Photographer Mick Rock Recalls Shooting Bowie, Queen, Iggy and More


Mick Rock is a legend of rock ’n' roll photography. They don’t call him “the man who shot the 70’s” for nothing, and his portfolio – which includes many of the most iconic shots of David Bowie, Queen, Lou Reed, Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges, Thin Lizzy, Blondie, Joan Jett, and the Sex Pistols – is a veritable catalog of the visual history of rock music. In the latest episode of The Hivecast with Matt Pinfield, Matt sits down with Mick Rock to get some front-line stories from the man who snapped the cover photos of Raw Power, Queen II, Transformer and so many of those classic David Bowie album sleeves. And, as Rock explains, getting those shots of Bowie was not exactly the hardest part of his job.

“I learned a lot from watching David,” Rock says of the Thin White Duke’s talents as a performer and entertainer. “He was already a master of his craft, and that included how to stand in front of a camera. This guy never looked bad in a photograph. I've got all these pictures from back then, and you go, ‘We'll edit out the bad ones!’ Well, there's not many of them. I've got like five or six thousand of them of him as Ziggy Stardust. If I edited it and got out the ones I didn't care for, you'd still have 4,750 pictures that are very usable.”

The number of usable photos in Mick Rock’s portfolio of the most important artists of the 70’s is staggering. Tune in to the latest episode of the Hivecast to get some of the stories behind them. [Download & subscribe to the Hivecast via iTunes.]