Last month's all-star tribute to Michael Stanley at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame served only to confirm Stanley's enormous and eternal presence in the Northeast Ohio rock and roll scene for the past 30 years. Old-school rock and rollers as diverse as Donnie Iris and Joe Walsh, and an entire slate of Michael Stanley Band alumni showed up to pay homage to this favorite son of Cleveland and to afford him the opportunity to lay his rightful claim to a spot in the often less-than-starstruck musical history of this town. It can be argued, in fact, that Stanley is the
perfect rock star for Cleveland. He's a true believer who has persevered through mild forays on the edges of national success as well as doing hard time as a middle-of-the-road singer/songwriter in the music industry. Stanley's never-say-die approach is a badge of honor that any Clevelander would be proud of. A decade and a half after the legendary (at least by local standards) Michael Stanley Band "officially" broke up, Stanley's imprint as a fixture on the local rock and roll landscape is still obvious. Whether it be on the airwaves during his drive-time classic rock radio gig, gracing a host of area stages in various solo and band-accompanied shows, or releasing his 18th record (Eighteen Down
), Stanley and the memory of MSB are alive and well along both sides of the Cuyahoga River. And although Stanley interjects his newer material into the shows he does these days, he's no fool. When it comes down to the bottom line, he takes some advice that he himself once crooned early on in his career, assuring you that the man still plays all the hits that you wanna hear.