Tattoo was Wally Bryson, Jeff Hutton (Fayrewether), Dan Klawon, Dave Thomas, and Thom Mooney (formerly of Nazz and Paris). They formed in Los Angeles but were all originally from Cleveland, OH. Bryson, an original member of the Raspberries, relocated first to L.A. in 1975 and formed Flyer before calling in Cleveland musicians for the Tattoo project. Motown's Prodigal label, which took over from the defunct Rare Earth Records, signed the band in 1976. Prodigal ran from 1974 to 1978 and had releases by soul artists Ronnie McNeir, Shirley Alston, Fox Fire, Eddie Parker, and boxer-turned-singer Joe Frazier, but shifted its interest to rock/folk, i.e., Charlene, Rare Earth, Michael Quatro, Dunn & Rubini, and Delaney Bramlett. Prodigal picked producer Ray Ruffin (not soul singer Jimmy Ruffin's son), another Clevelander, to handle the project. Ruffin's claim to fame was his Time Traxx Production on Frederick's "Gentle, Calling Your Name," a soul ballad which hit on Akron, OH's tiny Heat Records. Electric rock wasn't really his game but the entities did share a Cleveland connection. The resulting album Tattoo was a disaster; Bryson called it "white noise." Scene Magazine's music critic Anastasia Pantsios wrote a scathing denouncement peppered with descriptive phrases like "a vinyl atrocity," and worst, Motown withdrew any plans for promotion after the review came out. The tunes, written by individual group members and published by Brentana Music, were wasted by a terrible mix. Prodigal didn't even bother to release a single from the project. Surprisingly, Prodigal offered Tattoo another album but the group declined and the members branched off to other groups. Bryson had stints with Fotomaker, the Secret, Peter Panic, Wally Bryson & the News the Keys, and Sittin' Ducks. ~ Andrew HamiltonPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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