Fotomaker: Ex-Rascals, Raspberries Formed Sweet 70’s Band

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The 1970’s are filled with stories of ex-band members of well known groups forming new alliances in search of a new sound. Most groups formed from multiple bands lasted only an album or two, while in rare cases some go on to formulate an even more successful act then their original bands. In the mid to late 1970’s, two ex-members of the Rascals and a former member of the Raspberries got together and formed the band Fotomaker.

Legendary drummer Dino Danelli along with bassist Gene Cornish represented the ex- Rascals faction of the band FotoMaker. Wally Bryson who had formed the Raspberries with Eric Carmen, joined Fotomaker as the band’s bassist. Rounding out the band Fotomaker were newcomers Lex Marchesi on rhythm guitar and Franki Vince on keyboards.

The band Fotomaker came onto the scene at first raising many eyebrows because of their album cover featuring a young girl about the age of eight or nine bathed in heavy makeup. The band initially argued that the design was part of a concept that would be further explained in the next series of album releases. Their first album that featured the young girl was released in 1978 and simply titled Fotomaker. Their second album entitled Vis-a-Vis was released also in 1978 six months after their debut.

Many bands in the 1970s released albums every six months. It was not uncommon to see bands with two major releases in the same year. In 1979, Fotomaker released their third and final album, Transfer Station.

The sound of the band echoed the harmonies of the band Badfinger who had actually echoed the harmonies of the Beatles. They were not a heavy rock band, yet their sound contained just enough edge to escape the dreaded soft rock classification.  There was also a distinctive late 1970’s pop sound to the band. Unfortunately, that sound at the time was being challenged by the arrival of British punk rockers, and the new wave sound of the urban American cities that were turning kid on to bands like The Ramones, Blondie and Television. If the band Fotomaker had released their debut album just a year or two earlier, they may have had more success on the charts. In the end, the band released three enjoyable albums of pop rock music that define a certain sound of the seventies that has been somewhat lost in the study of nineteen seventies rock and roll.


The band’s first single and most popular song…..

Fotomaker – Where have you been all my life.

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