This team was Michael Stanley's team
I never considered the notion that one column after writing about the death of a local radio personality, Les Levine, I’d be writing a similar column about Michael Stanley.
But here we go again, ironically, navigating a similar path for a local rock hero/disc jockey. It’s particularly ironic for me, personally, because – as was the case with Levine – I wasn’t much of a fan of Michael Stanley either (at least the on-stage version).
In Cleveland, Stanley’s reputation was more legend than substance, probably because he arrived on the rock scene at the tail end of the rock explosion of the ‘60s and ‘70s, in which a stretch of incredible rock talent made it difficult for the “merely good” talent to make much of an impact. And, make no mistake about it, Stanley’s gig as the afternoon talk show host on classic rock station WNCX didn’t hurt his visibility throughout the city, and undoubtedly contributed to the growth of the Michael Stanley “legend” over the years. As a result, I found him much more entertaining as a radio jock than a musician.
But enough about Stanley’s level of success. What impacted me the most was when he did a Cleveland Indians commercial spot called “Tribe ’85 … this is my team,” which was based on Stanley’s most successful song (chart-wise), “My Town.” In my mind, it was a perfect blend of decent rock with horrid baseball. (For the record, the 1985 Indians lost 102 games, so if we couldn’t cheer, at least we could sing a goofy jingle.)
Ah yes, the ’85 Tribe … I remember them well – as forgettable as they might have been. Coming off the heels of the 1984 team, which won 75 games (darn near a contender given the quality of baseball in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s) we were optimistically dreaming for the impossible: a contender. Well, those dreams were squashed by, oh, I don’t know, mid-May or so. But they couldn’t take our Michael Stanley jingle. Or could they? Read on …
Interestingly enough, I looked all over YouTube trying to locate the “Tribe ‘85” Michael Stanley radio ad (and I could have sworn he also cut a TV ad or two) but I came up with zilch – zip – nada – nothing. Perhaps Uncle Jeffy is ready to check into the nuthouse? Nah, I know Michael made those commercials; I’m (almost) positive. (Note to the reader(s): If anybody out there in reader land remembers the commercials I’m talking about, please write me (courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org) and back me up, okay? The person you keep out of the looney bin just may be me – as I’m pretty sure my wife would jump at the chance to send me on a permanent “vacation.”)
Here’s hoping that last statement doesn’t give Editor Tara any ideas …
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!