Mick Rock: I'd photograph Miley Cyrus but she doesn't have the Seventies shock factor

The 'man who shot the 70s' says he would photograph pop acts like One Direction so long as he wasn't 'having his period'

From David Bowie and Lou Reed to Blondie and The Sex Pistols, Mick Rock's status as "the man who shot the Seventies" is well-earned. But now the British photographer is adding a contemporary twist to his classic snaps.

The 65-year-old insists he is not stuck in the past, even going so far as to say that  he would photograph serial twerker Miley Cyrus and teen heartbreakers One Direction, so long as it was "going to be fun".

"I'm not going to go out and forage for that kind of thing but I'm fairly liberated," he says.

"I've shot Deadmau5! How about that? I'm not 'If you make this kind of music I won’t shoot you' at all. It depends on what side of the bed I get up on and what time of the month it is, if I'm having my period. I'm more like a lady in that sense."

Rock may joke, but his range of subjects include the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Mick is a big fan), The Killers, Snoop Dogg, Cee Lo Green, Janelle Monae, Robin Thicke and his own beloved cats.

"It's about having fun, projecting energy, which is what musicians do," he says. "You can get a bit of energy out of a model, and I do, but it’s a little one-dimensional. With a musician, you’re dealing with an artist."

 

But although Rock is full of praise for the number of rising stars he has photographed in recent years, what he misses most is the shock factor of Iggy and the Stooges, The Ramones, and other acts deemed cutting-edge four decades ago.

Cyrus, Thicke, Lady Gaga and their headline-grabbing antics simply cannot match up because, frankly, we've seen it all before.

"Back then, everything wasn't so accessible, there was more mystique," he says. "Sometimes I was the only photographer around but nowadays, if someone pops up and waves a bit of a flag, people are all over it. The big media machine needs to be fed all the time; it’s constant, and completely different to how disposable everything was in the Seventies."

Rock knows that trying to fight changing times is futile and besides, even if he wanted to, his 23-year-old daughter is there to keep him firmly in the 21st century.

"She's into all that electronic music, Skrillex and bloody Swedish House Mafia," he says. "She's been educating me about that stuff for years."

Mick Rock revisits one of his iconic images of David Bowie But as the popularity of Instagram and its vintage filters continues to rage in iPhone world, Rock's authentic rock'n'roll vibe is arguably more popular than ever.

Entitled The Revisit, Rock's latest project sees him celebrate some of his most famous images. The iconic Debbie Harry photo "Blue Debbie" (see gallery, above) has been recreated with up-and-coming Brooklyn singer-songwriter Danielle Parente, using Nikon's new retro-styled Df camera.

His original Queen II album sleeve, seen in the band's "Bohemian Rhapsody" music video, has also been revamped in the name of nostalgia.

"At first I used to find the whole "man who shot the Seventies" thing a little irritating because I didn't only shoot in the Seventies," he says.

"I saw it as an impediment and believed people thought I was a relic crawling out of a gutter to peddle old images, a bit like how Bowie gets stuck with Ziggy Stardust. But the past is a treasure trove for modern artists and I've learnt to embrace and accept that."

"You can't fight the times you live in," Rock continues. "I don't have any prejudice against the modern world just because I was spawned back in the Seventies. The main difference is that back then all I did was shoot and chase girls, but nowadays I don't have time and besides, my wife would give me a thick ear if I did!" 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones