Mark Weiss was a 14-year-old kid from New Jersey when he made a deal with a neighbor to cut his lawn in exchange for a 35mm camera. Thus began a lifelong journey of rock & roll mayhem that continues to this day.
While in high school, Weiss would sneak his camera into concerts, paying off security guards to get him closer to the stage. He developed the prints in his parents’ bathroom to sell the next morning out of his school locker and then in front of the concert venue that night.
When KISS came to New York City in 1977 for a three-day stint, Mark was arrested outside of Madison Square Garden for selling his photos for a dollar apiece. After spending the night in jail, his peddling days were over. A week later, Weiss walked into the offices of Circus Magazine, the leading rock publication at the time, with his portfolio.
Circus published a centerfold of Weiss’s photo of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in their October 1978 issue. Within a few months he became a major contributor to the magazine and soon became a staff member, shooting covers and features.
His connections with the bands and their managers led to album cover shoots, including the famous Bon Jovi “Slippery When Wet” cover and more.
In the ’90s, Weiss shot album covers for CMC records that included George Thorogood, Cinderella, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera to name a few.
Weiss is also credited for introducing Zakk Wylde to Ozzy Osbourne and introducing Sebastian Bach to Skid Row.
In late 2015, Weiss’s photos filled Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre as his photography was showcased on the theater walls during the entire run of the musical “Rock of Ages.”
Weiss has also published “The Decade That Rocked,” his bestselling book featuring a foreword by Rob Halford of Judas Priest along with an afterword by Sirius/XM DJ Eddie Trunk. Since the release of the book, Mark has been inducted into the Album Cover Hall of Fame as well as the Metal Hall of Fame, where he was inducted by Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider.
Weiss will visit Gallery 725 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, March 26, to greet fans and talk about the history behind his classic photographs. He will also team up with artist Michal Pellicone for a live demonstration of embellishing a large photograph on canvas with paints to create a one-of-a-kind collectible.
Gallery 725, is located at 13475 Atlantic Blvd, Ste. 6, Jacksonville. For information, go to Gallery725.com or call 904-345-9320.
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