Brian C. Record had two passions, according to Steve “Doc” Floor: photography and music.
Record combined the two while working at The Daily Utah Chronicle, the University of Utah’s student newspaper, shooting concerts at Lagoon and the Salt Palace in the 1960s — capturing such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Blind Faith (with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker) when they came through town.
Even in college, Floor said, Record’s work was “of professional caliber. … They’re really good, some of my favorites.” Floor helped edit one of Record’s books, “Famous Musicians Who Rocked 1960′s Utah.” Another of his books, “Utah Circa 1968,” featured photographs that bore witness to the decade’s cultural changes.
Record died on April 26, in Las Vegas, of natural causes, his family said. He was 79.
Record, Floor said, “has hundreds of photos of some of the biggest stars of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.”
Record took few photos of the crowds, Floor said, preferring to concentrate on the performers. “Back in the day, he had a Nikon camera,” Floor said. “Practically, the most that you could shoot was 36 shots at a time of black-and-white film and he also had to develop that film himself.”
There was one notable exception — at a Hendrix concert at Lagoon on Aug. 30, 1968.
“He got on stage before the show started and turned around and took a photograph of the audience,” Floor said. “He used the flash and said, ‘You might recognize some people in there.’ … Sure enough, dead center, third row and fully illuminated is my future wife [Terra] … , looking right at the camera, age 13.”
Record’s work in Utah’s music scene expanded beyond the camera. In the early 1970s, he managed a local band, Icarus.
“He was pretty hands off as far as how he wanted us to play,” said Jeff Gadette, the band’s guitarist, “but as far as conducting ourselves, he said, ‘You guys got to be, at least when you’re dealing with adults, you’ve got to be pretty friendly and respectful. I know you guys are rebellious musicians with long hair, but at least try to be nice.’”
Gadette said Record was soft-spoken, but steady.
“He had this wonderful way of letting you know that he cared and that it was important for you to listen to him because he has something that was really valuable and it would benefit,” Gadette said.
Record, Gadette said, would talk to the band about what kind of gigs they wanted to play. “He wasn’t just in it for himself,” Gadette said. “He wanted him to think of himself as part of the process of helping the musicians.”
During shows, Gadette said, Record always had his camera ready.
“His love of art was way beyond just what he did with his photography,” Gadette said. Record was always willing to get into the weeds of his art, Gadette said, eager to share how he got different shades of black in his photos, what he did in the darkroom and more.
Icarus always looked good in Record’s photos, Gadette said. “Right now in my room, I’m looking at three photos I’ve got framed, beautiful photos that Brian gave me, about a week after the Jimi Hendrix concert,” Gadette said.
Record was all over the place at that Hendrix show, Gadette said — in the audience, to the side, sneaking backstage. Later that year, Gadette said he remembered watching Record work his magic as he photographed Janis Joplin. Both Hendrix and Joplin died about two years later, in 1970.
“It was fun to watch him at those shows. He was kind of the guy that everybody knew [of as] the best photographer in town for live performance,” Gadette said.
Brian C. Record was the oldest of seven children, in a family that lived in Salt Lake City.
Stephen Record, Brian’s younger brother, said that Brian, “loved making those model cars and airplanes and decorating them. He’s always been creative and has an artistic mind. He sees a potential picture in something [and] had a feel for how to frame things.”
Brian is absent from many of the family photos in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Stephen said, because he was the one taking them.
Their family was always adventurous, Stephen said, getting out in nature at such places as Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Alongside his cultural photography, Stephen said his brother also had quite a portfolio in nature photography — covering such places as southern Utah, the Navajo Nation reservation, and Mount Olympus on the Wasatch Front.
“He enjoyed it, had an eye for nature photography,” Stephen said. “When you look at some of his photography of those natural things, that just helps us to gain an appreciation, really, of how beautiful those things are. … Nowadays it’s so easy to just kind of not realize the beauty that’s around us. It’s a real blessing for photographers to help us appreciate nature.”
Brian C. Record is survived his wife, Anecita Record; his son, Jerry; six siblings: Stephen Record, Diane Klenk, Janice Davies, Marilyn Berg, Keith Record and Sharon Stennett; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Record did not want a memorial service, his son said. “His ashes will go with his wife to the Philippines, where she is from,” he said.