Photographer Mick Rock has snapped rock stars from Mick Jagger to David Bowie. He’s set to release a book, ‘Exposed: The Faces of Rock n’ Roll’, and his work is being showcased at Idea Generation gallery (in association with Zippo), from 11 Nov-16 Jan. Click through this gallery to see some his best photos and to learn more about the man behind them.
Rock snapped this photo of Bono and Lady Gaga in 2009. An enthusiastic hedonist, Rock revealed to NME that he nearly died 14 years ago. “For over 20 years I’d been on a rampant run… You know, I could always take pictures, but the rest of my life was just chaotic. I mean, there are many ways of getting high and none of them involve chemicals, but it took me a few years to figure that one out.”
Mick Rock has photographed many modern-day stars, as well. This shot of Snoop Dogg was taken in 2009, the same year the rapper released his tenth studio album, ‘Malice n Wonderland’.
This shot of Debbie Harry was taken by Rock in 1978. He says of the starlet: “She was like a gift, it was like God had sent her down. I took the best pictures of her, mostly Marilyn Monroe-esque pictures, the ones which defined her as the Marilyn of rock’n’roll. You can name anyone else that has come down the rock path and they’re nothing compared to Debbie Harry.”
Mick Rock told theartsdesk.com that Peter Gabriel looked like a “complete loony” in this 1973 shot. “I know Peter loves those pictures – those were the days when he had the kind of reverse Mohican.”
Rock says that 18 months ago, Iggy Pop revealed that three months after the release of ‘Raw Power’, it was in the 50p bin. “It was a dead loss at the time,” says Rock. “Nowadays of course it’s regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, and so is the cover. Iggy’s energy is in his live performance. He’s like no-one else.”
This image of Queen, taken in 1974, was used for the band’s ‘Queen II’ album cover. it was also the inspiration behind the band’s music video for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
Here’s a photograph of Richard Ashcroft from 2006. Rock told NME of his career, “It’s all been a whirlwind and it still is now.”
You can see more photographs like this 2005 shot of Dave Grohl at the Idea Generation gallery exhibit (in association with Zippo), from 11 Nov-16 Jan.
This photograph of The Ramones is an outtake from the ‘End Of The Century’ album photo session in 1979.
This photograph of The Prodigy was taken during a photo session for the cover of Big Shot magazine. Click here to watch a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot.
Here’s a photograph of Brian Eno from 1974. Rock says during those years, “Boys wanted to look a bit like girls, and I shot all kinds of characters. People ask me how come I have the best pictures? And I say ‘Aha, I got the only pictures’.”
Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie was photographed by the legendary rock’n’roll photographer in 2006 for a Ray-Bans relaunch campaign.
Mick Rock took this photograph of Johnny Rotten in London in 1976. However, he told Rolling Stone that “With all due respect to Johnny and Sid and the boys, that was pretty sane stuff compared to what the Stooges were up to several years beforehand.”
Mick Rock snapped this photo of The Gossip in 2009. Be sure to pick up a copy of this week’s NME to read more about the iconic photographer.
This photograph of Johnny Marr was taken by Mick Rock in 2003. If you want to learn more about the man behind the photos, you can purchase his book, Mick Rock Exposed: The Faces of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Rock has said that he can make anyone look like a poof or a poet, even Ozzy Osbourne (like in this 1975 photograph). He later photographed Ozzy’s daughter, Kelly, who revealed that this was her favourite session of her dad.
This photo of Syd Barrett was taken in 1971. “Syd was more of a jazz musician, an improviser, he didn’t wanna get onstage,” says Rock. “He did look the part, but he didn’t wanna be a pop star…He thought like a painter, not like a pop musician.”
This one, taken in 1976, is called ‘Lou Reed Buying Dog’. You can probably work out why.
Mick Rock made an appearance in this 2002 photograph with Kate Moss. He’s described the model as unpretentious and very cool – just like one of the boys.
Rock says that when he first met David Bowie in 1972, there were 400 people at his concert at Birmingham Town Hall. “Someone had given me a promo copy of ‘Hunky Dory’ and I was bowled over,” says Rock. “I played ‘Life on Mars’ over and over. Of course, I made videos of David at that time including the one for ‘Life on Mars’. I had time on my hands and we kinda rolled with it as it were.”