Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Killer Joe Piro.
Bought this image off Ebay out of a newpaper archive. Nine bucks or so. I used it in a lecture yesterday to get my intermediate photo class started. It was taken in June of 1942 and at the time it was a state of the art image-making and distribution. Shot by a news service for distribution and sales to newspapers, et. I used it for the historical information about the process and also talked at length about the image.
Turns out, the guy in the Navy uniform is "Killer Joe" Piro who went on to become a famous and constantly relevant dance instructor on the East Coast. He's listed in Wikipedia, for goodness sakes. He was the model for the part played by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Travolta isn't born yet but Killer Joe already has his dance move down. He invented a dance to go with a Smirmoff Vodka drink called the Mule. Help the dance moves in "Mad Monster Party." Was photographed by Avedon.
I just thought I was buying a photo of a drunk Coast Guardsman dancing with a hefty blonde at a USO. What a world.