There’s No Place Like Home
By Breanna Mona
First, a flashback:
Heavy smoke shoots from a fog machine and rolls over the hill at Blossom Music Center. A crowd filled with restless young fans, hair teased to wild heights, chants, “MSB! MSB! MSB!”
Michael Stanley and his band finally emerge from the smoke clouds, and they give the crowd what they want — music, and lots of it. Energetic rock that keeps fans on their feet. Quieter ballads. The fans know every word to every song. Hits such as “Lover,” “My Town” and “Falling in Love Again” gave the band a phenomenal fan base that built a cult-like obsession in Northeast Ohio.
MSB performed at Blossom 17 times over a six-year period, with an astounding four-night run in 1982 that drew a total attendance of 74,404 — still a record for that venue. The band not only reached regional fame, but also landed on Billboard’s Top 40 list twice. Their music video for “He Can’t Love You” played on MTV.
Stanley is still very much a performer and a celebrity in his hometown. Since the Blossom days of the ’80s, Stanley has worked with several bands and done solo work. He estimates he’s made more than 30 albums.
Today he performs in venues all over Northeast Ohio and — fittingly — is an afternoon drive host at the classic rock station 98.5 WNCX. He and his band The Resonators in April sold out the Akron Civic Theatre. He’s working on another album from his home studio.
At a recent photo shoot at the Agora Theater and Ballroom on Euclid Avenue, he caught up with a handful of people who stopped by to say hi.
Stanley is reflective and private. Anyone who hasn’t seen him since their college days in the ’70s or ’80s would immediately recognize him....