School friends Andy Forgie (vocals), Mark Rashotte (guitars), and John Paul Murphy (drums) first began playing together in the eighth grade for other students in Belleville, Ontario. Going by the name The Fog, they eventually morphed into Tombstone Shade by 1970, and then Creed.
By the summer of ’75 the lineup had been solidified with Mark Wilkins on bass, and they toiled on the circuit for a few years, including playing high schools and the b-circuit around Ontario. They signed with Buddah Records, and although an album never materialized, they did have a minor hit in the single, “Westminster Abbey,” b/w a cover of The Who’s “The Real Me.” They were eventually let go, and so they decided a name change was in order, partially also due to the fact they’d discovered there was an American band with the same name.
As the decade wore on, the new wave scene was in full force, and so they in turn morphed into a more palatable, power pop group. They became a favourite on the university/college circuit, which led to some higher profile gigs throughout eastern Canada, including the opening slot for Edward Bear, The Stampeders, and A Foot In Cold Water. They also made a few stops throughout New York, and all the while, they were writing their own songs and sending out demos to the major labels.
They finally got signed to Capitol Records in 1980, but when they learned there was already another band named The Elevators (who also happened to be under the Capitol umbrella), they changed their name to 98.6. This in turn was quickly changed to Photograph. They entered Phase One and Kensington Sound studios in Toronto with producers Stacy Heydon and Gene Martynec. Some additional recording and mixing was done with Daniel Lanois at his Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton.
THE PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM was released in the spring of 1981, and three singles – the lead-off “The Last Dance,” “Sarah,” and “Blow Away” all did relatively well, and each cracked the top 10 in several markets across the country. All the songs were originals, and other noteable tracks included “At The Toll Of The Bells (the only song that featured all four members writing) and “39,000 Feet,” which was actually a re-working of “Westminster Abbey.” They toured for the next year or so, opening for April Wine, Goddo, Blue Rodeo, Toronto, and The Monks.
But while recording some new material in early ’84 after taking some time off, the members decided to close the chapter on that part of their careers, and quietly disbanded. Everyone went on to seperate projects, or got out of the business all together, although they eventually would start reforming for the occasional gig now and then. Forgie focused on children’s and family entertainment, including producing and starring in “The Song Shop” on Belleville community TV, and produced two children’s CDs. He also opened for the likes of Bob Newhart and Andre Phillip Gagnon onstage, and opened a mobile DJ service. In the early ’00s he formed a Beatles tribute act called All You Need Is Love, which has toured throughout Ontario, the US, and England.
Forgie and Rashotte have also kept in close contact over the years, as both work in promotions and management for The Empire Theatre in Belleville. Rashotte also got into real estate in the late ’90s, and has been the recipient of several awards for his philanthropic work.