Mick Rock is often referred to as “The Man who shot the Seventies”. He is the inimitable rock photographer who launched his career with a then-unknown David Bowie in 1972.
His legendary rock photography includes iconic images of Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, the Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Blondie.Mick has created many key rock ‘n’ roll images, including the cover photographs for Queen’s Queen II (recreated for their classic music video ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’) and Sheer Heart Attack.
Mick recalls his first impression of Queen: “They knew they had the magic. That was firmly imprinted on me. And having told me how good they were, they played me the music – it was Queen II, which they had just finished recording. They asked me to describe it, and I said: ‘It’s Bowie meets Led Zeppelin.’ That was good; they wanted to work with me, but they wanted to know that I got it. They were picky from the get-go. It was trial by chatter…”
Mick’s career continued to soar with key 70s images like Lou Reed’s Transformer, Iggy Pop’s Raw Power, Queen’s Queen II and many of the Sex Pistols’ infamous shots. In 1977, he moved permanently to New York, where he quickly became involved with the underground music scene pioneered by Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie. His pictures, including The Ramones’ End of the Century, captured the revolutionary spirit of this groundbreaking period and made him the one of the most sought-after photographers in the world.
“There was something slightly otherworldly about them. To me they look mythological. I never saw them as inhuman, just more like fantastic creatures, chimaeras in the pre-Raphaelite world. I was soaked in that stuff.” – Mick Rock