SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock

Though I don’t think this is a very good documentary, it survives deeper analysis because of Mick Rock’s unpretentious geezer-like attitude and, of course, because of the compelling subject matter. Rock, as the cliche goes, “is the man who shot the seventies”. I had the opportunity to catch a modest exhibit of his work at MoPop. The gems include two images I’d never seen before (Rock commenting on it @ 12:11) of Bowie praying (‘Prayer Window’, 1973 and here). I happened to be at Wembley when Bowie threw that most unfashionable (some might say, mawkish) of cultural curve balls, nicely articulated by Tim Roxborogh. (The quote “It was in the hope that the signs might lead me somewhere” is very much in tune with Walker Percy’s notion of the wayfarer). It was also fun to view that suit up-close, looking at least to me, very much like seersucker. But the star of the show was of a kid displaying that 70s rock and roll attitude that defined my generation, the battle cry for All the Young Dudes, the image intended as the cover for, but never used, on Mott the Hoople’s eponymous album. I wonder whatever became of the kid? Another kid I wonder about is George from Houston who’s dad Kevin phoned in for George himself to request Ashes to Ashes (he’d be about 20 now). And yes, with hindsight my mother was naively very prescient, in effect warning me “that to get things done/You’d better not mess with Major Tom” — still an ongoing wrestling match and I’m not sure who’s winning. So there we have it: the defining mantra of the decade (“Dudes”) followed by the song that killed that very decade off (“Ashes”). Damn those moralizing busybodies of the 70s and the 80s who actually laid the groundwork for the regressive left’s policing, setting in motion cultural vandalism of the first order. Watching them now consume themselves offers some long overdue schadenfreude.