Mick Rock, one of the most legendary rock ‘n’ roll photographers, has died at 72, according to an announcement on social media.
Best known as David Bowie’s longtime photographer, and the director for music videos such as “Life on Mars” and “Space Oddity,” Mick Rock also shot pictures of Queen, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Motley Crue, and Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett.
No cause of death has been revealed, as mourning fans wonder what happened to the famous music photographer.
“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 announcement read on Instagram.
“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,” it said. “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.”
“The stars seemed to effortlessly align for Mick when he was behind the camera; feeding off of the unique charisma of his subjects electrified and energized him,” the statement continued. “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 photographs rock music has ever seen. To know Mick was to love him. He was a mythical creature; the likes of which we shall never experience again.”
Mick Rock, whose real name was actually Michael David Rock, would go on to photograph prominent musicians past the days of shredded guitars, such as Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, and Snoop Dogg.
Growing up in London, he became interested in photography and eventually met Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger’s brother. Mick’s career took off from there and he got his first gig after an LSD trip convinced him that photography was his passion.
“I was at the home of a friend who had all the toys, including a great record player and camera,” he told the New York Post back in March. “Sitting around his room, tripping on blotter acid, I picked up the camera and began playing with it. Every time I clicked, there was an explosion and I saw a lady’s faces in a million iterations.”
“It was a different time,” he recalled. “I picked up what I needed to know as I went along. I realized that you didn’t need to know much when it came to photography.”
He published many photography collections such as Glam! An Eyewitness Account, which featured a forward written by Bowie, and Mick Rock Exposed. He was also the lead subject of many gallery shows over the course of his life and the 2016 documentary SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.
Recognized for his work with album covers, Mick Rock shot the famous art for Queen II, which would go on to influence the video for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and Iggy Pop’s Raw Power. Most recently, he photographed the Debbie Harry and Hole-inspired artwork for Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts.
“IT WAS BARELY OVER A YEAR AGO I SAT WITH YOU BY THE WINDOW LISTENING TO BOWIE STORIES…,” Miley Cyrus wrote on Twitter after hearing of his passing. “IT WAS MY HONOR.”
“We lost a legend, a true artist Mick Rock,” said Sharon Osbourne, wife of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne. “His work will live on forever. All our love and respect to his family.”
Mick Rock is survived by his wife, Pati, and their daughter, Nathalie Rock.