Hair metal, heavy metal. Mark Weiss shot it all.

These rock photos by Mark Weiss from his new book The Decade That Rocked: The Photography Of Mark “Weissguy” Weiss are stunning. But Mark’s text is what makes these photos even more outstanding. So cool to gain these insights. Mark is a very thoughtful, articulate rock photographer with an exceptionally sensitive, perceptive eye. I know and shot a few people shown here. I remember publicist Bryn too. I photographed early punk from LA POV, 1976-80. Shot Joan Jett when she was in the Runaways, but mostly just hanging with early LA punks. 

Plus Van Halen when punk bands opened for them at the Whisky. I knew they’d be huge but I just wasn’t interested. David Lee was a trip, loved the punks. 

Amazing Mark was hired by Circus. I didn’t know magazine hired photographers. I only knew free-lance photographers. My photos more often in Creem. For some reason, I rarely sent them to Circus. Again, I just want to applaud Mark Weiss‘ superb photos and comments. I’m not even a fan of metal, but hey, I love rock ‘n’ roll. Especially photos as gorgeous and evocative as these. 

Thanks for sharing. Just great! 

(I just want to respond to a comment about proper exposure: that wasn’t a big issue for me using film and usually flash, cos I shot in very poorly lit venues, parties, backstage. The bigger issue was focusing in minimally lit surroundings. Even stages were not lit well, in most cases. That was one difference between punk and heavy metal! Lighting. Focusing was the hard part, although most of my rock photos very sharp. But sometimes not. Exposure is a much bigger issue in digital, cos digital offers far more range yet more sensitive to aperture and shutter speed, in my experience. 

We had ONE shutter speed for flash: 1/60. Aperture was probably f/8 or so. Using Tri-X 400 ASA or Ektachrome 200 pushed to 400. Boom, done, now keep your eyes peeled on the action, focusing all the time, and push the button and keep careful track how many frames and rolls of film and batteries for flash left. AND dance and pump your fist in the air and sing along. Yep, night after night. Whatta life!)

The above is my comment to article published in WashingtonPost.com, June 2, 2020.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *