The New York Times called him a “solo master.” John Grisham praised him for sharing “an eerie ease with the everyday.” Mick Rock, David Bowie’s official photographer, died Sunday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72.
Rock’s photos of Bowie have been in print for over 30 years and are accessible to the public.
“He was the most singular, extraordinary artist of our times. Although he physically dominated the room, David was joyously generous, and so gracious. Like any artist, my work closely reflects his creative cycles,” Rock said in a 1983 Times interview.
Rock shared his experience photographing Bowie in a 1985 interview on “Larry King Live.”
“We shot a couple of photos. The first two photos that my mother gave me, and his were the last images that I did,” Rock said. “And obviously I was the contact lens man that finally made that happen. And if I hadn’t been there I think he would’ve stolen the show. The first two pictures that we did were shots of him twiddling his ring finger, and he twiddled his rings from the very first photograph we shot, and the very last shot we shot was him twiddling his rings. And I decided at that moment that was the last image we were going to do.”
Rock traveled to London with Bowie in June 1980 to shoot the iconic “Moonage Daydream” shoot.
Rock’s son James also photographed Bowie in that shoot.
The older Rock celebrated a lifetime of photography with an exhibit called “Transglobal Underground” that included 2,258 photographs chronicling rock stars from the ’60s and ’70s through the ’90s.
At one of his shows in 2010, Rock remarked, “The Beatles helped shape this town, and the Beatles gave us enough money to take vacations and spend five bucks on a cup of coffee.”