7 Rockin’ Questions with Mick Rock

photography by Rick Camargo

Mick Rock as the name suggests, is a man tied to the world of music. He is regarded by many as the photographer laureate of the glam era and has photographed a who’s who of rock’n’roll: David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Blondie, Iggy Pop, Queen, The Velvet Underground…. Need I go on? Though best known for his shots of the ‘70s, Rock never stopped shooting and is in high demand today among music’s A-list; Madonna, Scissor Sisters, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more.

He loves rock stars and in turn they love him. He is one of them. At a recent reception for Mick Rock at the W Hotel in San Francisco, anyone none the wiser would have thought he was a rock star not a celebrity snapper. Wearing shades and his trademark denim jeans and jacket, he stood out from the crowd, as well he should have, he is Mick Rock after all—one of the best rock photogs ever.

You can see—and indeed purchase—Mick’s spectacular body of work at an ongoing exhibition at the SF Art Exchange. Venture online and check out his pics.

1. Mick Rock—is that your real name?
Mick: Yes, darling. Ha ha. No it is, really. [He laughs]

2. What was the photograph or shoot that changed your life?
Mick: The early Bowie photos with his red spiky ears and big, sparkling earrings. He became a star then, and I was the photographer behind the pictures.

3. Your most decadent shoot?
Mick: So many. Mmmm. It was with Motley Crue. It was meant to be a three-hour shoot but it lasted for three days. You can only imagine what we were doing. Yeah. Wow. Those lads can party.

4. Why are rock stars your subjects?
Mick: Why not? They are unpredictable, always changing. I get them. They are great to shoot and rarely dull in the studio.

5. Did you ever sleep with your subjects?
Mick: You naughty boy. Think I am telling you?
Liam: That will be a “no” then?
Mick: Ha Ha. Yes but I do have some fun photos. My daughter will discover them one day. Oh dear. They will be worth a pretty penny.

6. You are known best for your photos of the glam era but who do you enjoy snapping today?
Mick: Ooh. The Killers—always a laugh. The Scissor Sisters—Jake and pals are great.

7. Ok your house is burning down, you can run in and retrieve just one photo, what would it be?
Mick: Ooh tough.
Liam: C’mon, one photo.
Mick: Can I pick a couple?
Liam: No.
Mick: One of my early Bowie pics I suppose. Tough, it’s like picking a favorite child.

Thanks Mick for your time and years of stunning rock photos.
Mick: Cheers. Now let’s have a drink….
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