Few have managed to capture the essence of rock’n’roll like the late great Mick Rock. Responsible for legendary record covers like Lou Reed’s Transformer or Joan Jett’s I Love Rock’n Roll, he was instrumental in the construction and propagation of a mythology whose allure bordered royalty.
Barnaby Clay’s documentary SHOT! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock details the British photographer’s exciting life and seemingly effortless talent through his own words, showcasing Rock’s astounding ability to not only be in the right place at the right time, but also to capture what others didn’t see—or did, but were unable to grasp. “I’m not after your soul,” he says in the documentary. “I’m after your fucking aura.”
Opening with a reference to Rock’s excesses through a reenactment of his 1996 heart attack scare (an image that hits a bit harder now with his recent passing), SHOT! is a hymn to the visual side of the music industry through one of its most fundamental masters. For an hour and a half, Mick Rock guides us through his process of identifying mystique and creating legendary pictures that became an indelible part of pop’s collective imaginary; photography may be an art, but transpose it on to the wondrous world of rock’n’roll and it turns into a religion.
Mick Rock’s estate recently shared a cause they’d like fans to support if they feel called to do so. Details can be found here.