverpool, Berlin, Manchester, New York, Oslo, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Sao Paolo, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Toulouse.
The London Times dubbed him “the music world’s top snapper.”