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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OMG Jeremy, that is one heck of a beautiful puzzle! Where on earth have you researched this? And if you don’t mind my asking, how long did it take you to compile all this? It’s quite impressive! Does this fascination of yours extend to other artists? Man, I’m not sure you’re going in the right business! Lol I couldn’t help you with the missing pieces of your mosaic but I must say I am seriously impressed and wish you the best in your quest to finish it. Thanks a lot for sharing: this is a keeper! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada
Little know band indeed?? Woman, you make me laugh!!!
Wow!!!! Wow!!! Wow!!! Jeremy, you are truly amazing to have found out all of this information!!

As you know, I too have a very keen interest in Michaels early years and whilst one or two snippets of information where known to me, the rest is an alladins cave of amazing events.

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information, I am delighted to be able to learn a lttle more about Michaels history.

Love Jennifer XX
Jeremy this is amazing I didn't know any of it and you are doing a great job here.
So sorry I cannot help you but I too am impressed
Love Dianna xxx
Wow Jeremy...I didn't know all these details about MB's musical history. I love it. Thanks so much for sharing it here for all of us!!!!! You are really amazing researching and finding all of this great MB history.

Robin :)


Dont know what happened to my first attempt at posting this, so I'll try adding this again. (Think I changed pages before hitting add reply!! Doh!!)

Jeremy, I have a 2 CD copy of 'The Michael Bolton Story' aired back on July 12-15th 1990 by Unistar DJ Steve O Brien.

It's 90 minutes long and includes songs and interviews with Michael and Paul Stanley of Kiss.

Michael tells of how he was in a band at the tender age of 13 and his Mum Helen had to sing the contracts for him becasue he was too young! Ha Ha!

I also have on order 'Michael Bolton + 'The Call' which is an interview with music aswell. This was recorded on june 26th 1983. This is in LP format but I have the facility to copy it to CD.

If any of this is of use to you, please let me know.

love Jennifer XX
Jennifer I like the sound of all that do you know if it is still available to purchase
Wow you have some neat stuff!
Love Dianna xxx
Hi Jennifer, I'm not sure if I've ever actually heard "The Michael Bolton Story," although I've gathered some info from it from other people. I'm also a big Paul Stanley fan, so of course I was interested when they got together to write "Forever." At that point in Kiss' history, Stanley was pretty much spearheading the band's musical direction (Gene Simmons was neck-deep in Hollywood projects), and from about 1985-1989 he was writing a lot of songs that could have easily found themselves on "Michael Bolton" or "Everybody's Crazy." So I thought that particular collaboration was very cool.

It sounds like "Michael Bolton + The Call" is the King Biscuit Flower Hour recording, which was MB performing at the Agora Ballroom in Dallas, TX. The Call was the other band on that broadcast, although by all accounts MB stole the show. I didn't know there was an interview portion of that, though, so let me know what it's like when it arrives.

To everyone else, thanks for the kind words. It didn't really take me that long to put this stuff together: a lot of it I had committed to memory already, and I had already jotted down various bits of it elsewhere. It's what I do: I'm a doctoral candidate of English, so research is a huge part of my life!
If you go to wolfgangsvault.com you can found the Agora Ballroom recording, and an interview from 1988 right after "Walk Away" was released as a single.
Hi Matthew and welcome to the forum. So you're a history enthusiast too? I've posted the direct link to the Wolfgang's Vault interview on this thread, it's a fantastic interview, isn't it? One of my top 5 of all-time, even if it's about 40 minutes long: the longest ones are the best anyway. Do go through this thread Matthew, there's more and more background info as you read on and there should be even more in the next little while. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie from Canada

Hey Jeremey, whenever you are ready my friend, whenever you are ready and have time.


Love Jennifer XX



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