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Van Halen: Intimate Pics of the Early Days Via Rock Paper Photo

Amazing vintage photos of Eddie and Co. through the lens of Mark Weiss

Van Halen: 30 Years of Rock Glory

Mark Weiss Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo

Mark Weiss was still in high school when he began sneaking into Madison Square Garden concerts with his camera in the mid-Seventies. "I'd give the guy at the door three or four dollars to get in," he says. "I'd stuff my camera under a baggy sweatshirt and between bands I'd jump over the barricade to the front of the stage and start shooting the show." At first, he merely sold  8×10's out of his high school locker for a buck a piece, but before he knew it the editors of Circus magazine saw his shots of Aerosmith at Giants Stadium and they put him to work for real. One of his first assignments was Van Halen at Convention Hall in Asbury Park on August 11th, 1979. "I got my backstage pass and saw Eddie just hanging out," he says. "He stood by a road case and I started snapping photos."

Van Halen, 30 Years of Rock Glory

Mark Weiss Courtesy of Rock Paper Photo

Tattoo, Tattoo

About a year after David Lee Roth parted ways with Van Halen, Weiss wound up shooting the singer at his house. "I was doing a series that I never put out of rock stars and their tattoos," he says. "We wanted to make it look natural. We went into his garage and I just did that one shot very quickly. It was very casual. I'll probably end up using some of those pictures in my upcoming book. Right now, I'm going through thousands of photos for the book. There are photos I don't even remember taking."

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