Outtake From Cover Shoot for Queen II, 1973, By Mick Rock
Anyone who grew up in the 70s, loving bands like Queen and David Bowie, knows the legacy of photographer Mick Rock. Along with the equally phenomenal Bob Gruen, Rock is a photographer whose skilled eye captured images – fleeting moments in rock history – that were every bit as important to the times as the music being made by those he was shooting. It is not at all surprising that Mick Rock is also known as “The Man Who Shot the 70s.” Mick Rocks!
Beginning October 27, 2010, the Morrison Hotel Gallery (located at 313 Bowery, the former home of CBGB Gallery and Lounge) will host an exhibit on the photography of Mick Rock that includes many of his most iconic music-star images of the era – the aforementioned Queen and Bowie plus Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Ramones and so many others – as well as today’s superstars such as Bono and Lady Gaga. I attended the opening party last night and it was total glorious chaos – just like the 70s!
Just three feet into the Morrison Hotel Gallery, I couldn’t help but notice a small sign, maybe eight inches square, blood red with white block lettering perched on the front desk, which declared to all who entered “NO PHOTOGRAPHY.” How hilarious. Not only were there cameras everywhere (from fans snapping shots on their cell phones to pros toting huge amounts of gear), but the friend I was with was actually physically lifted off the ground and smacked in the head with a camera when she got caught up in a swarm of overzealous photographers desperate to get the best access to Mick as he made his way through the crowd. It was insane. As difficult as it was to squeeze through the throng of local celebs, aging scenesters and others who, like me, go out of their way to live in the past, the photos – which ranged in size from 30”x40” to 8”x10” – are simply amazing. They just don’t make rock stars like they used to, but at least Mick Rock was there to document the glitter, the glam and the drunken debauchery, so that today we can look back on that time and wish it never had to end.
The Morrison Hotel show is basically just PR for Rock’s new coffee-table book, Exposed: The Faces of Rock n’ Roll which includes 200 of Rock’s iconic photos that were previously unreleased. I’ve seen the book and I would most definitely classify it as “Must Own,” dependent on whether or not you actually own a coffee table. Because NYC apartments, they are so small and short on storage space. Mick Rock!