Rudy's love of music started in MA when he was 11, listening to 1970s AM radio and visiting a neighborhood record store (plastered with provocative posters of Carly Simon). To avoid consistent harassment by a town bully, Rudy developed (no pun intended) an interest in photography in high school where he became editor-in-chief on the yearbook committee. He had no idea he'd end up mingling with rock stars.
At 16, after attending his first rock concert (Aerosmith, Boston Garden, 1976) Rudy knew his destiny was to share the love and power of music with the world. Toting an instamatic camera with flashcubes, he began photographing the likes of Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Tom Petty and the J. Geils Band in their prime. Along the way, Rudy stood up to the town bully and publicly kicked his ass, which prepared him to handle concert security so he could shoot from the front row!
When he was 18, the city of Boston banned Led Zeppelin, prompting Rudy to ramble on to the Califfornia World Music Festival (sic) in 1979 to expand his photography portfolio, selling pot pipes for spending money and experiencing liquid LSD dropped into his eyeball. That was just the beginning of his adventures and misadventures with his friends, who helped him develop his portfolio while hampering his ability to be coherent as they all consumed inhumane amounts of alcohol and PCP.
Rudy held it together enough to land a job on the railroad and (of course) used his free travel pass to attend epic concerts such as Pink Floyd’s The Wall in New York, and US Festival ’83 in LA. In 1984, Rudy managed and promoted a band called Forcer and landed them a record contract. That experience led to Rudy acquiring a video camera and he began filming everything he could, which led to his documentary work. Furthermore, Rudy's use of harder drugs led to him hitting rock bottom in 1987 and spending time in both rehab and a psychiatric institution.
To stay sober, Rudy broke ties with the band and his old friends. He started taking night classes in video production and gained an internship with the local sports show Centre Spotlight. He also volunteered at a TV station to further hone his production skills and ultimately formed Spero’s Video, a production company dedicated to filming weddings and other special events.
Rudy also created a show called Boxing Spotlight that won numerous awards, and he was hired by the regional sports network HTS (Home Team Sports) to produce a TV show called Ballroom Boxing. He increased the show distribution to more than 93 million homes, then independently developed the award-winning Ringside Boxing, which currently reaches 133 million homes internationally, including 8 productions in China, in collaboration with Mike Tyson.
Rudy has also produced 40 safety-training videos for Amtrak, which led to him receiving the Presidential Safety and Service Award for Achievement. He also became President of the Washington branch of the Wedding and Event Videographer’s Association, traveling nationally and internationally with WEVA as their technical director at conferences and workshops. He also helped create The 4Ever Group, leading educational video production workshops across the US.
By 1999, Rudy had become DC’s premier corporate videographer, landing the distinguished annual gig of producing the First Lady’s Luncheon for the prestigious Congressional Club. Over the next few years, he traveled extensively abroad on projects for British Airways, in London, and for the President of The Gambia, Africa, among others.
In 2007 he partnered with Jeff Krulik, producer of the renowned short film, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, which led to them producing the 2010 film Heavy Metal Picnic, which premiered at the American Film Institute, screened at the Nashville International Film Festival and other venues. At the same time Rudy produced and released a second documentary, Tension: 25 Years Underground, featuring Marty Friedman, the legendary lead guitarist of Megadeth. Both films were dubbed as hits by critics, and listed in Mike McPadden’s book Heavy Metal Movies.
In 2011, Rudy began to digitize and catalog his thousands of rock photos, when out of the blue he was approached by author Martin Popoff, author of over 80 books on rock and heavy metal music, who was instrumental in developing the groundbreaking VH1 series, Metal Evolution. Learning about Rudy from Jim Powell, editor-in-chief of the metal publication Grinder Magazine, Martin wanted to use Rudy’s unpublished photos for his books on Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, and the Scorpions, which he gladly provided.
In 2014, Rudy’s photos were featured in Martin’s Steal Away the Night: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day, as well as 2015’s Kickstart My Heart: A Mötley Crüe Day-by-Day. In 2015, Rudy released a third metal documentary, 1984: Riding Into Hell. The film screened in festivals as far away as South Africa, and won first place in the Full-Length Documentary category at both the 2016 Desert Rocks Film Festival and 2016 World Music and International Film Festival.
In 2018, Rudy produced 21 Years—A Folded Flag, that tells the story of a Special Operations Soldier who went missing in action during the Vietnam War. It won Best Documentary at the 2019 North Beach Film Festival. The following year Rudy released 1985: Indestructible, which chronicles Forcer’s quest for a record deal, and it won the Best Documentary and Best Director awards at the 2019 World Music and International Film Festival.
In 2020, Rudy was honored to have 50 of his photos included in the limited-edition coffee table tome Van Halen: A Visual History, by Martin Popoff. While promoting the book on Eric Senich’s DISCovery podcast (#10 music podcast on Spotify), Martin speaks about Rudy’s gonzo photos which prompts Eric to have Rudy on as a guest for an extensive interview about his own book (episode 106, 12/18/20).
In 2021, collaborating with Viva Live, Rudy created a linear streaming channel called Boxing Spotlight, which broadcasts his complete library of historic boxing shows, available through Roku. Never bored, he is currently producing a sixth Rock Doc called The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary about the iconic punk/rockabilly band who pioneered the Boston music scene in the early 80s.