Mick Rock Essay Research Paper A while

Mick Rock Essay, Research Paper

A while ago, I had occasion to reflect on this relationship: I was the man who frame Ziggy Stardust and who, one singular afternoon, not so may manic years later realized that, in the end, Ziggy Stardust had framed me. I was only the camera eye, but my vision would never be the same again -Mick Rock

Mick Ronson and Ziggy Stardust

Mick Rock was essential in making the image of the glam rock era. Among the many personalities he has captured on film are David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, The Ramones, Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol. The pictures he took will always stand for the decadent glam rock scene and later on the New York punk scene.

Michael David Rock was born in London in 1949. He studied modern languages at Cambridge University on a scholarship and graduated in the late 1960 s. At this time he was into such French rebels as Baudelaire and Rimbaud. The first time he used a camera, he borrowed one from a friend to take pictures of and probably impress a girlfriend. When he went to develop them he realised he didn t have any film in the camera. The next time he used a camera it was the same situation, but this time he remembered the film. His first major subject was Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd. After that in 1972 he met David Bowie (before he assumed his Ziggy Stardust persona). Through Bowie he met Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.

David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed

Then, in 1976, he moved to New York after he went on tour with Lou Reed, he still lives there today. This is also when his drug habit increased. He spent most of his time in New York; although he traveled to London often, from 1977 to 1982, where he took his punk pictures, even though punk was exploding in London at the time. In the 1980 s and 1990 s he slowed down his rock n roll photography. He has done many other things besides the rock photography, like art-directing for Aerosmith, Phil Spector and Rolling Stones box sets, non-traditional photo collages, animal photography, still lives and erotica. He also worked on early videos for David Bowie, The Kinks and Paul McCartney in the 1970 s. Recently Rock has taken ill and has accumulated un-expected hospital bills. There is a performance in the making to be held in New York and to feature Iggy Pop, Ray Davies, Debbie Harry and David Bowie among others. Profits will go to pay off Rock s hospital bills. Any left over money will go to the non-profit organization Music Cares, that helps people involved in the music business in similar situations.


Mick Rock has photographed many well-known glam-rock and punk figures. His pictures have a very insider feel to them due to the fact that he socialized with these people. When asked how he decided to be a rock n roll photographer Rock said, Well, I never did, really. I was wandering around the London Film School, in a state of psychedelia and rock was the music of the times. I lived form day to day, and my so-called career developed from there. He happened to be in the right place at the right time and was interested in the people he photographed. Rock has also said of his work that he will throw out the intellect and follow the senses and is not interested by images that are deliberate or over propped.

One aspect of his work that separates it from typical rock n roll shootings; which is there s a definite insider s quality to his work, a shared moment between subject and photographer that could only come about through heightened powers of understanding and collaboration, on both sides of the lens. Rock s photos will remain the images of this chapter of the history of rock n roll.


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