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
ways."
[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?


1972:
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!
Enjoy!



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Just want to say Hi and welcome Marc
Good to have you here
All the best
Dianna xxx
Hi Marc and a great big welcome to the forum! Oh my goodness, I’m salivating here in anticipation of the exchange between you and our Jeremy… I just E-mailed him to ask if we, history lovers, were going to have to chip in to get him to your house! :D Well, as you may or may not know, Jeremy is a very busy guy so availability might be a problem too.
Wow, Jeremy was right, you do sound like the nicest guy in the world… We will be looking forward to reading both of you, as often as possible. Thank you very much for joining us Marc! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hi Marc,
Great to hear from you again! Sylvie let me know that you had posted, which is good because I haven't been around much lately. My PhD comprehensive exam is on Friday--I'm up to my neck in studying at the moment, so I won't be able to spend much time on MB-related stuff until the weekend. I'd love to hang out with you sometime, indeed: I should look for an academic conference in your area, even, so travel would be paid for.

Thanks for clearing up the Pentagram mystery. It was hard to do any research at all for that, given that the label went belly-up and all I could track were the four songs from November Children/Nightmare County. What were the other titles? Did you get to co-write at all? What keyboard equipment were you using back then? As a keyboardist myself, I'm always interested in hearing what the pros were using back in the day.

I'd also be interested in finding out what songs you played in the three Leon Russell opening shows. I seem to recall you saying you played a piano for those. Of course, there's lots more I'm interested in, but I have to will myself to stop there so I can get back to studying.

I believe I still have your email address; I'll PM you mine right now.

Best,
Jeremy
Hi again Marc, I was re-reading your initial post and I’ll most likely have a lot of questions for you too, although I’m lightyears behind Jeremy in the information department. Michael has always said that he was signed to Epic records for a singles deal and up until just a few years back, we thought that “Bah bah bah” was the only single Joy released, until Orrin himself told me about “Going back to New Haven”, which I’m not even sure was released. Can you tell us if the Pentagram record was actually released? And what was the title of it if it was? I feel like we’re entering the “knowledge cave of wonders”…  Florin found out recently that Michael apparently did demos for all the songs he’s written. A demo recorded in Michael’s bathroom? Interesting indeed! I suggested in the “Michael is asking for your ideas” thread that maybe we could have a special section for lost treasures, such as demos, even demo clips and such… I wonder if we could get permission for that… I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be pushy, it’s just that this is an exciting perspective to me… Well, thanks for your time Marc and hope to read you again soon. Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hello Marc,

If indeed your invitation to Jeremy happens to result in his coming out for a visit, I will be forever grateful. That is if he finds time to stop by and see me, too! We've been talking about it for nearly a decade now, so it's time he did something about it.
Because I actually own a November Children LP, your historical tidbits are especially interesting. The original demo recorded in Michael's bathroom....now there's a fun historical fact!
Looking forward to future discussion when Jeremy's PhD comps are behind him. Luckily that's only a few more days.

Sally
Hi everyone – Wow, thanks for the very warm welcome!!!

I’m living in Fort Collins, CO now (yes - some of you may have seen me on CNN and other networks last year because we live right next door to the Balloon Boy family, but let’s leave questions about that out of this discussion, at least for now)

I’m seeing Michael in a couple of weeks and if we get a chance to talk about it I’ll ask him about sharing music clips, photos, etc, on this Forum. I’ll be glad to share whatever he gives his OK on. In the meantime, I’ll share what I’m comfortable with and hopefully Jeremy & I will have a chance to get together.

November’s Children / Nightmare County
By the way, besides the initial time we all viewed the movie prior to its release Larry Quinn NEVER saw the film until I sent him a copy of it about a year ago. He was quite disappointed in the final product and how they chopped up and edited most of the music. And yes, like Sally, even though we were all very young and inexperienced, we knew this was a terrible movie. The song Orrin sang, Our Town was for the movie only, not on our album. (I remember playing & recording the piano part for that song and still think it’s pretty cool)

Pentagram Album

Running Away From The Nighttime
This May Be Your Last Look At Me
Listen Child
Just One More Look (written & sung by Orrin)
We Must Find A Way (written by Michael Bolotin & Marc Friedland)
Dream Dream Dream (written by Michael Bolotin & Marc Friedland)
To get back home (written by Michael Bolotin & Marc Friedland)
The Fire Keeps Burnin
Every time I try to make it back to you

There were a couple of other songs in the works, but I believe these were the only ones considered to be finished.
I have most of these songs in their finished form, but some only from during the recording process.

Regarding Back to New Haven
It was originally written by Tom Pollard.
Recording that song & Cookie Man fulfilled CBS’s legal obligation to us, but to my knowledge, unlike Bah Bah Bah with It’s For You on the flipside, Back to New Haven was never released & distributed. And yes, of course I have a recording of it.

That’s all for now – I got to run – talk to you all later.
Jeremy – I know I didn’t get to all your questions, but I will when I get the chance to.

Thanks again…

Marc
Marc,

I distinctly remember seeing your Balloon Boy interviews, thinking to myself at the time.....that's "our" Marc Friedland!
Hey Marc:

Thanks for posting on this forum, for all the info... I'm a big Michael fan from the New Haven mid/late 70s days... very curious what you know about the material that he recorded with the Jan Mullaney/Pat Rush/Bobby T. band - My Love is Stronger, Please Come Home, etc. When you get the chance, of course...

All best,

Dave Stern
Marc,

Do you have a copy of this little paper back book? This is where I first saw mention of "Cookie Man"

From the discographies in "The New Haven Sound 1946-1976", Paul Lepri

Joy

1969 "Going Back to New Haven/ Cookie Man"

1969 "The Bah Bah Song/It's For You"

For more discussion of Bah Bah Song go to the thread "Michael's first ever single 'Bah, Bah, Bah'
Perhaps someone knows how to post a link.

Sally

Sally
Hi again everyone,

No Sally – I don’t have a copy of that particular book.

Also, though the title appears on the record as Bah Bah Bah, the true title is The Bop Bah Song.
I’ll write a more detailed story that covers a lot of that information when I get a chance.

Update – I left out one song that was ready for release on the Pentagram Album,
“The Time is Right”

Trivia note: The way The Time is Right was sung, when played backwards sounded like “I-I-I- I’ll Be Seeing You” – And if I remember correctly, Orrin wanted to try to include the backwards section on the song itself, because it sounded pretty cool, but that never did come to fruition.

Up until now there were only a handful of people on earth who knew that.

Regarding the concert show opening up for Leon Russell in Philadelphia—
My mom taped the entire show on the latest technology available at the time, a cassette tape recorder, and my dad captured about 30 seconds of it on 8 MM film which of course I’ve transferred to DVD.
BTW – I just listened to it again for the 1st time in quite a few years, the audience reaction was actually OK and not nearly as bad as I remembered.
Jeremy – a little teaser, ---- You’ll be able to hear this and a whole bunch of stuff I hesitate to even write about, once you’re able to come for a visit.

Here is the order of the songs we played in our 30+ minute opening set:
Gin House Blues
Blue Skies (original)
I Put a Spell on You
Just Like a Woman (Of course Michael sang it much differently than Bob Dylan)
Listen Child (original)
Keep on Runnin’
Pack Your Dreams (original)
Walkin’ Blues (an extended improv version)

Jeremy –
You used much of my written timeline, which is totally OK!! -- Actually many parts of that timeline are just headlines for reference in order for me to recall the entire story.
When I get the opportunity, I’ll attempt to write out the whole story of some of these events, because obviously some people are truly interested.
And yes, it’s possible that The Tulsa trip to Leon’s studios for the Demo project that included Dream While You Can, Your Love is Much Too Strong, I’m Riding Home & It’s a Hard Life may have been in 1973 and not 1974 like I originally thought. If it’s important I’ll try to determine which is correct, but I think it will be difficult to know for sure, because I don’t even know where to begin looking for references or receipts from that time period.

And in time I will try to get to all of your inquiries and friend invites.

Thanks again,
Marc
Hi again Marc and thanks for your response! Well, after I’ve read your second message, I started to prepare another list of questions for you but I think you will have had enough for one day soI’ll keep them in the bank for now. I just wanted to thank you so very much for being so generous with us with your time and wealth of mind-boggling information. Also, that’s really nice of you to offer asking Michael about putting up lost treasures, thank you so much! OMG, I do hope one day that you and Michael are comfortable sharing your show opening for Leon Russel… What a serious piece of history! In the meantime, we’ll welcome anything you’re comfortable with, whenever you’re ready. BTW, the thread Sally was referring to is here:
http://www.michaelbolton.com/forum/topics/michaels-first-ever-singl...
Well Marc, I don’t know if your sole purpose for joining this forum was to help Jeremy, but hope you stick around and you like it here! Thanks again for everything and hope to read you again soon, take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Thanks so much, Sylvie for bringing the link over here. It would be a good thing to have those posts all moved over here so they won't get lost. Much of what was posted there pertains to the on going discussion here. I can't wait until Jeremy is free from his exams so we can hear his thoughts about what Marc has so kindly shared with us.

Sally

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