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Baseball’s Randy Johnson Showcases Rock Photography From Ozzfest 2010

Christian Petersen, Getty Images

A five-time Cy Young Award winner with one of the most feared fastballs in baseball history, Randy Johnson has stood 60 feet from the likes of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and more of baseball’s most prolific hitters. He’s pitched under the spotlight of the World Series, faced the New York media as part of the Yankees and formed one of the most dominant pitching duos in decades with Arizona Diamondback teammate Curt Schilling.

In short, he’s handled every kind of pressure and obstacle thrown at him on his way to the Hall of Fame, which is a virtual certainty. But he’s never been in the pit at Ozzfest.

“Watch out, it’s brutal out there,” a sweaty Johnson says as he greets Noisecreep in the offices of the Hyundai Pavilion in San Bernardino, where Ozzfest is kicking off its summer tour. At 6′-10″ the lanky Johnson, looking every bit the part of a rocker dressed in T-shirt and jeans shorts, has a distinct advantage over other would-be rock cameramen, namely being able to see over the top of everybody.

But he also has the advantage of having been one of the most prominent athletes in sports for two decades, he got a chance to be friends with a lot of musicians. “I was lucky coming up in Seattle,” he says of where he pitched for years with the Mariners. “I met Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, all of those guys.” It was through a friendship with Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil that Johnson became the world’s likely biggest and most well-known rock photographer, as he began by shooting Soundgarden at Lollapalooza (he also saw Wolfmother, who he was impressed with).

Johnson, never comfortable in the media spotlight during his playing days, is equally non-plussed by all the attention being given what he calls his new hobby. “I had my 10, 15 minutes of fame,” he says. “Everybody is making way too much of this.” But after spending more than 22 years in the major leagues, a sport that goes from April to October, he is having a blast just getting to go to rock shows after more than two decades of being on the road whenever bands would hit his town. The week he shot Ozzfest for Noisecreep, he had seen Rush twice in Southern California. And while he views this as just a hobby for the minute, as you can see from our exclusive pictorial he was willing to brave the mosh pits and San Bernardino heat to get the best pics he could.

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Randy Johnson Shoots Ozzfest
Randy Johnson photographs the crowd and the stage at Ozzfest in San Bernardino, Calif.

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Randy Johnson

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    Baroness at Scion Rock Fest 2009 held at the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Saturday, February 28, 2009

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oKExp.start(“music-noisecreep.randy.johnson.ozzfest.pictures”);

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