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Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Music, News, Powerpop, pub rock | 14 comments

Phil Brown of The Records has left the building

Phil Brown of The Records has left the building

We received some very sad news this morning via John Wicks and Facebook. The Records’ bass player, Phil Brown, passed away yesterday. I don’t have any details but will pass them along as soon as I get them.

While I did not have the privilege of knowing him, everyone I spoke with who knew Phil always had wonderful things to say about him over the years. It’s evident that that there was great love and respect for him among his peers.

Condolences to all how knew and loved Phil.


  1. I met ( I worked at radio station) Phil when they came to the states in their heyday. Sweet guy..would catch up when they would pop thru Buffalo and had fun adventure sneaking him into Canada to see the Falls from the CA side. Teaching him to say “USA” in a Buffalo accent and keep his rather large yellow shoes from site, as to be a dead give-away to customs/immigration. RIP Phil, rock heaven for us.

  2. I new Phil very well and am absolutely devastated at the news. We played together in a rock band in the early 70’s in our home town of Darlington (uk), I guess we were about 18 at the time. Phil was the only one of us who had any real talent and he went to find fame and fortune in London in 1973. We met a couple of times after that and the last time was in 1992 when he told me about his musical life. I’ve often wondered what he was up to now but Facebook brought me the bad news.
    He was a great guy and a real character. I had always assumed that we would meet up again one day but I guess we left it too late.

  3. Strange. After not listening to the Records in decades, I typed “Starry Eyes” into the YouTube search engine to see what would turn up.

    Lo and behold, I found a live performance video where Phil was playing my old Rickenbacker bass (the one in the photo above). I sold it to him in London circa 1976 or ’77, and had always presumed he’d used it on ‘Starry Eyes.’ I’d replaced the original Rickenbacker pickups with Hofner pickups, which gave the instrument a powerful, very distinctive sound — the main reason that he’d bought it for me. I’m glad that he put it to such good use.

    We didn’t know each other extremely well all those years ago. But he was a decent, very likeable guy. And an excellent musician. I’m very sorry to learn that he’s gone.

  4. I knew Phil in the Notting Hill area mid 70’s when he played in a band called the Janets – named after his sister who I was going out with at the time. He was a very loveable guy with a cheeky smile, and a great singer – I remember his song called “Free”. We played the same gigs a few times when I was event organiser back in those mad chaotic times. RIP one lovely guy.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that story, Colin. I never knew Phil but have spoken and exchanged emails with many folks after having posted this. To a man, they all loved Phil. Wicks and Birch also had glowing memories of him as do many other people who knew him well. Sounds as if he was one of the most likable people on the planet. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Hi, it’s so inspiring to read such great tributes to Phil and to be reminded how loved and respected he was by so many people. I’m Jan (Janet) Brown and I will always be incredibly grateful and proud that he was my brother.

      Colin it was so great to read your comment. I remember those mid 70’s days as being endless fun and all this time later, it would be good to hear from you. How do we make this happen?


        • Hi, thank you Richard. I had actually heard the song and was reading the lyrics again only yesterday. John (although on far distant shores!) was incredibly supportive to me at the time of Phil’s illness and passing. He also wrote to Phil which meant a huge amount to him. The song is brilliant, though I do still find it difficult to listen to. Thanks again


      • Well, quite a surprise Jan, perhaps Richard could send you my email address. I was at Phil’s first ever gig in London with the Janets – I was standing backstage. When I saw the look of sheer joy on his face facing an audience of several hundred music fans I knew he had found his rightful place. He was frontman back then, and the best place for him !

        • Hi Colin

          Yes, that’s a great idea! Richard, can you oblige?

  5. Very sad to find this out and disappointed not to have seen anything about Phil Brown’s passing in Mojo etc. I was a big fan of the Records in their heyday and later played in a band with Dave Whelen their late era guitarist. Bumped into Phil once at the Earl of Lonsdale pub in Notting Hill gate; a genuinely nice bloke based on that single encounter and his friendly demeanour onstage. Good player too, RIP.

  6. I’m looking for the CD called “Whistling for the Moon” I love the one my friend has and wonder if it is still available?

    • Peg – I’m not familiar with the CD. Were The Records or Phil Brown somehow involved with the recording of “Whistling for the Moon”? If so, please let me know and I’ll try to track it down for you. Thanks!

  7. Dear Jan
    I am so sorry to hear of Phil’s passing away.
    I only knew him for a short while when he was a patient in Ealing Hospital.
    When I met you you informed me of his musical talent. ….of course at the time ge was very ill.
    You told me of his love for guitars and music and I asked you if you thought Phil would like to meet my partner Chris.
    The idea was Phil to communicate and play music with Chris in the glum hospital ward!
    And he did!!
    They were good together and Phil was elated. …
    He was a wonderful character , always content and happy.
    I pushed to help Phil get to Chiswick as that was the least I could have done gir this wonderful man.
    You were absolutely marvellous with him….completely devoted to him and you made sure he had the best….
    My thoughts are always eith you for Phil….