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Famed photographer Mick Rock, who shot iconic album covers for Bowie, Lou Reed, Queen & more, dead at 72


Mick Rock, the celebrated rock photographer whose famous images grace the covers of albums by David Bowie, Lou Reed, Queen and many others, died Thursday at age 72.

Rock’s passing was announced in a statement posted on his social media pages.

“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 message begins. “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.”

Early in his career, Rock shot the cover photo for ex-Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett‘s solo album The Madcap Laughs, and soon after he became Bowie’s official photographer. Among the his famous images of Bowie include the cover for his 1973 album Pin-Ups. Mick also directed some of David’s early music videos, for such songs as “Life on Mars,” “Jean Genie” and “John I’m Only Dancing.”

One of Rock’s most iconic pics is the photo of Reed featured on the cover Lou’s 1972 album Transformer. Mick’s photos also appear on such well-known albums as Queen’s Queen II, Iggy and the Stooges‘ Raw Power, The Ramones‘ End of the Century and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts‘ I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.

A documentary about Mick’s life and work, Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock, was released in 2016.

The message announcing Rock passing also described him as a “man fascinated with image, [who] 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.”

Photo: Nathalie Rock

— Mick Rock (@TheRealMickRock) November 19, 2021

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