Everybody knows that New York City was a lot cooler 40 years ago. Sure, there was crime and corruption and the kind of lawlessness that spawned Travis Bickle and Bronson in Death Wish, but somehow out of that Petri dish of filth sprouted a fantastic downtown art scene. In the mid-70s, the same renaissance was happening across the pond in the UK, and photographer Mick Rock—nicknamed "The Man Who Shot the 70s"—somehow managed to document both blossoming worlds.
Mick's work graced the covers of Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs, Lou Reed's Transformer, and End of the Century by the Ramones, along with a million more classic records. His photos of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Queen, Blondie, and Iggy Pop are some of the most iconic music images from that time. He's still shooting today, snapping pictures of everybody from Dave Grohl to Pharell Williams to the Black Lips.
This week, there are two events in New York City to celebrate the guy and his work. If you care at all about music or people who make music, drop the boring stuff you're doing and check them out.
Right now, at Sumo Gallery in downtown Manhattan, you can see Mick Rock's iconic photos of rock legends as well as part of a gallery show titled EXPOSED, sharing a name with his newly-released photography book featuring Kate Moss on the cover.
Swing by Sumo Gallery to check out the exhibit and buy a copy of the book. Then, head over to the Ace Hotel on September 30 to see Eyes on Music, a conversation between Mick and another famous documentarian of the 70s rock canon, photographer Bob Gruen. The hour-long talk is moderated by Legs McNeil, author of Please Kill Me and heroic VICE columnist.
The man is a living legend, a photography powerhouse, and, yes, we love him. The obituary he wrote for Lou Reed is one of the most heartbreaking pieces we've ever published. We're ecstatic to see Mick getting the recognition he deserves. Go show support.
The EXPOSED exhibit at 37 Walker Street in Tribeca is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11AM to 7PM, and runs until October 19. Buy a copy of the accompanying photo book at Mick's website.
Eyes on Music, presented by Atelier Ace, happens on September 30 at Ace Hotel New York's Liberty Hall. It is invite-only.