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 Payten, what a great article, thanks so much for taking the time and sharing it with us! Girl, where do you get all this stuff? I love it and thanks again for sharing, God bless yu girl! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hi Florin, I know the Kerrang article is a classic one and thanks for sharing it with us! Would you happen to have it in either txt or Word format? My screen-reader does not recognize it and doesn't even acknowledge there's anything there. It's a longshot but thought I'd ask. Thanks again for sharing! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hi Florin, I was able to download the Davidovit article in PDF format, so if you have the Kerrang article in PDF, that would be perfect! I'm sorry, I realized I hadn't specified it was the Kerrang article my program couldn't find... I appreciate you letting me know, take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Singer not intimidated performing the Classics
by Hillel Italie
Associated Press Writer

New York (AP) Compare most singers to Otis Redding or Ray Charles, and they'll usually blush. Ask them to cover Redding's "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay" or Charles' "Geogia on My Mind," and they'll back away, insisting no one could improve on those standards.

Not Michael Bolton.

"it's not intimidating at all," insists the singer-songwriter, whose husky renditions of "Dock of the Bay" prompted Redding's widow to send a letter of praise.

"I don't mind stepping into those shoes. They fit nice and snug at my feet. I wouldn't do somebody else's song unless I felt it was sitting ther waiting for me. When I perform 'Georgia,' they're out of their seats. Both songs had my name on them."

Having written hits for Cher "I Found Someone" and Laura Branigan "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," Bolton figures he's entitled to record what he pleases.

He co-wrote eight of the 10 songs on his new album, "Soul Provider," rounding out the record with "Georgia" and collaborator Diane Warren's "When I'm Back on My Feet Again."

"We call each other at any hour," he said. "Diane, every time she calls, I'm expectig to hear another hit. We also write together often. We just finished a song on a plane."

Love songs, especially old-fashioned ones, aren't supposed to cause controversy,. but Bolton said he's had some criticism about the title track of "Soul Provider," and its implications of emotional surrender.

"It's about wanting to just be there for somebody," said Bolton, who wrote the song with Andy Goldmark. "It's not about wanting to dominate someone.

"I've had a backlash with the women's lib thing, but that's how I want somebody to feel about me. I still think romance and the deep kind of fantasy of that kind of affection and relationship is still so strong within people. No matter how many times you've been in and out of love, you're still going to want the ultimate relationship."

"The Sound of New Haven" will likely never sweep the pop charts, but Bolton said his Connecticut hometown had a thriving music scene.

"There were three major clubs within a mile of each other and they would have to have the biggest local acts at the same time, otherwise one club dominated," he said. "John Cafferty played in New Haven, so did the James Cotton Blues Band."

In grade school Bolton played guitar and received requests from classmates to perform their favorite songs. I remember the first time I thought I had talent. I was 12 and wrote a song, "Dreaming Dreams." I played the song for some people and they didn't believe I had written it. I think they were trying to say it sounded like a valid song."

Three years later, he had signed with Epic Records.

"My mother had to co-sign the deal," Bolton said. "She had a real good voice herself, but back then it wasn't so easy for a mother to pick up a career. She gets a kick out of what I'm doin now. I have a song on the new Barbra Streisand album and she ges a kick out of that."

He started out as a writer, providing material for the Pointer Sisters, Larry Graham and Thelma Houston among others. But once Branigan's cover was a hit in the early 1980's, Bolton had enough pull to get a record of his own.

"I always wrote songs for myself," he said. "I never really considered writing for other people, but out of necessity my finances ditated it.

"I was giving away my best stuff. It was automatically given away, until the last album. That's when I turned around and said I don't give away hits."

He collaborated on "Stand Up for Love" with two of the '60s' biggest hitmakers, Cynthia Well and Barry Mann, alumni of the Brill Building writing staff that included Carole King and Neil Sedaka.

Bolton's carefully constructed love songs would seem to fit perfectly alongside Brill Building hits such as "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "Save the Last Dance For Me," but he's more intrested in following the path of "Georgia" writer Hoagy Carmichael.

"The Brill Building had some great writers, but you also had a lot of formula coing out of there," Bolton said, "They were in gold mine and there was a process of removing the gold from the mine.

"I'm not excited about just another pop hit. I want to write standards that will be interpreted by great singers. Songs that are going to really apply and be relative to people's lives"
Thanks Florin, I still can't read it but, if I can find a program with OCR, I will! Thanks sweetie! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hi guys, first of all, thanks a lot for another fantastic article Payten! Now Florin, you're an angel for trying so hard to help! My daughter might have a program with "Optical Character Recognition" so she should be able to extract something either out of the JPG or the DOC. I'm sorry my Jaws program is so difficult to accomodate... In the meantime, I can finally contribute something to this page! The very first song mentionned in Payten's article "Dreaming dreams" is part of this old Canadian interview I have and I'll upload it to this page. It's an adorabel interview I believe was aired in 1990 or '91. Hope everyone enjoys it! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
That was great!!!!! Thanks Sylvie. Any more audio goodies???? I'll beg :) Payten
Thanks so much Sylvie
Love Dianna xxx
Hope this helps Svlvie
Love Dianna xxx with Bill's help :)

Still Hungry

Speaking to AOR star Sir Michael Bolton gives the impression of a mild-mannered man. But hearing him sing is liable to knock you off your chair, says wild-mannered Phil Wilding from the worshipful spot on the floor

The concise Oxford English Dictionary definition of a hero is:’ man of superhuman qualities favoured by the gods, demigod….or of a personal hero’. And no matter who you agree with here at headquarters, whoever among us you lurv or wish to throw out the window, we all share one thing in common: we all have heroes.

There’s the obvious of Bonk’s Joooee, Barton’s Kiss, Krusher’s Stevie Ray Vaughan, anything vaguely unpleasant for Zell, and of cause there’s mine: Tyler, Journey the sisters, Rush, hundreds of screwed up guitar heroes, drummers, f**ked outs and singers, and aah Michael Bolton.

I can’t say my respect for the man is on the same scale as Del Tim All overcome’ Oliver’s, but a blast from That Voice or a lifting melody from his lips and I have to admit to godsmacked awe. Really.

On a recent Thursday at the power Station in Convent Gardens the majority of the K/Team experienced a radical shift in hairstyles as Bolton sat a good two feet from us, strummed an acoustic guitar, and let blast with ’sitting on the dock of the bay’

It came out like a haymaker punch and settled like snow, a voluminous roar from the a face that moments earlier had registered nothing more than a grin, Derek wet himself, Neil Jefferies began to swear softly under his breathe, and Myrtle, not a fan by any means, was heard to whisper ‘awesome’. Exactly.

The day before, I found myself sitting at the head of the CBS boardroom sharing my tape recorder with a bottle of Perrier, a salad and a very relaxed and charming Michael Bolton.

In the country just to talk to the press, he was midway though a day that included “wired’ MTV and a host of lesser rock mags. He sat there laughing while decimating a baked potato, and responded to my questions as if they’d never posed to him in his life before.

He was just off a six week American tour supporting Heart and bolstered by the experience, obviously A good experience?
“ The tour was great, Ann and Nancy understand what it’s like to be brutalised by a headline act, and they’d taken a vow never to do to an opening act what’s been done to them.
There were no assholes on the tour either, from their band, my band- and I had a great, great band- the crews, everyone(he spreads his arms wide ) nothing but professionals.
“The only problem- and I had forgotten what it was like until after the first couple of shows-was the people who are walking in during the first three or four numbers.
“Fortunately, I’ve had a couple of big hits just recently so some people made the effort to get there early to see us, but there were some people who were really into the show and they had to suffer coats being opened in front of them and people looking for their friends. For those people, and myself on stage, that can be distracting.”

You’re not kidding, but now the tour’s over will you head straight for another one or rest for a while and take stock of the situation?”

“Well, at the moment it’s promotional work here and in America, but primarily I’m in a writing mode which is a different thing all together. I was hoping to write out on the road with Johathan Cain (Keyboards and ex-Journey) but my state of mind was so different that there was no way,
“I was doing TV in the morning, radio before I went on stage, print before I left the city… it was non stop I miss the writing, I was jealous of people who were writing, I’m just glad that I’m now back in my writing mode”.

“Who are you writing with again and how do you choose the people to work with?”
“I’m always fairly close to the people I write with, I have to have respect for someone that I write with more than once or twice, you can write good songs but if they’re real songs writing is a personal thing then-you can only let people with whom you’ve got a mutual respect and admiration get that close. I have to have that when I collaborate with people.
“I’m working on my new stuff with Desmond child and Diane Warren (two writers whose credits include Cher, John Waite, Jimmy Barnes and Bonnie Tyler); they’re embarrassing they’re so prolific! I feel comfortable with them, and this time the stuff that I write with Desmond we’re going to produce together.”

So will it be another three years before we have a chance to sample that? He looks up from his potato and grin’s “How about January?”
“I’ll start cutting in September so hopefully I should be ready to go with it by then “I have seven songs ready, though it is a little early to give the titles away yet.

“There’ll be plenty of edge to it, and they’ll be a few R’n’B numbers. I’m confident about it: the songs I’m writing now are the best songs I’ve ever written and the voice is in better shape than it’s ever been.”

Do you always strive to write your greatest songs with each new thing that you approach?

“What I always think, what I always insist upon, is that I don’t ever want to make a passive record-I have no intention of becoming lovely background music. I want to reach out through the speakers and mess with people so that they don’t even know what’s hitting them until it’s too late.”

Now that you’re on the verge on major success with ’The Hunger’, don’t you feel embittered that your success has taken so long in coming?

“I think if I hadn’t had success with this album then maybe I would have. But now that I have recognition and I’m becoming successful in lots of other areas such as producing and writing for other people, it doesn’t matter so much.

“I’m reaching more people now than I possibly would have if ‘Fools game’ had been a hit and I’d ended up working from a purely AOR base. At the time I thought ‘ FG’ was the beginning, but the next album(‘Everybody’s Crazy’) was an abyss. Someone said to me that they thought I’d fallen off the edge of the world, but I just kept writing and working.”

He shrugs his shoulders as if an indication that he, along with anyone else who’s heard the album, can’t understand why such a gorgeous record did so little business.
Is that why you had a sudden shift in sound from “EC” to The Hunger?”

He smiles and, with bare faced honestly, says,” I changed because I wanted to have the same kind of success that I think I deserved (he laughs), and it seemed like I made the right decision.

Too right, and now with the stateside success of both singles, and the new 45’Walk away’ flying out of the box all over the US, it looks as though he has.

Talking of major success, how did the collaboration with Cher for the mammoth ’I found someone’ come about?”

“I was in love with her from her movies and I was convinced that she would want to cut that song, but the company weren’t too sure if they needed any more songs for the record.
It was John Kalodner, the guru of rock ‘n’ roll, who’s a fan of mine and has a dream to see me as the singer for Journey, who got the tape, and he and Cher went nuts for it.

“It was the last song sent to them, and the first single they released consequently, it was her first hit in 10 years.”

He beams understandably at this as I pose a question asked of me by all my friends as they knew I was going to do the interview. When will you, if ever, play Britain?

He eases back into his chair”If the record does well enough or if there seems a strong enough indication that I can help the record by playing here and I can get enough support then I will. Someone believes here (at CBS) and that’s why I came.

“I want to be here, you certainly wouldn’t have to twist my arm to come here. I want to establish a permanent audience, people who know who I am, and if touring’s a part of that then I will do it.”

So if you’re reading this and you haven’t yet, buy the bloody record.

Will there ever be a day when you stop?

He looks incredulous: “Phil, do you ever plan to stop breathing? This is the only thing that I can do; it’s all I have ever known. They’ll have to wheel me up there, but I’ll still go on, I’ll be the George Burns of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

“I’ll have all my greatest songs, which have a long long life span, and that’s my plan. They’ll probably wheel you out as well (he smiles) and than we can discuss how our wheelchairs work.”
Ah, good Lord have mercy, what an article, Dianna, you’re such a sweetheart, thank you so much for this!! I loved it so much, I read it twice! Lol Have you ever read anything so delicious? Godsmacked awe, yes! Phew, they don’t write articles like that any more! Girl, it brought tears to my eyes…It’s beautifully worded and has everything in it… You truly get a sense of his long journey to success that came just in time and him being ready for his career to just take off… It’s probably the best dang thing I’ve ever read on Michael! Dianna, I’m sending two big hugs your way: one for you and one for Bill! Thank you so very much for doing this for me, God bless you girl! Big hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada xxx
It was no worries Sylvie
It really was a good read and it's a shame if you missed out :)
I loved it too
Love Dianna xxx
Bolton show proves major undertaking
by: Brenda Herrmann

Chicago-- Taping a concert performance for television sounds easy. Get a star, get him on stage and roll the cameras.

Get real.

Actually, it's a major undertaking -- and the creators never know what might go wrong.

In August NBC sent the Los Angeles-based production company High 5 to Chicago's Arie Crown Theatre to film "This Is Michael Bolton," a concert-oriented biography that airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The show looks great. Bolton, his golden hair highlighted by backlights, belts out hits like "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?" and "When a Man Loves a Woman," as his aori fans cheer.

But that's what the television screen shows. Behind the scenes, it was highly planned, yet frantic.

Producer Martin Fischer and executive producer/director Bud Schaelzie began plotting the production five months before the August taping.

"We had done the Garth Brooks special for NBC back in January," explained Fischer, who formed High 5 with Schaetzle and associate producer Bret Wolcott 10 years ago. "on the heels of that, NBC asked us who we'd like to do next. We gave them three names, one being Michael Bolton.

"The same week, NBC got a call from Michael asking if they'd like to do somthing with his concert tour. He met with NBC and us and it clicked."

From then on, High 5 became as much a part of Bolton's life as swooning fans.

"We spent weeks in meetings, getting to know him," Fischer said. "We don't do these specials in a cookie-cutter form. We have to reflect the individual artist's personality.

"The public perception of Michael is as a man who doesn't smile. His songs of love have such intensity that people ascribe the emotions of the lyrics to the man. And it really is just the opposite -- he has a great wit and he keeps you lauging."

The crew spent 12 days filming Bolton in the recording studio creating his new album, "Timeless," and then popped in at various tour dates to film key moments on the road.

But it was the next portion of the filming that was the toughest -- the live taping at Arie Crown.

Bolton would perform two nights in front of an unpredictable Chicago audience and the cameras would capture it.

"Michael hadn't played Chicago in a while so the public wanted to see him," Fischer explained. "As well, we needed to be where we could get technical supplies and talent like the orchestra. Also the house was the right size (4,400 seats) and the stage was gigantic."

High 5 and its crew of 120 began preparing a week before thetaping, making a special camera-ready stageand setting up the 12 cameras in areas where they wouldn't disturb the audience.

While this was going on inside, a truck outside the theater was set up with a 48 track recording studio to capture the live sound.

Arie Crown workers were also putting in overtime trying to eliminate any on-camera errors. Workers were needed to push in the heavy orchestra risers, complete with the 40-member orchestra, when Bolton introduced a certain number. Little things like not having enough men to push the risers caused plenty of last minute emergencies, or brush fires.

"It all looks great on paper," noted Arie Crown employee Clark Morris, "But you don't know the reality until you're doing it."

After much laying of cable and many production meetings, show night arrived.

By 7:15 p.m. the audience was filtering through th doors, even as the lighting consultant was finalizing his plans with Schaetzle.

High 5 wasn't leaving audience shots to chance, either. Lighting was planned for crowd shots and, finally, even the crowd was planned.

With a handful of front row tickets, production coordinator Phillip Tuck scanned the crowd asking for "the biggest Michael Bolton fans." The ones he picked sat in the pit, three rows of seats so close to Bolton they could smell his cologne.

"This is the fun part," Tuck said, as he plucked pretty girls from the audience.

Kathy Crane, 27, of Dwner's Grove, and Debbie Mann, 27 of Oak Law, got the best seats inthe house on the first night. "When (Tuck) came by and offered us front-row seats, w just said, 'Are you kidding?'" Crane recalled. "We thought it was a joke."

"What I've seen so far looks phenomenal," Bolton said a few weeks before the airing. "I don't know how they did it. I just want the highest quality possible....after all, I'm a perfectionist."


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