When “The Stroke” became a global hit in 1981, many thought Billy Squier was an overnight sensation, but he’d already established a music career by then. Squier mastered the guitar by the time he was 15 and played in a succession of Boston bands before forming Piper in the mid-’70s. They shared management with Kiss and opened for them on two of their three sold-out Madison Square Garden shows in 1977. Three years later, Squier’s solo debut was released and included “The Big Beat,” which became one of the most sampled rock songs during hip-hop’s nascent years. But it was 1981’s Don’t Say No that catapulted Squier into the spotlight. “The Stroke,” “My Kinda Lover” and “In the Dark” remain classic-rock staples. He followed it up with Emotions in Motion in 1983, which included the hit single “Everybody Wants You.” His ill-fated video for “Rock Me Tonight” (the one where he showed the world just awful white boys can dance) put his career in a deep tailspin that he never quite overcame. Squier’s last album was 1998’s acoustic Happy Blue, and his only recent appearances have been an acoustic show in New York four years ago and two stints with Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band. This summer’s full band tour is Squier’s first in more than a decade and a half. Get ready to stroke like it’s 1981. He performs as part of Taste of Cleveland at 9:15 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Amphitheater (1887 W. 3rd St., 216.522.4822). Tickets: $25 reserved, $8 general admission. — Brian Baker
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