Alice Cooper pioneered the violently theatrical brand of heavy metal that would be called shock rock. While Cooper perfected a vaudevillian approach to shock rock, Ozzy Osbourne took the form to darker places reaching a crescendo in the biting off of a live bat's head on stage. In the early 1990s, a group of artists including Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, My Life With Thrill Kill Kult, Ministry, KMFDM and Rob Zombie used keyboards and industrial music to push shock rock into a new era. Explorations between good and evil or beauty and the grotesque ensued.
Joe Sia was a shooting star, a genuine, hands-down, everyone-agrees-on-this star at shooting [photographs], and his departure from this planet in 2003 at the tender age of 57 was too soon for a man of his talent. Born in the Bronx and a committed Yankees man, Joe loved music and gravitated around the Fillmore East and the flower-power youth-culture rock scene from whence he set out to capture some of the most incredible sounds of the last half-century. How could Joe capture sounds on camera film? He did it by focusing on the faces of the performers and the woozing-oozing crowd and by giving the background, whether simple or wild, the importance it deserved in defining the artist and event. Sia's entire archive consists more than a quarter of a million photographs that document almost 35 years of music genre and giants.