Passionate about music, art and literature, photographer Michael Alago is the quintessential New Yorker with an “only in New York” career. From booking bands at the legendary Eighties East Village rock club the Ritz to famously signing metal gods Metallica to shooting some of the hottest roughnecks on the planet, Alago’s story is driven by creativity, instinct and guts. “Brutal Truth,” his provocative new 260-page book, is out April 2011 via sexy German publishing house, Bruno Gmünder.
A former record label A&R executive and talent scout for over twenty years, Alago earned the respect of the industry for his expertise in a wide variety of musical genres. In addition to discovering Metallica he also signed White Zombie, Alan Vega, Johnny Rotten (with his band Public Image, Ltd.), Michael Feistein and Nina Simone, for whom he executive produced her critically acclaimed final album “A Single Woman.”
Alago left the music business in 2003 to focus on his parallel lifelong passion–photography–initially picking up a Polaroid camera and embarking on an ongoing series of erotically charged portraits, which he continues to this day. Now equipped with a variety of cameras, and an eye for muscle-bound, tattooed roughnecks, Alago shoots friends, models and bodybuilders in various settings, stages of undress and arousal. Erotically-charged and testosterone-fueled, Alago’s photographs are instantly recognized by fans worldwide.
Alago’s first photo book, a collection entitled Rough Gods, was published in 2005. Night Blooming Jasmine Will Never Smell The Same, a collaborative book of poems, observations and rants with Life of Agony singer Keith Caputo was published in 2010. As an independent consultant, Alago most recently teamed up with old friend Cyndi Lauper on her Grammy-nominated album, Memphis Blues, on which he served as A&R executive.