Proclamation comes with a shot of ‘Adrenalin’

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published September 21, 2015


WARREN — When your rock group opens up for Aerosmith and Bob Seger and your music videos receive airplay on MTV, you’ve definitely hit the right chords.

Homegrown rockers Adrenalin were at the top of their game in the 1980s. They toured the country and Canada, their song “Road of the Gypsy” was featured in the film “Iron Eagle,” and fans would crowd Harpos in Detroit, the Ritz in Roseville, and New York, New York in Warren to see them let loose on stage.

Although Adrenalin broke up in the latter part of the decade, their followers never forgot them. The band recently was named into the online Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. Adrenalin received the most votes in a survey to qualify for induction.

“This is so much about what we did,” said drummer Brian Pastoria, a Warren resident and 1975 Grosse Pointe North High School graduate. “We just always wanted to make music that would be around longer than us. I just feel so appreciative and grateful that people remember us. They’re listening to the music still in 2015. We haven’t been in the studio since 1987.”

The band members headed over to the Kuhnhenn Brewery Co. in Warren the evening of Sept. 14, where state Sen. Steven Bieda and state Rep. Derek Miller, both D-Warren, presented the band with a state proclamation for their induction. Many family members and friends were present, including former Warren Mayor Art Miller, who is Derek Miller’s father.

“Some really cool music came out of here,” Bieda said. “We’ve got some great musicians. We have some musical history. We wanted to show our appreciation. It is our honor to present you with this legislative proclamation.”

“I think they were, by far, the best band in the Midwest,” Art Miller said. “If they would have had that one break, Adrenalin would have been on top of the charts.”

Named in the proclamation were Pastoria, guitarist Michael Haggerty, Michael Romeo, Jimmy Romeo, Mark Pastoria and Bruce Schafer. Also remembered on the special tribute were singers David Larson (’77-’80) and Marc Gilbert (’80-’87). Larson died in 1980 and Gilbert died in 2012.

“I was a little overwhelmed at the public’s response to them voting for us,” Haggerty said. “So much time has elapsed since our reunion shows in 2001.”

The members of Adrenalin were school friends who found a common musical bond while attending St. Veronica Catholic School in Eastpointe. By 1977 they were out of school, and they realized they had something special when they plugged in their amps and formed Adrenalin.

Between their hard-driven rock sound, their entertaining live shows and their strong songwriting skills, the band members put their talents, hearts and souls into everything they did.

“It was a whirlwind. We’d go to a radio station, go to a record store, do a show and then go back on the bus,” said Haggerty, a 1975 Grosse Pointe North High School graduate.

Their fan base grew with songs that included “Freedom Road,” “Faraway Eyes” and “Gimme Your Heart.” The first time a local radio disc jockey played Adrenalin on the air is a vivid memory for Grosse Pointe Woods resident Haggerty.

“In 1977, we submitted 12 songs they played at midnight,” Haggerty said. The station at the time was W4, and the song was a remake of Crazy Elephant’s “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin.”

While they opened up for Cheap Trick and .38 Special, the band never forgot its roots and made time for appearances at Notre Dame High School and Eastland Mall in Harper Woods.

As the band fused its groove of guitars, drums, keyboards, saxophone and strong vocals, MCA and Capitol Records came calling. But unfortunately, bad business deals got in the way.

“It was a roller coaster,” Haggerty said.

Because of those “bad breaks,” Adrenalin eventually called it quits in 1987. Some members went on to form D.C. Drive, which rocked fans with such hits as “You Need Love.”

Haggerty’s dad, Lawrence, made it out to last Monday’s proclamation unveiling.

“It’s really nice,” the 80-year-old said. “They started out as a garage band and practiced in my basement and the attic. The cops in Grosse Pointe Woods came over once in a while and told us to turn it down.”

The band obliged.

“It’s nice to see all the guys,” said the elder Haggerty, who now lives in Warren. “I haven’t seen all the band in a long time.”

Adrenalin reunited in 2001 to play three concerts in metro Detroit: at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights and at the now-closed Emerald Theatre in Mount Clemens.

For more information on Adrenalin, visit The band also has a Facebook page.