Friday, 12 November 2010


It’s the opening day of Mick Rock’s retrospective but the man is not kicking back and admiring his work. As the faces of 70s superstars and 60s supernovas stare blankly through altered eyes from the walls, he is snapping the latest collection of wannabes huddled on the floor in a state of calculated dishevelment, seemingly convinced torn and frayed jeans are still a rock and roll statement.

Rock’s more famous subjects had a bit more about them and some of his album covers are as familiar, if not more so, than the music they house. I bet more people recognize the Transformer sleeve than could hum “Vicious” and more identify Raw Power than whistle “Search and Destroy”. Every article ever written about Syd Barrett has been accompanied by one of Rock’s shots and he had something to do with David Bowie but I only think about that in an attempt to obliterate the thought of Queen.

Little Johnny Rotten looks chirpy and The Ramones look like they’re throwing a strop after being forced to wear an inch of make-up for End of the Century. There’s one amusing set of photos from a house party down the Portobello Road where Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck and Ronnie Wood turn up (like they do) and start jamming until two local bobbies turn up: “Do you mind turning the noise down a bit lads?”

There are one or two surprises and more recent portraits but it’s the old classics that keep Rock in dark glasses.

Mick Rock - Rock: Music is at the Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 until 16th January 2011. Admission free.

1 comment:

  1. Must drag myself along to that. Especially if it's open on Sundays, so I can drop by Columbia Road as well.