The Story of Pantera’s ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ Album Cover Is Not What You Think It Is
It's one of the most iconic album covers in heavy metal history -- a punch to the face that perfectly captured the aggressiveness of the music that made up the disc. We're talking about Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, which turns 25 years old today (Feb. 25).
However, the long-running story you've heard about the creation of the cover has been debunked in our new Loudwire Legacy documentary, which premiered today. We tracked down Brad Guice, the photographer of the album cover, and he told us what really happened.
It's long been thought that a guy was picked off the street and punched a number of times in the face to capture that iconic image. All this time, the debate centered on how many times the guy was punched. There were reports that he was struck as many as 80 times, while Wikipedia listed it as 30 times. Meanwhile, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul told us it was 31 times, whereas Pantera bassist Rex Brown insisted it was 32. Most sources claimed the man was paid $10 per punch for the pummeling.
However, it looks like the members of Pantera were pulling our collective leg this entire time, or perhaps they never heard the actual story themselves, as none of the above is true. For the first time on video, photographer Brad Guice tells us the true story of how the cover image was captured in Part 3 of our Loudwire Legacy documentary series on Vulgar Display of Power (watch above). Guice not only sets the record straight about the photo shoot itself, but tells an interesting story of his future connection with the man on the album cover.
So, what actually did happen? Watch 'Part 3: The Secret Story' of the Loudwire Legacy documentary on Vulgar Display of Power above. And be sure to also watch Part 1 ('The Making Of') and Part 2 ('The Impact') below.