arts and design

Letter: Mick Rock obituary

In the mid-1960s Mick Rock, a rather unlikely Cambridge scholarship boy, was by far the most exotic undergraduate beast in Gonville and Caius College, already with a wild and reckless reputation. He lived just above me on “O” staircase in Tree Court, relying on the reliably draughty corridors to disperse those ever-present fumes of marijuana, and somehow satisfying his tutors term after term that essays were getting written, work was being done. Invariably ahead of the game, he always argued that weed – or at least the relatively innocuous variety then available – was far less dangerous in the long run than the alcohol and tobacco which most of us enjoyed in the pubs as a matter of course.

For me, as a head-in-the-books medical student, it was an altogether dizzying experience just being with Mick. I certainly learned to keep my few precious girlfriends well away. Despite his hectic life-in-the-fast-lane approach to the college routine, he somehow even managed to stay one step ahead of the proctors and bulldogs who were meant to “keep discipline” among the students. It all seems rather quaint now, but I still cherish the superb b/w photos he took of us all with that famous battered old 40-quid Pentax.


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