Legendary music photographer Mick Rock has died, aged 72.
The photographer captured iconic images of artists in the seventies including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Queen, Sex Pistols and many more.
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.
“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.”
Photo: Nathalie Rock pic.twitter.com/I50ofDuO0r
— Mick Rock (@TheRealMickRock) November 19, 2021
Rock was born in London in 1948 and shot to prominence in the 1970s. David Bowie, Queen, Blondie, Iggy Pop and Syd Barrett were among the many musicians he captured in this era and some of his famous album cover shots included Queen II, Raw Power and Transformer.
He continued to photograph musicians into his seventies, shooting the likes Snoop Dogg, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Miley Cyrus and more.
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 Mick Rock have been pouring in on social media – you can see some of them here:
So sad to hear of Mick Rock’s passing. He was one of a kind with such an eye for aesthetics and seizing the right moments. He was also quite fun to travel with back in the days of the Spiders. Mick gave so much to this planet and he adored David. Mick’s journey shall continue… pic.twitter.com/NEpJ5LzYCd
— Mike Garson (@mikegarson) 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
Safe travels Mick Rock.
You made music look so exciting x pic.twitter.com/dyuUVONX1M
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) November 19, 2021
Quite stunned by the death of Mick Rock. When music was changing in the late 60s / early 70s, Mick was part of that process. Best known for his portfolio of Bowie photos of course, but he was much more than that. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. #MickRock pic.twitter.com/xDsc3XqjdD
— Kevin Cummins (@KCMANC) November 19, 2021