‘Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock’, A New Documentary About Mick Rock
I like to say I am a music photographer… I laugh at myself when I say this, but it makes me feel good. However, there are people like me, who go out at night to take pics of obscure (or not so obscure) bands, thinking one of them may be the next big thing, there are people like me haunting the Echo, the Echoplex, the Satellite, the Bootleg, the Hi Hat and all these LA eastside night clubs, and there are people like…. Mick Rock, THE music photographer, the only one.
Mick Rock is very talented and he was certainly born in the right place, at the right time, since he is the author of some of the most iconic album covers of all time, from David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust, to Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Syd Barrett, Queen, Blondie, the Rolling Stones, the Ramones, Joan Jett and the list goes on and on. He is often called ‘The man who shot the Seventies’, and many will argue that the Seventies were the best decade ever. When you have shot Reed, Bowie and Pop in the same frame, what else can you hope for?
Of course, Mick Rock still continues his work with new artists such as Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, The Killers, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of the Stone Age, Daft Punk, Snow Patrol, Black Keys, MGMT… And there is probably not one famous rock-pop star or band whom he didn’t shot.
However, Mick Rock is especially known for his work with David Bowie, the two men had a special bond and Rock became Bowie’s official photographer between 1972 and 1973. I went to an exhibit at the Taschen gallery not a long time ago, and all the spectacular stage shots and intimate backstage portraits you have seen everywhere, are signed Mick Rock.
There is a new documentary about Mick Rock which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and the film will be released in theaters April 7th. ‘Shot! The psycho-spiritual mantra of rock’ follows Mick Rock through decades of rock photography, from Syd Barrett to Father John Misty (this will probably make Iman wince), while Mick Rock’s voice-over is explaining his journey: ‘I think the name infiltrated into my psyche. If you wanted a Rock ’n’ Roll photographer, what would you call him? You’d call him Mick Rock… I hadn’t done a lot of performance photography until David [Bowie] came along. It was designed to give people the idea, “We don’t know who he is, but he’s got a personal photographer, so he must be a big deal.’
It is very tempting to follow this thief of the night… see you at a theater near you on April 7th.