The Rock of the 1980’s was loud, over-the-top, and visually striking. No photographer captured more of that era than Mark “Weissguy” Weiss. Even if you don’t know his name, there’s a good chance your favorite Rockstar does. From Ozzy to Motley Crue and Twisted Sister to Guns N’ Roses, if there was hairspray, leather, and spandex involved, there’s a good chance Mark has shot it. He is nothing short of a New Jersey Rock legend.
Mark Weiss began his Rock photography career by selling bootleg photos he took of iconic rockers in the 1970’s. In the age of smartphones it has become commonplace to see concertgoers shooting pictures and video of music performances. Those who went to shows prior to the advent of the camera phone know that such actions were once highly prohibited. Mark Weiss found a way around that as a teenager, cleverly sneaking his disassembled camera into venues like Madison Square Garden to capture images of bands like KISS. His work attracted the attention of Rock fans and the NYPD, who promptly arrested him. Following a night in jail, Mark took his talent to Circus Magazine. His first featured shot was a centerfold of Steven Tyler.
Throughout the 1980’s Mark Weiss photographed a seemingly endless array of Rock legends. From Dio to David Lee Roth, he captured epic images for magazines, albums, and, of course, fans. His photos grace the covers of such breakout albums as Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” and Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet.” Mark shot both versions of the cover of the latter. The original was deemed to risky by the label so the shot of slippery model Angela was replaced by a wet garbage with the album titled inscribed by Jon Bon Jovi.
Following 40 + years and countless photographs, Mark finally released a book. “The Decade That Rocked” features a huge selection of totally bodacious images and the stories behind them. The photos are an obvious draw, but the print is very interesting too. Learn about how Mark twice played Rock matchmaker, introducing Zakk Wylde to Ozzy Osbourne and Sebastian Bach to Skid Row, or how Dee Snyder brought him to Washington DC to chronicle his fight with Congress over censorship. There is A LOT to take in! “The Decade That Rocked” is available where all books are sold. Score your copy now at thedecadethatrocked.com.
Grab your copy of “The Decade That Rocked” and bring it to The Monmouth Museum at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft now through 11/1 for “The Decade That Rocked” exhibit. It’s a literal trip back in time to the 1980’s featuring photos, artifacts, and Mark’s dark room. The shredded t-shirt from the original “Slippery When Wet” cover is a must see. Admission is a $10 donation to the museum, which comes with your choice of a Mark Weiss Centerfold shot. Mark Weiss will be at the museum this Friday 9/25 from 2pm to 5 pm to autograph copies of his book. The social distanced event requires attendees to pre-register. Reserve your spot now at monmouthmuseum.org.
Tune to Jersey Rock on 95.9 The Rat Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 11:30 pm to learn more about “The Decade That Rocked.” Mark Weiss will call in to the show each night and will rock some of the New Jersey bands he worked with!
Learn more at thedecadethatrocked.com!