Seeing Bolton’s face on local billboards over the last few months tells us that he’s still performing but it doesn’t answer the question about his hair. As it turns out, those wispy curls disappeared somewhere between 1996’s “This is the Time: The Christmas Album” and 1997’s “All That Matters.”
Though Bolton’s mass appeal disappeared at about the same time as his hair, he has still been making albums. His latest works include 2006’s “Bolton Swings Sinatra” and 2007’s “A Swingin’ Christmas,” both of which retain his characteristic vocal style in belting out classics like “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Let It Snow,” “Fly Me To The Moon” and “New York New York.” On his Web site, www.michael-bolton.com, Bolton has a total of 15 solo albums listed and it appears there may be a few others that he made but doesn’t include.
Bolton is most remembered for his soft-rock love songs that dominated the airwaves starting in the late 1980s. He had two number one hits (“How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” in 1989 and “When A Man Loves A Woman” in 1991), numerous other Top 10 hits and has sold more than 53 million albums over his 30-year career. That last fact is the most interesting to those of us who know very little about Bolton. It turns out he didn’t just appear out of nowhere one day with a booming voice and soccer mom sex appeal.
Bolton signed his first record contract in 1968 at the age of 15 when he was still using his birth name, Michael Bolotin. The man who became known for his soft rock played in the late 1970s for a heavy metal band called Blackjack that opened for Ozzy Obsorne. After he changed his name and his genre, he found his first real success as a songwriter for Laura Brannigan and Cher in the early 1980s.
Then came his moment in the sun in 1987 when Bolton sang the Otis Redding classic “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” From there the hits rolled and Bolton would go on to work with such stars as Barbara Streisand, Ray Charles, Kenny G., Bob Dylan, BB King and more. In 1993 he started up a relationship with actress Nicolette Sheridan, dated her for two years, took a 10-year break and is now engaged to her. In fact, if you search the Internet for Bolton’s name you’ll find more articles about the fact that he and Sheridan aren’t married yet than you will about his music.
Maybe the search results would be different in Europe, since that’s where he is performing lately. Besides his stop at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on March 8 and a show at the Peppermill in Wendover, Nev. the next day, all of Bolton’s scheduled appearances for 2008 are on the other side of The Atlantic. When he comes to Nevada this week, he will be flying in from shows in Croatia and Serbia. Then, according to Bolton’s Web site, he’ll take a break until October when he plays a dozen shows in England and Ireland.
So, if you want to rock like they do in Belgrade or Dublin, log on to www.janugget.com or call (800) 648-1177. The only tickets remaining are riser seats in the back of the Rose Ballroom that sell for $64. The show starts at 8 p.m.