The flamboyant, rebellious nature of rock music has been a crucial part of the genre’s legacy since its inception, however our modern notions of the contemporary rock star were largely solidified during the 1970s. The extravagant characters that emerged during this era have burned in our consciousness the image of a lanky (for the exception of Meatloaf) androgynous idol with skintight leather pants and 4″ platform shoes. The interviews, the groupies, the massive tours, and the unforgettable gimmicks are what helped establish new institutions within the record industry. While arena rock soared in popularity, a slightly more ambiguous sub-genre was making its nitch amongst metropolitan youth. Glam-rock made its debut with innovative new concept artists like Ziggy Stardust and Queen. Glam was the overtly sexual incarnation of rock music fused with an almost facetious pop sensibility. Glam was theory in action, as gifted artists like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop played with the ideas given to them by Derrida and Foucault. The genre represents a fleeting moment in time that has been beautifully preserved by the photographs of artist Mick Rock. Rock’s new photo anthology entitled Glam! An Eye Witness Account, chronicles many key players within the glam-rock scene, bringing to life the vivacious movement.
Rock’s portraits provide a sincere portrayal of a series of legendary entities. Bold, sometimes chilling photos of notorious musicians caught living in their natural habitat pepper the pages of this book. Rock’s ingenious lens has made a place for the world back stage with David Bowie or on stage with Iggy Pop. The strange inclusiveness that is felt throughout the book is perhaps an extension of the photographer’s relationship with his subjects. There is a series of very remarkable photos that bring to life a dinner that was shared by Bowie and Mick Jagger in 1973. The photos place the viewer at the table as if at that moment Bowie had pulled up a chair for you. It is this intimate dramatic quality that gives Glam! An Eye Witness Account a tasteful glimpse into the glamorous world of the rock-star. Whether exhibited through sleek studio portraits or gritty location shots, the exquisite photography of Mick Rock provides a very favorable tribute to glam-rock.