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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Hi again Marc and thanks for your response! The mp3 snippets are on page 2: first the one that was labeled “1978 MB If Ever I lose you.mp3”, the second one is labeled “1978 Michael Bolton Oooh I love you 1978.mp3” and the third one is on page 5 labeled “1973 mb - ebay snippet 1973 RCA demos.mp3”. They’re obviously not the original ones you’ve spoken of, but I’d like to know what you can tell us about them, if anything. Well, while I’m on a roll, this is one of the questions I’ve had in the bank for you since I’ve read the songlist of the Pentagram record. Incidentally, did the record ever have a working title? Just curious. Okay, on page 12 of this thread, I’ve uploaded an old 1991 Canadian audio interview of Michael’s on “Good Rockin’ tonite”. Michael talks about and even sings a bit of what he says was the first song he’s ever written when he was 12 called “Dreaming dreams”. I was wondering if the song “Dreams dreams dreams” was a variant of this song or something completely different. Incidentally, searching for the mp3’s, I’ve re-read some of Jeremy’s posts and until you guys can hook up, you might be able to appreciate that beautiful brain of his, if you have time to go through them. OMG, that’s so nice of you to share this treasure with us too and thanks for the info on it, very cool! Marc, I’ll tell you, I don’t know if you had a clue of what you were getting into by joining the forum, but you are very kind to want to share all this with us so please, take all the time you need to answer any of our questions. I know Jeremy will have a field day, to say the least, when he can take the time to sort through all this. Thank you again so much for everything and we’ll see you back for the next history class anytime you’re ready!  Take care and God bless. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
This is so exciting!!

I just wanted to thank you all for all the information you are all providing here.

Marc, thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful insights into the 'World of joy'. I can imagine 555 Amity Road in Woodbridge becoming a shrine to 'Joy' It will end up having one of those 'Tourist information' plaques nailed on the front!! Ha Ha !!

I applaud the honesty of you guys as young musicians struggling to makeyour way in the music industry. That must have been very tempting to keep the $20,000

Many many thanks again Marc. I love reading your posts and when I see that you have posted, I rush straight to this thread!

Love Jennifer XX
Hi Sylvie – Only time to answer a couple of questions now.
Dreaming Dreams and Dream Dream Dream have no direct connection & neither does Dream While You Can.

“Dreaming Dreams” of happiness - that can’t be bought or sold
This was one of Michael’s earliest compositions, a ballad and a very good song

Dream Dream Dream –
This song was written in1970 or 71 at the latest.
I was experimenting & playing different musical signatures on the piano – One of the parts really caught Michael’s attention and he had me keep on playing it over & over as he became inspired to write lyrics to it. We kept at it for a while until we had a complete song, and that song did make it to onto the Pentagram Album.

BTW – To Get Back Home was composed exactly the same way as Dream Dream Dream.

The other song I co-wrote with Michael for the Pentagram album was We Must Find A Way. On that one I wrote one Verse, the Chorus, and the basic melody to both. Michael wrote an additional Verse and the Bridge, and of course his singing it really brought it to life.

Right now I can’t remember if we had any ideas for the album title, but it seems as though we must have. If I have any recollection of it at all I’ll let you know.

Marc
Hi Marc (and everyone else),

Well, now that I have my exam behind me (thanks for all the good wishes!) I can see that I have lots to do here! I'll try to assimilate as much of Marc's new information as I can with the "old" information I had initially laid out in this thread. It's great that his authority will clarify many of the questions and blank spaces I had. Marc, I will also email you off the forum with a few other loose ends that are lingering for me. This is all fantastic!
So glad to see that you survived and are even up and posting relatively early. I have tickets for Michael's Greeley CO concert on Sept 30. You should come on out......ha! Seeing Marc and Michael all in one trip would be spectacular. Oh, and I'm here, too.

Sally
Hi again Marc, thanks for yet another great response! Well, judging from what Michael sang in the interview, I could tell that it had nothing to do with “dream while you can”. I do hope we’re able to hear “Dreaming dreams” someday: the story attached is just too sweet, plus the fact that he wrote it at 12is just awesome! Thanks also for the sneak peek into your songwriting sessions… You know Marc, as I was reading your post, I was thinking: If you succeed in asking Michael about this, if he’s uncomfortable with sharing song samples, perhaps just sharing lyrics would be an option, if you have them handy? Just a thought. Well anyway, I understand that we’ve given you a lot of questions to sort through and I want to thank you again for sharing what you are sharing, your generosity with your time and insight is very much appreciated. Get to the rest whenever and hope to read you and Jeremy again very soon. Take care Marc and God bless. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Thanks so very much to Marc and Jeremy for all this hare work!! Its wonderful learning all this information about Michaels journey through his career and live!!! Its amazing and we owe you alot for putting this altogether!!!


Love Eileen xoxo
Hi everyone,
As always, Michael was fantastic last night, and we had a blast hanging out together after the show.
Sylvie - I did read your letter to Michael, he truly appreciates so much everyone's continued support.
No response to if any "old" music will ever be posted on an open Forum, but short of that I'll share what I can.
You all need to be patient with Jeremy, I've given him so much information, it will take him a while to put it all together with what's already there..
Here's a couple of photos to show what a difference 38 years can make. It goes by in the blink of an eye!
My wife calls the old photo "The Hair Gods" so I guess the new one is closer to the The Hairless Gods.
-- Marc
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Hi Marc, good to hear from you! I’m glad to hear you’ve had such a great time with Michael, I’ll bet it had been a while! I would be terribly curious to hear what’s your opinion on Michael’s new album… He’s come a long way, hasn’t he?  Uhm, I’m sorry, which letter to Michael are you talking about exactly? Do you mean the message I’d left you? Oh we know Michael appreciates the support and he keeps telling us all the time in his blog posts, God bless him! When Michael asked for our suggestions for this site, we had no idea how closely he was listening… It’s really kind of overwhelming to know he’s reading us, as he mentioned on today’s blog… Thank you so much for just remembering to ask about our request Marc, you’re a doll! Well, maybe he needs time to think about it, that’s okay. As I’ve said before, we truly appreciate whatever you're able to share with us. Oh, we know whatever Jeremy comes up with will be fantastic but he’s only one guy. Good Lord, wish I could see your pictures! Lol Well anyway, thank you again for posting Marc and thank you for being so generous to Jeremy too. Take care and do feel free to answer more questions and post again or join in the conversation anytime! God bless. Big hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Thanks so much for sharing Marc I agree with the wife LOL!!!
You are so right how quickly time does fly
He really s fanastic!
All the very best
Dianna xxx
Hi Marc, I have enjoyed reading so much of the information you have been so kind to share with all of us. I love the pictures of you guys!! Time flies doesn't it!!! Thanks so much for continuing to share with us all here!!!
Robin in MD :)
Hi everyone,

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. I'm still here, and I'm still trying to figure out how to assimilate all this information into a coherent narrative. We're talking book-length here! Marc's memory is more than incredible. I've also got an 8-week old puppy currently on my lap, so making him comfortable in his new home has taken up more of my time on this long weekend than sifting through music history. It WILL come, though! Just wanted to let you know I'm excited to work on it. Maybe later today, if I'm lucky!!
Best to all.
Jeremy

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