Michael Stanley to rock Cleveland on New Year’s EveWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
All you get to keep are the memories,
You got to make the good ones last.
— “Somewhere in the Night” by Michael Stanley and Bob Pelander
Michael Stanley has a lot to ruminate on. The Cleveland icon has been making memorable music for more than four decades.
“What I’m most proud of is that we’re still doing it and I think doing it better than we did. We don’t run around as much as we used to due to age and infirmity,” he said then laughed.
“To do it as long as we did as MSB (Michael Stanley Band), which we did for 14 years — that’s a long time for a band. Most bands are like National Football League players: Their careers are like two years and then they come to their senses and go on to something else.
“We were able to do that and certainly didn’t achieve everything we wanted to, but at the same time, we achieved a lot of things that we never had any idea that we’d do, like all these attendance records that everybody else who played couldn’t break; that’s kind of crazy.”
Stanley was talking about how the band sold out four consecutive nights at Blossom Music Center in 1982. The group also holds single show and two-night attendance records at the Richfield Coliseum in 1979 and 1981, respectively.
“My Town,” “Lover” and “He Can’t Love You” were anthems in Ohio back then.
“[Songs have] to hit something emotionally in the listener, and the more that you hit that way, those are the ones that sort of rise above and become hits,” the songwriter said during a call from his Cleveland home.
Since the band broke up in 1986, Stanley has continued to create quality music. His 12th solo disc, “The Hang,” was released earlier this year. The guitarist was faced with several losses while working on that record: His wife died in 2011, and his mother, stepfather, father and ex-wife died in 2010.
“‘The Hang’ was kind of cathartic. When all was said and done, I think it was a hopeful album, but at the same time there was some dark stuff on it,” he said.
His next disc, “The Ride,” is expected to be out in March.
“A lighthearted outing was needed,” the singer said of the new CD. “It was just a personal decision to get out of the dark and get into the light and do something that made me smile for a while, so that’s what ‘The Ride’ is; it’s just going down another road musically and seeing what’s down there.”
Michael Stanley and The Resonators will play at the House of Blues in Cleveland on Dec. 31. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $43.50 to $199.50.
“A lot of times since it doesn’t say Michael Stanley Band anymore, [people] think, ‘Oh, there’s not going to be anymore of that stuff,’ but three-quarters of the show is things they’ve heard at Blossom and the Front Row and the Coliseum,” he said. “We’re making memories like the song said.”