THE DECADE THAT ROCKED! Through the Eyes of Mark “WEISSGUY” Weiss

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Dee Snider Photo by Mark Weiss
Dee Snider Photo by Mark Weiss

E Entertainment News Interviews Mark  Opening Night at the GalleryBar!

1985 PMRC Hearings. Never-before-seen  Video Footage and Photos!

Photographs from Exhibit:

Quotes from Curator, Phil Collen of Def Leppard on the PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ROCKED THE AGES!

Photographs from the Senate Hearings September 19, 1985:

This summer, Mark “WEISSGUY” Weiss celebrates 35 years of making his rock ‘n roll dreams a reality. On June 12, 2012, Weiss debuted his photo exhibition entitled “PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ROCKED THE AGES” to a packed house at the GalleryBar in NYC, featuring Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen as guest curator, and hosted by ROCK PAPER PHOTO.  Before Def Leppard embarked on its huge summer tour along with Lita Ford and Poison, Collen and Weiss came together to share some stories and timeless images of the era … the bands, the fans, the clothes and the attitude! The photo exhibition came to a rockin’ close on June 18, 2012 when Weiss was joined by Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider after a live show from Dee’s son, Jesse Blaze Snider at Tammany Hall.

The photo exhibit also features Never-Before-Seen black and white images of the infamous September 19, 1985 PMRC hearings, where Snider testified on behalf of his fellow musicians’ First Amendment rights.  Dee asked Mark to accompany him to Washington to document the hearings.  To Mark’s amazement, his own photographs were among those images flashed across the Senate floor as examples of the decadent nature of the rock music industry.  The PMRC singled out Def Leppard’s “High n’ Dry,” labeling the hit as one of the “Filthy Fifteen, “along with TWISTED SISTER’s rock anthem, “WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT” from their 1984 “STAY HUNGRY” album, whose cover Weiss photographed.  The censorship committee claimed these songs were a “contributing factor in propelling corruption in America’s youth and family values.”  Because of the historic hearings and ultimate verdict, warning labels now adorn albums that include explicit lyrics. The clash between the “uptight establishment and the purveyors of rock ‘n’ roll were a pivotal theme of the play and movie, “Rock of Ages.”

With the opening of the movie on June 15th, Mark Weiss’s collaboration and history with the iconic rockers he worked with over three decades ago has come full circle.  The enduring songs of DEF LEPPARD, TWISTED SISTER, WARRANT, POISON, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT, JOAN JETT, JOURNEY and BON JOVI are woven throughout the storyline, and these bands were all captured through the lens of Mark Weiss in the 80s. His images and their music defined the decade.

“It’s great to get insight into the era of 80’s rock-n-roll via a treasure trove
of photographs skillfully captured in front of Mark Weiss’ camera lens. This
event is the perfect time capsule for Mark’s work finally being released
upon the masses in 2012.”- Phil Collen (Def Leppard)

SLIPPERY WHEN WET.  There were a few changes before the final cover as we know it.  Originally to be titled “WANTED,” Mark photographed the band in scruffy beards and cowboy attire looking like the Jesse James Gang.  Who would have thought 25 years later, Tom Cruise would be singing Bon Jovi’s “Wanted, Dead or Alive” in a movie about the music, the era, and the culture that inspired the story.  The era Mark lived and documented—THE DECADE THAT ROCKED THE AGES! In fact, no one photographer had such unprecedented access to fully capture the look and aesthetic of music and celebrity personalities of the 80s in all their glory more than Weiss.

Ironically, it was after Dee Snider invited Weiss to see his performance in Broadway’s ROCK OF AGES, that Mark had an idea to showcase his iconic images of the artists and fans to add to the audience’s nostalgic trip as soon as they entered the theatre.  When the show debuted at its new home at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre in March of 2011, the entire venue was filled with Mark’s classic 80s photographs of the artists whose songs are in the musical and now the movie.

“From the first time I walked into the set Mark Weiss had built for Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry album cover shoot, I knew he was a creative force. More that “just a photographer,” Mark can work with an artist and help to bring a creative idea to life visually. He doesn’t know the words “that can’t be done.” When it came time to choose someone to help put together my crazed vision for the Come Out and Play album cover, I didn’t think twice about who Twisted Sister might use: Mark Weiss, of course. 27 years later, when I needed someone to deliver my vision for my new Dee Does Broadway album, the choice was obvious.  Do I have to say it?  Oh, all right…MARK WEISS!” – Dee Snider 4/11/12

“I have always been there for the artists who were there for me when I began my career.  We’ve all had and continue to have, peaks and valleys to overcome in our personal and professional lives.  Without their loyalty and belief in my craft, I would have never been able to continue making my rock ‘n roll dreams a reality”.   – Mark Weiss

For hi res images of any of these photographs for printed publications and interviews contact

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