David Bowie died in January, six days after “The Sound and the Fury” by T.S. Eliot was published by Grove Press. But in 1962, Rock immortalized the poet for posterity in a photograph. Bowie was memorably photographed by Rock on the cover of the artist’s first poetry collection, “Jump-Start.”
Since Bowie died at the age of 69, Rock, 82, has gotten many requests for quotes about the late legend. The British photographer and author died Sunday after a battle with esophageal cancer. Rock’s family confirmed his death to several news outlets, including the Associated Press.
“I was 13 when my father bought the first record I ever bought,” rock star Chris Cornell, who died in May, said. “It was by David Bowie. The Grateful Dead. Neil Young. They all rocked the house. That’s what rock and roll meant to me. That’s what the art of rock & roll meant. Just like Rock and Roll meant to Bob Dylan, to Jimi Hendrix, to you. People who defined an era.”
Rock is a British musician and photographer who shot A-list stars for such magazines as Vogue and Rolling Stone. He was a fixture on the 1970s London music scene and befriended stars like Mick Jagger, who promoted a new look and attitude that would create “outsider art” for rock. The Rolling Stones would name their album, “Exile on Main Street,” after Rock’s photo collage titled “Exile on Main Street.”
His iconic Bowie portrait shows Bowie with his bangs raised in a red V and looking back at the photographer. In another image from the series, Bowie is accompanied by his then-wife Iman and their young daughter Alexandria.
Rock captured the 1973 photograph of rock legend Brian Jones, left, who committed suicide.
Bowie and singer Brian Jones died the same day in 1972, and Rock captured both on the cover of his debut book, “Brian Jones and David Bowie: Changing Faces,” his memoirs about his artistic life and the music industry.
In 1964, when Rock and Jagger were both in London, Rock introduced the Rolling Stones frontman to a boy-girl couple by ringing them at the pub to hear stories about their love life. When Jagger’s mother left their house, Rock snapped a picture of her coming out of the house that was used in “Beat Street,” the Rolling Stones’ song.
Rock was killed in a plane crash in 1968, near his native England.
Rock is survived by his wife Jean, his daughter and her family.
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