The real story behind Pantera’s Vulgar Display Of Power album cover shared by photographer

The cover, which features a man being punched in the face, has been somewhat of an urban legend over the years…

The photographer behind the famous image used on Pantera’s 1992 Vulgar Display Of Power album has revealed the real story as to how the photo happened.

The cover, which shows a long-haired man being punched in the face, has been subjected to an “urban legend” for many years, where it was believed that a man was taken off the street and punched repeatedly for $10 per punch.

Photographer Brad Guice has since set the record straight about the rumour, which was even passed around by the band’s members, in a documentary which has been newly shared online by Loudwire.

The man featured in the photo was a professional model, and wasn’t actually punched at all. The image was brought to life with a bit of computer manipulation magic.

“At the last second, I know Ford Model Agency called me and said, ‘Hey, we have a long-haired model coming from LA,’” Guice says. “He came in and he was perfect for the shoot. His name was Sean Cross. We ended up becoming very good friends.”

He later adds, “At the time, I was getting really well known for a style I was developing – and that was like a lot of movement to photographs. I would take images and combine strobe [lighting] with tungsten [film], and then I’d put the shutter speed on my camera at a slow shutter speed.

“Through the movement, it would blur and become soft. And you would have this striking movement to pictures. So I was well-known for that. So I believe that obviously, that was the reason they called me. Because they wanted some kind of drama to what could just be a straightforward picture.”

Asked about the urban legend, Guice replies, “I’ve heard the stories, and people have asked me many, many times. But that’s not what happened. It was a professional photo shoot. [Cross] was pushed quite hard actually because I wanted it to look physical. So he was pushed really hard each and every time, but he was never punched per se.”

Watch Loudwire’s full documentary below:

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