Acclaimed music photographer Richard Upper got his start taking pictures in Hawaii in the late 1960s. As an eager teenager, Upper took his first cues from his mentor, Robert Knight, and was soon branching out into a career that would include many notable album covers, magazine spreads and poster art.
"I started taking photos at age 14 after meeting a photographer friend who became a mentor, by the name of Robert Knight," says Richard."Right from the start I was shooting concerts, just about every concert that came to Honolulu. I had my first album cover at 16, Steve Miller's "Rock Love." By that time I also had published lots of photos in magazines and billboards, and we also did other things at that time, advertising and fashion."
Trips to Los Angeles. meant the chance to shoot artists like The Rolling Stones at the Forum. At age 19, Richard moved himself to L.A., where he was hired by a number of record companies to document their artists' concerts.
"I was immediately thrust into the concert scene, photographing bands for All the labels," Richard recalls. "In 1974 I became the tour photographer for Rod Stewart & The Faces. That band was Woody, Ian McClagen, Kenny Jones. I also did a tour booklet For them. Before that, in 1973, I did a tour booklet for The Rolling Stones."
Upper's resume also includes album covers for Santana, The Faces, and Rod Stewart, as well as a 30-minute rockumentary on Blondie which he shot in 1978 at the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. He also spent five years shooting promotional still shots for film director John Casavetes.