Rock ‘n Roll Photographer: The Life and Work of Mark Weiss

Mark “Weissguy” Weiss is an American photographer best known for his work with Rock ‘n Roll artists. He got started with photography as a teenager and would photograph live concerts without permission. He would later sell the prints of the performers to fans, but was arrested in 1977 for selling photos of a KISS concert outside of Madison Square Garden where the band was performing.

However, in 1978 Weiss got his first legitimate job after he photographed Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler as the centerfold of the June 1978 issue of Circus magazine. Circus then hired Weiss as their staff photographer.

Throughout the 1980s, Weiss grew close to many different artists and helped to create the visual imagery of glam rock and heavy metal as both genres were gaining popularity. He was hired as the tour photographer for many of the biggest acts of the decade, including: 

  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Mötley Crüe
  • Poison
  • Metallica
  • Twisted Sister 

Weiss has continued to be one of the leading Rock ‘n Roll photographers to this very day. In 2020, a book titled The Decade That Rocked was published and details the photography of Mark Weiss during the 1980s, as well as his experiences with the artists he worked with.

Famous Work

Weiss has shot many different Rock ‘n Roll pictures through the years, but here is a list of some of his most famous:

  • 1984 – Twisted Sister, Stay Hungry album cover
  • 1986 – Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet album cover
  • 1994 – Bon Jovi, Dry County single cover
  • 1998 – Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lyve from Steel Town
  • 1999 – .38 Special, Live at Sturgis album cover
  • 1999 – Dokken, Erase the Slate album cover
  • 2000 – Christina Aguilera, Mi Reflejo album cover
  • 2001 – Bon Jovi, One Wild Night Live 1985–2001 album cover
  • 2002 – Natural, Let Me Count the Ways single cover
  • 2002 – Kelly Osbourne, Shut Up album cover
  • 2003 – Slayer, War at the Warfield DVD cover
  • 2007 – Gwen Stefani, The Sweet Escape single cover

You can see more of Mark’s work here.

Mark Weiss and The Rockit Live Foundation

Weiss continues to work in the music industry as one of the foremost Rock ‘n Roll photographers, as well as serving as a member of the advisory board for The Rockit Live Foundation—a nonprofit music school.

The Rockit Live Foundation aims to help develop, nurture, and inspire young musicians to reach their full artistic potential through live music education offered at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. We’re a professional rock school that wants our students to succeed, which is why we have auditions for our program, bring kids together in bands, and offer scholarships to help young musicians receive a quality education. 

Auditions for the Rockit Academy 2022 Winter Session will take place on Saturday, January 8th at Brookdale Community College. You can also find more information about how you can get involved with our organization by exploring our programs, making a donation, or contacting us today!