Step Off, Leibovitz: The Big Unit Is Here To Photograph Rock Stars

That blurry behemoth of a man is future-Hall-of-Famer-turned-amateur-concert-photographer Randy Johnson at Lollapalooza this weekend. He was there to shoot Soundgarden for his own edification because that's what he does now.

If you remember your history, SI did a feature on Johnson back in '92 in which it was revealed that one of the things he did to unwind after games with the Mariners was play the drums. I recall a photo of him playing the drums on a comically undersized kit, but the article—pictureless unfortunately—describes a massive, Rick Allen/Neil Peart type of set: "Surrounded by percussion, behind that big drum, those cymbals—does he look that tall?" He probably did. Or maybe it's just that Richard Hoffer is tiny.

The piece mentions that Johnson hung out with a lot of rockers—was there any doubt that a man who looks like Randy Johnson would grow to love hard rock?—including Metallica, Queensrÿche, and Geddy Lee. He even got to play "with some of the guys [from Soundgarden] during sound checks." So, 18 years later, Soundgarden is back, and Johnson is back with them, trying out something new, doing exactly what any of us would do in the same situation. However, the irony isn't lost on us, and we can only hope that Kim Thayil knocked the camera out of his hands before laying out the riff for "Spoonman."

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