Guitarist and singer (4/14/1949-1/7/2011), was a sparkplug of Cleveland’s music scene in the ’70s. He fronted American Noise, which released a self-titled album in 1980 on Elektra subsidiary Planet Records and became a WMMS favorite and spearhead of its “Pride of Cleveland” promotional campaign. WMMS listeners of that era will recall tracks like “Anyone With a Heart,” “American Noise,” and “Out on the Street.” American Noise broke up in 1986, never catching the wave that propelled similar melodic hard rock bands like Loverboy, Mr. Mister, and Survivor to stardom, despite Balzer’s hard work and relentless promotion. Balzer retired from music and formed a company that sold specialty promotional items. Balzer was already a star in the local music scene, based primarily on his stint in Circus, which lasted only a year but had an outsized impact on the area music scene. He and his guitarist brother Bruce, who’d previously played togther in December’s Children and Ambleside, joined the popular band, which had a local hit with “Stop Wait and Listen,” in mid-1973 and propelled it to another level.