Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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    Pop is now too controlled to allow heretics like Mick Rock to thrive | Sean O’Hagan

    NSMusic photographer Mick Rock, who died last week, was 72 years old and once described his subject as “a business that evokes an aura.” It was his luck to be able to work at any time when the aura of rock stars was his favorite. David BowieLou Reed and Iggy Pop, which he now captured in his famous image, were persuasive and anxious about their androgynous otherness. With Locke’s death, the truly transcendental nature of the cultural moments captured in his photographs seems farther than ever.

    In particular, one image of him captures the sexual audacity of Bowie’s performance, and even now, almost 50 years later, it still leaves evidence of the first illegal charges. Taken from the side of the stage, this photo shows a singer simulating Mick Ronson’s guitar fellatio at a show at Oxford City Hall in 1972. Homosexuality had been criminalized in England and Wales, but it was completely important.

    Bowie’s pop culture antennas were highly tuned and almost unnaturally foresighted, as revealed in the years that followed. Immediately after the photo was published in the music press, his Ziggy Stardust Tour attracted thousands of young fans, replacing the monotonous uniformity of practical denim for both male and female followers with glitter and eyeliner. I did. With the advent of glam rock, which, when considered later, seems not to be the most luxurious British pop genre to date, Bowie’s era has arrived, and rock later became the “exciting propaganda” of its fascinating image. What he called promoted his dominance.

    One of David Bowie’s photos with Mick Rock and band member Mick Ronson. Photo: J Vespa / WireImage for Peoples Revolution

    In the photo, Rock’s proximity to the performers on stage shows that both photographers and journalists had to access Rockstar at the time. Indeed, his friendship with Bowie was like he might have been prepared to capture the moment. Interestingly, Rock only met Bowie a month before the Oxford gig and traveled to Birmingham for the first time to take a picture of the singer. A few days later, he visited Bowie at home, partly due to their mutual love for Pink Floyd’s former guitarist, whimsical Syd Barrett, who became a recluse after a prolonged mental weakness fueled by LSD. I tied it up.

    In the late 1960s, while Cambridge students were studying modern language, Rock whimsically bought a used camera from a friend and soon became friends with Barrett and took pictures. Like Bowie before Gram, Barrett was a dandy, streaky hippie, with a fascinatingly disturbed romantic aura about him, even if his sanity was unleashed.

    In the fall of 1969, Rock filmed Barrett leaning against the vintage Pontiac hood outside Earl’s Court, lying down and relaxing on the floor inside. His naked girlfriend is visible in the background. One of the portraits was used on the cover of the singer’s solo album. Mad cap laugh, The first famous photo of rock.

    Barrett was only 23 and Rock was only 19 when the session took place. Both were, to varying degrees, immersed in the crazy and resolute hippie culture of the time. “This period created a lot of innovation and a lot of very creative characters.” Rock said Guardian In 2015, “I’m sure LSD has something to do with it. If I hadn’t taken LSD, I would certainly not have been a photographer. When I first picked up the camera, I was on an acid journey. I was in the middle. I found out that there was no movie in it, but it was a great experience. It was an opportunity to start taking pictures. “

    From the moment he picked up the camera on a whim, Locke was the right person at the right time, in the right place. For decades, access to the performers he helped immortalize seems to be noteworthy in an era when PR-managed interviews were the norm at ruthless times.His friendship with Bowie was like he accompanied him behind the scenes to meet a singer. Lou Reed At Kings Cross Cinema in London (later to become Scalar) on July 14, 1972. He later described Reed’s performance that night as “like a journey to Jung’s primitive hinterland.”

    A very atmospheric, slightly blurry, monochrome portrait of an empty-looking reed, decorating a solo album produced by singer Bowie. TransformerIt was actually a live shot taken at that London show. The next night, Rock returned to the cinema and witnessed Iggy and The Stooges’ only London show in town to record his third album. Raw power, Bowie plays the role of executive producer. Another exciting live shot taken by Rock is Iggy, bare chest, dark make-up, leaning against a mic stand and watching the crowd. It was almost ignored on the cover of the album at the time of its release, but it will soon be a touchstone for the punk generation.

    The powerful image that rock created in a year resonates for decades as an emblem of an era when rock music had a long-declining cultural significance. They talk about creative risk-taking, gender glitz, fearlessness, as well as the friendship of a small coalition of outsiders and heretics, whether performers or image makers.

    The journey produced some truly remarkable music and portraiture. “They were eccentric and threatening by any standard,” Mick Rock once said with Lou Reed. Iggy pop.. He has to evoke the conflicting energies of their dissonance in still images, and in doing so emphasize that modern music does not have the same thing.

    Pop is now too controlled to allow heretics like Mick Rock to thrive | Sean O’Hagan

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