NEW YORK – Mick Rock photographed and partied with the biggest stars in glam and punk rock in the 1970s and 80s. Many of the luminaries he called friends – including David Bowie, Lou Reed – have since gone to that big Max’s Kansas City in the sky. But the performer that Rock, and basically everyone else in that scene, thought would probably die first is still alive and kicking.
“If you had to make a list of those who would be – I’m talking the early 70s – the first to go, it would have been Iggy (Pop), and the odds on him dying would have been overwhelming,” Rock told Fox News. “But there he is hanging out on the beach in Miami with Anthony Bourdain looking terrific.”
Rock’s storied career (he’s informally known as “The Man Who Shot the 70s”) is chronicled in the new documentary “Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.” The film is filled with the musicians who defined the decade, and to a great extent, Rock’s career.
“There is this fascination a that a lot of younger people have with the 70s and early 80s, especially with people like David, Lou, Iggy, Syd Barret, The Ramones, Debbie Harry,” Rock said. "God bless Debbie Harry."
Photos of each and interviews with most of these legends are included in the film, which took over four years to make. But Rock’s twin guiding forces both in his career and in the documentary remain Reed and Bowie.
“As much as I loved so many of the people I worked with, it is dedicated to those two,” Rock said. “Of all the people in it, they have the most prominent presence, and there’s a reason for that. I think those two probably had the (most) significant impact on my sensibility. And I think they had a significant impact on modern culture, and their importance cannot be overrated.”
“Those two are sides to the same coin,” Rock continued. “Over here you’ve got the bright, and over here you’ve got the dark. Over here you’ve got London, over here you’ve got New York. Over here you have the bright and charming, over here you have a gentleman with a more complex approach to life, shall we say. But I love them both equally.”
“Shot!” was very much a collaboration between Rock, 69, and director Barnaby Clay, who had never before done a documentary.
“The important thing was … that he understood that there would be no talking heads,” Rock said. “Do you really need someone else’s opinion? I think you either like the pictures or you don’t.”
And Rock believes much the same thing about “Shot!.”
“Whether you like it or not, I think it is unique.”
“Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock” (Magnolia Pictures) opens April 7.