Mick Rock, Who Photographed Music Legends, Dies

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Mick Rock took the photo that appeared on Queen’s 3rd album, 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack

Mick Rock, the British photographer whose memorable images captured such music legends as David Bowie, Lou Reed and Queen gave him the nickname, “The Man Who Shot the Seventies,” has died. His death at age 72, was announced on November 18, 2021 on his Facebook page, which noted, “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.” Neither the cause nor place of death was revealed, though he was known to have resided in New York for decades.

The full announcement of Rock’s passing, via his Twitter account:

Michael David Rock was born in London in 1948. His iconic images have been featured on over 100 album covers including Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack, Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power, Lou Reed’s Transformer, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ I Love Rock ‘n Roll. He served as the chief photographer on the film set of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

But it’s with David Bowie with whom Rock had perhaps his most significant relationship, as his official photographer in 1972 and 1973.

Rock also directed several videos for Bowie, including “John, I’m Only Dancing” which was banned by the banned at the time by the U.K. music series Top of the Pops.

“People say, ‘What’s your style, Mick?’,” he told an interviewer in 2017, “and I say, ‘I don’t really know. I come out of the rock and roll business, not the photography business’.” He authored over a dozen books of his images.

Some recent tweets from Rock’s Twitter account display the breadth of his work.

Rock once said, “I always knew that this is the life I was meant to live.”

Related: Musicians and others we’ve lost in 2021

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