Saturday, March 6, 2021

Quips and Quotations (Rust Belt Rock Edition)

 

1948-2021

Hey gang...Well, if you're reading this then I am off to catch up with that big club tour in the sky. But before the bus pulls out I wanted to thank all of you for being part of my musical journey, both on the stage, on record, and behind the microphone here at WNCX...Somebody once said that if you love your job then it's not really work. And if that's true (and I definitely think it is) then I have been happily out of work for over fifty years!

--Michael Stanley, Cleveland-area rock star--yep, that's how we rightfully viewed him--local television personality, and radio disc jockey. The Michael Stanley Band was a popular attraction here on America's North Coast from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s and set attendance records at such local venues as the Richfield Coliseum and Blossom Music Center, a big deal at the time as these places were where all the nationally-known rock acts--including Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen--played when they swung by the Metropolis of the Western Reserve during the mayorships of Ralph Perk, Dennis Kucinich, and George Voinovich. If all this info is a bit too local for you, then I should point out that MSB came pretty damn close to being a nationally-known rock act itself as it made the Top 40 several times and once even had a video on MTV. The above quote is from a purposely posthumous letter posted on the web site of the classic rock station where Stanley's been deejaying for the past few years.


The guy who sings lead and gets run over by the tow motor in the above clip is keyboardist Kevin Raleigh, who also wrote the song, MSB's biggest hit. What follows are songs where Stanley himself sings lead. After all, the band IS named after him:  





Finally, here's a video shot in and around Cleveland:


Good place for a hall of fame, huh?

12 comments:

  1. Hi, Kirk!

    I'm sorry to learn of the death of local and regional rock star Michael Stanley. His MSB offered ample proof that Cleveland rocks. I must confess that I am not familiar with the band and don't remember any of the posted songs. However it's quite possible the videos produced for their charting singles ran on the MTV style station where I worked in the 80s. It's a shame Michael died so young, at age 72, after a bout with lung cancer. I enjoyed the band's style, including the power ballad introduced by Music Mike. That last video preceded by a promo for MTV reminds us how exciting the iconic music channel was in its first few years, a far cry from what it became later on.

    Thanks for this introduction and tribute to Michael Stanley and his band, good buddy Kirk. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    1. Shady, living in Cleveland obviously gives me a skewed perspective of Michael Stanley's success (or lack thereof nationally.) All of the songs I've posted here got heavy radio play in these parts and were as familiar to me as anything by Billy Idol, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, or Culture Club (to name the acts featured in the MTV promo.)

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  2. I haven't heard these songs in a while. First one is my favorite.

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    1. Mike, "He Can't Love You" was the closest thing MSB had to a breakthrough song, and got the band appearances on American Bandstand, Solid Gold, and, hold on to your lovely bunch of coconuts, The Merv Griffin Show!!!!

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    1. Debra, all bands start out local. Well, I guess you can make an exception when it comes to "supergroups" like Crosby, Stills, and Nash or The Traveling Wilburys, which are made up of established stars from the get-go. But even there the individual members started out as local at some point in their lives.

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  4. Hello Kirk, I was shocked to hear of the death of Michael Stanley, a Cleveland fixture. According to Wikipedia, he died of lung cancer at the age of only 72, not very old these days. I don't know if he smoked or not, but if anyone out there does, please stop now!
    --Jim

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    1. Jim, until relatively recently, TOBACCO was a Cleveland fixture, so yes, Michael Stanley smoked--you can see him in the first video with a cigarette hanging from his mouth--giving it up only two years ago after he'd gone through quadruple bypass surgery.

      When I was a kid people used to smoke in the supermarket, smoke in McDonald's, smoke in the laundromat. And of course they smoked on TV. Here's a popular jingle that I used to hear on TV: "Winstons taste good, like a cigarette should..." And for us kids there were candy cigarettes, thin white sugar sticks with a little bit of red at the end. When it was cold outside you could stick one of those sticks in your mouth, inhale, and then, simulating cigarette smoke, blow out your own breath. Both my parents smoked, though my mother eventually gave it up, and every adult relative, every adult friend of my parents, every adult neighbor smoked. That's what it was like back then, and since Michael Stanley was somewhat older than me, that's what it was like for him, too, but even more so. It's called adapting to your environment, and he did.

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  5. RIP Michael. Cannot say I am familiar with the band or Michael but I do know his face? And I do know the first song, I've heard it before. Another group to add to my ever growing list to get to know!

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    1. Ananka, I guess outside of Cleveland MSB might be seen at best as one-hit wonders, but that just shows you how relative THAT term is.

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  6. It's always hear news of the death of someone whether I knew them or not. It just reminds one that forever isn't promised.

    My partner and I had gone to Cleveland for the Ali Wong comedy concert. Cleveland is beautiful, however a bit more chilly than we had expected.

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    1. JM, you're in Columbus, right? Same state, but different weather. Anyway, you get used to the chilliness. And there are surprises. Yesterday and today it hit 7O, though the thermometer drops again tomorrow.

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In order to keep the hucksters, humbugs, scoundrels, psychos, morons, and last but not least, artificial intelligentsia at bay, I have decided to turn on comment moderation. On the plus side, I've gotten rid of the word verification.