MICK ROCK INTERVIEW: The Man Who Shot the 70’s

Following the launch of Mick Rock’s incredible limited edition prints on Beautiful Crime, featuring David Bowie and other famous iconic faces we know and love, we asked Mick to tell us more about photographing David Bowie, Lou Reed and Debbie Harry, as well as getting the lowdown on photographers today and his view on Instagram…



Bowie at Haddon Hall


1. What do you think the world would have been like without Bowie?

A lot less colorful, a lot less interesting, a lot less stimulating, a lot less fun!!

2. What is your favourite image of Bowie from this collection and why?

I can’t answer that. He looks fabulous in so many of my photos. He was the most photogenic man to ever be spawned by rock n roll.

3. Who out of the ‘& Company’ images was the most fun to work with and why?

I loved working with Lou Reed. I was deeply in awe of his creative talent. And he was very open with me, creatively and personally. I shot him so many times over a decade. But I also loved working with Debbie Harry. The most beautiful rocker of them all. And she was very playful in the best sense of the word.


Kate Moss  |  Iggy Pop


4. How do you consider the portraiture photography industry has changed over the last 5 decades… why are there no ‘new Mick Rocks’ or ‘new David Baileys’ coming out of today’s younger generations?  And is it to do with over-accessbility of being able to take digital images via phones etc?

That’s a big question. There are so many young photographers coming down the pike today. More than in any other generation previously. When we look back we will inevitably find shooters that we consider the ‘new Mick Rocks’ or the new ‘David Baileys’!!

5. What’s Instagram done for you?

Not really sure! But certainly it has exposed a lot of images that many people didn’t know I’d taken. And then with my new photography there’s that instant exposure which wasn’t available when I first picked up a camera.

6. Is there anyone dead or alive you wish you could have photographed or would like to photograph?

Three samples. All of people/times before I was a photographer:

– Elvis Presley in 1956 before his management imposed total control over all photos. Like the photos taken by my now dead friend, Al Wertheimer.

– Bob Dylan in 1965 at the time of ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, all thick bubbly hair, tight trousers and shades!!

– Keith Richards at the time of the Altamont concert in 1969, long black hair, scarves, sunken cheekbones. The ultimate rock n roll rebel!

Check out the limited edition prints here

Interview by Ruthie Holloway, Creative Director, Beautiful Crime.


Bowie and Lou Reed

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