Legendary music photographer Mick Rock has died, aged 72.
Rock’s family confirmed the news in a statement on social media earlier today (November 19).
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share our beloved psychedelic renegade Mick Rock has made the Jungian journey to the other side,” the statement began.
Photo: Nathalie Rock pic.twitter.com/I50ofDuO0r
— Mick Rock (@TheRealMickRock) November 19, 2021
“Those who had the pleasure of existing in his orbit, know that Mick was always so much more than ‘The Man Who Shot the 70s.’ He was a photographic poet — a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way.”
It continued: “The stars seemed to effortlessly align for Mick when he was behind the camera; feeding off the unique charisma of his subjects electrified and energised him. His intent always intense. His focus always total.
“A man fascinated with image, he absorbed visual beings through his lens and immersed himself in their art, thus creating some of the most magnificent images rock music has ever seen.”
It concluded: “Let us not mourn the loss, but instead celebrate the fabulous life and extraordinary career of Michael David Rock. While you do so in your own way, we must ask that the privacy of his nearest and dearest be respected at this time. Therefore, there will be no further comments.” You can see the statement in full above.
Rock was born in London in 1948 and shot to prominence in the seventies for his work with Bowie and others.
Between 1972 and 1979, Rock was most prolific and his photographs appeared on a number of album covers and in videos from the time.
Some of his famous album cover shots included ‘Queen II’, ‘Raw Power’, and ‘Transformer’.
Additionally, Rock was a prolific artist and also served as the chief photographer for the The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Rock published many books and exhibitions of his photography of the years and he was the subject of a documentary, SHOT!, in 2016.
Tributes to the photographer and artist have been pouring in on social media – you can see some of them here:
Mick Rock and Shepard backstage at a Blondie gig. Besides being a great photographer, Mick got access to everyone because he was such a sweetheart charming motherfcker. RIP Mick, another loss for the music world pic.twitter.com/CRzjnFyLrZ
— Debbie Harry/BLONDIE (@BlondieOfficial) November 19, 2021
Safe travels Mick Rock.
You made music look so exciting x pic.twitter.com/dyuUVONX1M
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) November 19, 2021
RIP to photographer Mick Rock. Even if you didn't know his name (you should know his name!) you definitely knew his iconic work pic.twitter.com/ZWhZZqjsUU
— Clayton Cubitt (@claytoncubitt) November 19, 2021
We lost a legend, a true artist Mick Rock 📸 His work will live on forever. All our love and respect to his family ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Abd8maHoiZ
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) November 19, 2021
RIP Mick Rock, music photographer. Created some of the most wonderful images of the last fifty + years. "I wasn’t looking to be a photographer. It moved into my life, set up shop and took over…" pic.twitter.com/BwpUOl7fWH
— Dave Haslam (@Mr_Dave_Haslam) November 19, 2021
RIP to a true original, British photographer Mick Rock! Chances are you have seen this man's work through the decades… pic.twitter.com/VaZIpF2pGn
— Jeff Scott Soto (@jeffscottsoto) November 19, 2021
Goodbye for now my friend and comrade Mick Rock. The visionary poet. pic.twitter.com/0A7axeR0Lz
— Johnny Marr (@Johnny_Marr) November 19, 2021
Mick Rock and Shepard backstage at a Blondie gig. Besides being a great photographer, Mick got access to everyone because he was such a sweetheart charming motherfcker. RIP Mick, another loss for the music world pic.twitter.com/cN1q89l72f
— Cʜʀɪs Sᴛᴇɪɴ (@chrissteinplays) November 19, 2021