Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock

I had heard of Mick Rock before, but knew very little about him, apart from the fact that he took snaps of rock ‘n’ rollers.

It turns out he took a whole lot of photos of rockers such as Syd Barret, Johnny Rotten, Debbie Harry, and Motley Crue. The attic in his house is full of boxes of photos, negatives, and all kinds of memorabilia which would be worth quite a lot.

He was very chummy with David Bowie and Lou Reed, and it was basically David Bowie that set Mick on his way to rock photographer stardom and fame and drugs. Over the years he took the photos that would become iconic album covers, you can see a list of them here.

As he was so heavily entrenched in the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, and being well accepted by those he worked with, he too liked to party hardy and sniff various powders. He would go days without sleep and just wanted to party and take lots of snaps. Of course this all caught up with him, and we had dramatised vignettes of him lying on a stretcher throughout the documentary, culminating in him talking about the experience of coming very close to death. It was all quite arty and surreal at times. He is a bit of a spiritual chap, so we saw him doing yoga and special breathing exercises at times.

He played tapes of him talking with David or Lou throughout the documentary which was interesting. Both of them were very intellectual and arty chaps, and Mick seemed to be quite close to both of them. There was plenty of archive footage, a lot of it stuff I had not seen before, especially of David Bowie and Lou Reed doing their thing.

So, for a music fan this was well worth watching. He didn’t really go much into how he goes about his photography though, which I would have liked to see, although we did see him at work in a couple of photo sessions. That would be something I would like to have a go at, but I would skip the powder sniffing definitely.

Date watched: September 30th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 111

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