Michael Stanton

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Michael Stanton
Background information
Birth name Michael Stanton
Years active 19891990
Instrument(s) guitar

Michael Stanton is a Texan born musician and was the guitarist for Avant Garde.


Meeting Rivers Cuomo

Michael Stanton first met Rivers Cuomo (then going by Peter Kitts) at a five week Berklee Music program in Boston. Stanton said he wanted to approach Cuomo and his quickly formed gang of rockers, but was unsure quite how he could. One day, Stanton was playing "Master of Puppets" on guitar. Cuomo heard it, knocked on his door and the two "hit it off really well". Said Stanton, "We did everything together. It was a really fun time. We'd record wicked instrumental guitar songs on a 4-track. One was called 'Plankton Frito,' and it had a mean sounding Phrygian harmonized riff".

The two also spent hours writing out elaborate counterpoint dual guitar solos and recording them. Other than playing guitar, Cuomo, Stanton, and some of their friends would go out for pizza at night or take the subway around. They also saw Rocky Horror Picture Show. Together, the two honed their sense of relative pitch. Stanton has stated that his favorite memory of his teenage years was spending time with Cuomo in Boston. After the music program, Cuomo convinced Stanton to move to Connecticut to join his band Avant Garde.

Avant Garde

Stanton stayed at Cuomo's house, where he'd hang out with him and his brother Leaves. He got a job with Cuomo working at a Domino's Pizza for six hours a day. The two would also play lots of Nintendo and stay up talking about girls. Stanton felt that Cuomo's mom, Beverly Shoenberger, made him feel right at home. Said Stanton, "She's a really nice lady, and my mom and her had in common a kind of new age mentality. His stepdad was nice too, although mostly absent. Rivers didn't talk about his real dad much". When he learned Cuomo's parents were getting a divorce, he relocated to Justin Fisher's (also of Avant Garde) house so that he was not a burden.

When Avant Garde moved to LA, Stanton and Cuomo drove out together, stopping for a few days at Stanton's house in Texas on the way. The other band members came out separately a few days later.

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See also