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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Great scans, Dave!

Yes, the review of Michael's first record is from Rolling Stone, dated July 31, 1975

The art credit "Ernst" on the poster belongs to Ernst Weber Jr. who designed posters and t-shirts for Michael in the mid 1970's. He also photographed Michael's shows. The signature on the posters read Ernst (the date) Esoteric Deluxe Studios.

He also contributed memorabilia, photographs and anecdotes to the book, Michael Bolton, Time Love and Tenderness by Lee Randall. He was one of very few people actually interviewed by the author. This unauthorized bio is for the most part information culled from print articles and tv interviews. Lots of excellent photos in the book. It's often available at a very reasonable price on eBay.

Sally
Hi Dave, first of all, thanks again for sharing! Second, could I ask for a small favor? Would it be possible to have whatever text there is in actual text format? I'm sorry but my screen-reader program doesn't read JPG's... Dave or anyone else, it would be greatly appreciated, thanks! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Hi Sylvie
I will try to help you
The first one is a picture of Michae Bolotin he's hair to about his shoulders and he has no shirt on Mic in right hand and the other is like a fist arms flexed looking good lol
2nd and third picture is the review about his album
It says
Michael Boloton
RCA APL1-0992
by Charley Walters

Michael Bolotin sounds almost exactly like -Joe cocker, and with all that that implies: The gruffness is either powerful or downright foolish.Nevertheless, his soulful songwriting and strong backup provide for a striking debut.Wilbur Bascomb's neat Bass and Wayne perkin's precise gutiar lead an experienced studio battery- Dave Sanborn's saxes especially sparkle. Two stanards,"You're No Good" and "Time is on My Side." show Bolotin at his worst and seem to ignore his composing skills. But Perkin's"Lost in the city,"-the only other nonorigional is a pleasing change, with only an ocoustic and electric guitar gently backing the singer, Michael Bolotin is promoting music-but vocally he'll have to learn to capture the basics of another artist's style....

4th is a poster it says
Oxford Ale House
44 Whitney Ave
The highly acclaimed Michael Bolotin Band Thursday dec 29th
Has a picture of Michael to the left and under the picture it says
on solid Rock Records-Tapes

5th picture is art work credit it says I think very hard to read

ernst 12.27.77 esoteric Ololufe studios

Ps Hope I done that right :)
Love Dianna xxx
WOW Amazing All this information from The past! Thank you sooooooo much! Wonderful getting all this history!
Love Eileen
Wow Florin I don't know what to say
Thanks so much for all of it!
I really enjoyed the clip
Thanks Marc for letting us in to your world :)
Brillant seeing Michael with Orrin unbelieveable
Thanks again for this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Love Dianna xxx
Dianna, you're an angel! It wouldn't have been righter if Michael did it himself! lol Thanks sweetie! Big hugs, Sylvie from Canada
No worries Sylvie!
Love Dianna xxx
Florin, you're awesome!! So when are you and Jeremy starting this book? :D I'm in the process of reading all this wonderful information, only read the Kiss 11 page article so far and was just getting teary-eyed at all this richness of history... Thank you so very much for all of this! And thanks for sharing that great researching talent with us! Wow, I think Dave would have a field day reading the Kiss article and bring back great memories for him... May I ask where you got the info from Marc Friedland? Now who wouldn't pay for a copy of that tape he mentionned? Phew! The video with Michael and Orrin is so special, I can't tell you how much I'd love the brothers to record something together... Wow, thanks again Florin for everything, this is priceless! Take care. Big hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada xxx
More...

When I went to play the record that I found all the previously-posted stuff in...


Out popped this handbill!
Beautiful, Dave.....truly beautiful. Thanks again for indulging those of us who weren't there.

May I ask how and when you found this forum? Have you perhaps been lurking over the years waiting for a subject that you cared to comment on?

No matter how, why or when.....you're a prince in my book!

Sally
Hey Sally:

Glad you're enjoying these finds - I am too! Even more, I'm enjoying listening to the old stuff - and it was in search of that old stuff that I started looking for like-minded MB fan a few days back... and found this forum...
Hey Dave, glad you're having as much fun as we are! Have you read the Kiss article Florin found? It's wonderful! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada

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