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November 20, 2021

The Man Who Shot the Seventies: Stunning Photographs of Rock Stars Taken by Mick Rock

The legendary rock photographer Mick Rock, often referred as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies,” has died aged 72. The news was confirmed by his representative in a statement that described Rock as a “photographic poet” and “a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way”.


Mick Rock (November 22, 1948 – November 18, 2021) photographed rock music acts such as Queen, David Bowie, T. Rex, Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The Sex Pistols, Ozzy Osbourne, The Ramones, Joan Jett, Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Thin Lizzy, Geordie, Mötley Crüe, and Blondie. Often referred to as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies,” most of the memorable shots of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust were shot by Rock in his capacity as Bowie’s official photographer.

During his time at Cambridge, Rock picked up a friend’s camera and started to take pictures of the local rock music scene, acquiring some friends and contacts along the way (including Cambridge native Syd Barrett and Mick Jagger’s younger brother Chris).


Rock’s career continued to soar with key 1970s images like Lou Reed’s Transformer, Iggy Pop’s Raw Power and 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 The 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.

His photo subjects include The Misfits, Snoop Dogg, Air Traffic, Maxwell, Alicia Keys, The Gossip, Lady Gaga, Richard Barone, The Killers, The Scissor Sisters, Michael Bublé, Miley Cyrus, Michael Stipe, Kate Moss, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Chemical Brothers, Janelle Monáe, Queens of the Stone Age, Daft Punk, Kasabian, Snow Patrol, Daniel Merriweather, Black Keys, Hall & Oates, Peter, Bjorn and John, MGMT, Alejandro Escovedo, Pete Yorn, Gavin Degraw, Peaches, Fat Joe, Rhymefest, Nas, Q-Tip, Jane’s Addiction, Tom Stoppard, and old friends Bowie, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Mötley Crüe, Nicos Gun, and Iggy Pop.

His retrospective at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2003 was hailed as “one of the most exciting exhibitions of pop culture imagery to ever reach these shores.” In late 2006, Mick Rock received the Diesel U Music Legends Award for his contribution to Music.




















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