Wareham Campground Was Once Home to ’80s Metal Icon
Rock star Michael Sweet has made headlines in the music world this week with his recent appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast – but did you know Sweet, lead singer of the '80s band Stryper, was once a Wareham resident and campground ranger?
Stryper, with their yellow-and-black spandex attire and Christian messages in their songs, achieved platinum sales in the 1980s, fueled by their Top 40 power ballad “Honestly.” The band broke up in 1991 shortly after Sweet, who co-founded the band in 1983 with his brother Robert, left the group.
Kyle Rae Tucy and Michael Sweet met in 1984 on the set of Stryper’s first music video, “You Know What to Do,” when she served as the band’s makeup artist. She had a successful career in Hollywood working makeup on productions such as Breakin’, The Terminator, Teen Wolf, Ghost, and the cult classics Repo Man and Night of the Creeps.
After Sweet left Stryper, he moved to Wareham with Kyle to help her run the family business: the Maple Park campground and its associated cranberry bogs. During his time known as “Ranger Mike,” Sweet continued to record solo albums, which were sold in the campground store. He would also perform at special events at the park as well.
His story was shared on an episode of VH-1’s Where Are They Now?: Metal Mania in 2000.
Sweet reunited with Stryper in 1999, and also served a stint as singer and guitarist with the legendary rock band Boston after original singer Brad Delp’s suicide in 2007.
The Sweets were married for 22 years, until Kyle’s death in March 2009 after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. The couple had two children, Michael Jr. and Ellena. Michael Sweet then married Lisa Champagne in January 2010.