EDIT: I have attached a Word file of an updated version of what appears below. Please feel free to download it to your computer. Cheers, Jeremy

I'm in the process (in between work and studying) of gathering/assimilating the tiny threads of information out there surrounding the Joy years. I must preface this by saying that in no way to I want to step on anyone's toes. Buy Michael's music as before, and support him in the wonderful ways you all do. But given his iconic status (well, at least to me, anyway) as a vocalist and composer, it's only right that this history be as complete as possible for those of us who are fascinated by his musical journey. This is quite long, but I'm pasting it from a Word document for you to browse and contribute to as you will/might/are able. For questions I still have, I have indicated them in italics. For updates and information that is new (at least to me), I've indicated so with "Update" in bold. Enjoy!

The Early EARLY Years: What We Know So Far

1965-66: MB meets Marc Friedland at a party at the home of someone named Jimmy Rozen,
who was apparently a bandmate of Friedland’s in The Sensations in 1965.

1966: Marc Friedland joins a band named The Zyme; had first recording session. Versions of the band included the following members:

Marc Friedland

Bobby Goodman

Gary Barnett

Michael Hillman (aka Jay Michaels, Hilly Michaels; he co-wrote the song "Every Day Of My Life" with Patrick Henderson)
(others included Jeff Coopersmith, Mark Magin)

Band was aka The Outsiders, The Unexpected, The Coconut Conspiracy

Side note: Marc mentioned to me awhile ago that someone else was chosen over MB for lead singer of The Coconut Conspiracy, much to his chagrin!

1968: Friedland joins already-established George’s Boys, which soon became Joy [Question: unclear what year MB actually joined George’s Boys—can anyone help?]. Joy (temporarily) moved to East Oakland, CA, returning to CT by the end of 1968 and renting “Joy House” in Woodbridge, CT. Members (or entourage) who moved to East Oakland:

Marc Friedland
Michael Bolotin

Fred Bova

Bob Brockway
Richard Friedland
Denise (?)
Chip (?)

Update: George's Boys soon became known as The Bram Rigg Set, according to various new sources. The band itself did not morph into Joy. Another local band, The Shags, had Orrin as a roadie, and they took The Bram Rigg Set under their wing around the time that Joy was first rehearsing.


1969: Joy demo session at Syncron Studios in CT, earning a record deal with CBS on Epic Records (Marc Friedland mentions only “Bah Bah Song” and “It’s For You”). Joy rehearses in a loft owned by Bill
Haughwout. Joy plays the Electric Circus in New York, The Exit in New Haven, and various “Yale mixers.” [Question: when/where did Joy record “Going Back to New Haven” and “Cookie Man”? It’s possible that it was at the same session, but this needs to be verified]


Update: I have now learned that “Going Back to New Haven” was written by Tom Pollard. I’m not sure where he fits in, relationship-wise, to
the Joy musicians, but I’ve heard his performance of the song and it’s definitely the same song.

Also, Syncron Studios, by 1969, was already known as Trod Nossel Productions Recording Studio. Syncron, which was originally a microphone testing business, was purchased by Dr. Thomas Cavalier in 1966 and renamed. It still exists today, and has become quite famous on an international level. Its location is 10 George Street in Wallingford, CT. Dr. Cavalier was a dentist who switched careers to manage The Shags.


1970: Joy dropped from CBS.


1971: Marc Friedland moves to Venice, CA and received publishing deal (solo or group?) for Dimension Music (he mentions the
names Michael Gordon and Steven Lewis in conjunction with this, but I have no info on these names). Several New Haven musicians join him. The roster now includes:

Marc Friedland
Michael Bolotin

Michael Hillman (aka Jay Michaels, Hilly Michaels)
Fred Bova

Glenn Selwitz
Orrin Bolotin
Tony Corolla (?)

Group rehearses in their school bus (Oogy Ahhgy) parked at Helen Bolotin’s apartment complex on Coldwater Canyon Blvd (Helen Bolotin lived in CA at some point? I didn’t know that). The circulated colour photo of MB and his bandmates sitting on the ground with the back of their school bus behind them is from this period in CA.


1971-early 1972: Joy records “album” for Pentagram
Records. Marc Friedland phrases it as such: “[1971 & early 1972]: Recorded album for Pentagram Records. Did sound track for the movie ‘November’s Children.’ Plays gigs – ‘Image’ in Van Nuys etc.” Michael Hillman does not mention the film, and specifies the conditions of the contract: “We had an LP deal with Pentagram

Records," he recalls, "and they gave us a $500 advance to do an album. We only got to do four songs though, because the company had to pay us union dues and they couldn't afford to do that and finance the record. We split our dues and the advance seven
[Question: do we know for sure that the songs recorded for Pentagram are the songs on the November[’s] Children soundtrack? Only two songs have been unearthed from the soundtrack: “Running Away from the Nighttime” and “Where Do We Go From Here.” Both features MB’s vocals, and he is credited as sole songwriter of the former song]

Update: I have now learned the following. November Children (no “’s”) is aka Nightmare County and Nightmare of Death, according to copyright document V3054P214-216. The plot synopsis is as follows: “In this 70's drama, the candidate who was supported by a coalition of fruit-pickers finally gets elected in their farming community. But the local law enforcement agency does not like this and begins to terrorize his supporters.” At 75 minutes long in theatrical release in 1971, an 87 minute version was released to video in 1977.

More importantly, for us, is the song information I have finally obtained. There are three songs on the soundtrack performed by Joy: “Running Away From the Nighttime” (words & music Michael Bolotin), “Where Do We Go From Here” (words & music Michael
Gordon, aka Michael Z. Gordon), and “Our Town” (words & music Larry Quinn).

This leads me to an interesting conclusion: we now know the four songs the pre-1971 lineup of Joy recorded: “Bah Bah Bah,” “It’s For You,” “Going Back to New Haven,” and “Cookie Man” (although the last one, to my knowledge, hasn’t been heard). We also know the three songs the 1971 lineup of Joy recorded for the film. What we still don’t know is whether the Pentagram songs are the three November Children songs (plus one more that didn't make it on the soundtrack), or if they are four different songs (in which case songs for which we have no information at all). If it's the first case, what is the name of the fourth song they recorded for Pentagram?

Finally, I now believe the Michael Gordon name Marc Friedland mentions alongside the publishing deal for Dimension Music (see 1971 above) is the Michael (Z.) Gordon who composed material for the film. I’m assuming Steven Lewis was somehow also associated with this film soundtrack project. However, this is even more curious, since a publishing deal implies composition—Friedland isn’t listed as author of any of the songs on the soundtrack, and MB is only listed once. So what exactly was the nature of this "publishing" deal?

Joy (according to Marc Friedland) now consists mainly of Marc Friedland and MB. Marc Friedland and MB open for Leon Russell (3 concerts, one of which is performed in Philadelphia, PA, with an attendance of around 10,000 at each).


1974: Marc Friedland travels to Tulsa, OK with MB to record a four-song demo at Leon Russell’s house (according
to Marc Friedland
). [Question: do we know for certain that this occurred in 1974? MB began recording tracks in New York for the “Michael Bolotin” album in late 1974. Stephen Holden mentions hearing MB’s demo of “Dream While You Can” in his office before signing him to RCA. Between the recording in Tulsa, the meeting with Holden that took place with MB and Orrin, who was acting as his manager, and the recording of the album, that’s quite a bit happening in the space of less than a year]


The last little tidbit for now—even though Marc Friedland worked for years with MB before his debut solo album, he doesn’t actually play on it. He
moved back to CA in 1974 after getting married, and wanted to explore other opportunities. Gotta respect that! I also respect that he does not circulate items in his collection relating to MB for obvious reasons: while many folks, myself definitely included, are interested in these items from a musical history perspective, they could very easily fall into the wrong hands. No one

should ever be making money off of these things except copyright owners. Plus, Marc is a stand-up guy by all accounts. So I ask you please not to go pestering any of the people I’ve mentioned for photos/recordings etc. I just felt the need to conclude with that, for now!

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Hi Sylvie

The handbill is another Picture Michael it says
The Highly acclaimed Michael Bolotin Band
May 12 Friday nite
Oxford Ale House

(To the right of Michael's picture it says)

"His soulful songwriting and strong backup provide a striking debut"---- Rolling stone

"His album ranks as the year's top debut. and as one of the year's very finest albums by anybody---- Riverside Press

It's just impossible to convey the excitement on record.Unless you've seen him. you can't imagine the intensity that captures a live audience"---Berkeley press/star news

"They screamed, they shouted, they danced and stood on their chairs in order to get a better look at who & what was happening on stage"--- The Aquarian

Thanks again Dave for sharing all your wonderful memorabilia with us here :)

Love Dianna xxx
And thank goodness that you did find us Dave..thank goodness!!

I dont think you would have seen my post from the other forum but I have a copy of a free magazine called 'The Vinyl Edition' that was published in 1979.

This particular edition has a full page article on 'blackjack' along witha couple of photographs. (see below)

The article is very long, but I will sit quietly this afternon and type it up for anyone who would like a copy of it.


love Jennifer XX
Hi guys, first of all, thank you sweet Dianna for thinking of me! I didn't think there was text, that's why I didn't ask. And to Jennifer, can't you just upload the scans sweetie? It would be a lot less trouble for you girl! And if you can't for some reason, maybe I can upload the article... Remember I had to piece it together like a puzzle because Jaws couldn't read the scan right? Well, it's in Word format. I'll go look for it to save you the trouble. Take care Jen and thanks again Dianna! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hi everyone, I'm going to upload the Word format of Jennifer's "Vinyl Edition" Black Jack article. Wish me luck! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hya Sylvie,

Thank you for the offer, but the article you have uploaded is a little jumbled and the paragraphs are not in the right order. I didnt know you had this article too. The rest of the magazine makes for interesting reading too.

I'm quite happy to type it up myself and offer it on here for anyone who would like it, infact, I was looking forward to it. I wont be able to scan it and piece it together because the page is an A3 size and the article is spread out over that with breaks for the photos.

But thank you again for your offer, but I've nearly finished typing it now.

Here is the missing photograph from the above post. I've just realised that the previous one was saved as a pdf so thats why it wouldnt load. Doh!!

And, this is the back page....

Love Jennifer XX
Here is the Word document of the 1979 'Vinyl Edition' Magazine as promised.

It would have only taken me two hours to type it up using my two best fingers!! Ha Ha!! but, I've had a few problems in between with the door bells and phones ringing etc...


Love Jennifer XX
Hi Sylvie and Jennifer,

Sylvie, you're a trooper for trying to piece this article together.

Thanks so much for this labor of love. I remember the excitement when you found this item and posted the pix last year. It's great to have it in a readable format.


You are more than welcome Sally.

I just hope that it was interesting reading for you all and not something that you'd seen a hundred times before.

Love Jennifer XXX
Jennifer thanks so much will read it when I'm in bed tonight
Something to look forward too
Wow this is so much fun reading all this stuff!
Take care
Love Dianna xxx
Hey All:

Hope this doesn't upload twice...

But while I was putting away the Bolotin stuff I got out...

Came across this picture from back in the day...not sure exactly where it's from, but I suspect New Haven Advocate, sometime late seventies, an article about the 'Best of' the region...

Here's the caption, blown-up:

Dave, thanks for stopping by again.

Great photo which I doubt if anyone here has seen before. Too bad you didn't save the rest of the article, so we'd know what it's all about.

From Johnny Winter on Wikipedia

"In 1975 Johnny returned to Bogalusa, Louisiana to produce the Thunderhead album, for ABC/Dunhill, which featured future band members Pat Rush and Bobby "T" Torello."

Johnny still has the same haircut today!

Hey Dave, have you seen the new blog the admin started? I thought it would be interesting to have you or Florin or Jeremy ask Michael something about his early days… Just a thought. Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada


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