Orlando musician Dave Scott Schwartzman throws a show and signing for his memoir on time spent in punk legends Adrenalin O.D.

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click to enlarge Adrenalin O.D. in their prime - Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo
Adrenalin O.D. in their prime

Through bands like The Rondos, F-Pipes, The Smash, The Hybrids and more, the Orlando punk scene has gotten to know Dave Scott Schwartzman pretty well since he moved here in 1993. It’s a local résumé notable enough to perhaps make you forget that he had a prior famous life as a member of Adrenalin O.D. Still, even if you remember those breakout heroes of the 1980s New Jersey hardcore scene, you probably don’t know the full story. Well, Schwartzman’s brand-new book — If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Walla Walla: The Wacky History of Adrenalin O.D. — dishes it all with great first-person perspective.

Rather than some dry historical retelling, the book is a very personal account of punk kids coming up in the thick of an important era in the American underground, complete with lots of photos.

There are up-close local tales of icons like the Misfits. From there, it’s a shotgun ride through their odyssey of making their own history as Adrenalin O.D., with tour stories alongside a who’s-who punk parade that includes Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, 7 Seconds, Poison Idea, Gang Green, SNFU, Corrosion of Conformity, Rollins Band and Fishbone, among many others.

The anecdotes also go both behind and beyond the stage, including stuff like getting shade from Iron Maiden, getting high with Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations, Jello Biafra’s nudist tendencies and a UFO sighting at one of their shows. The book even gets local with Orlando names like Chuck Schuldiner of Death and music biz mover Ed Pugliesi.

But this chronicle isn’t just a rosy glory-days memoir. Schwartzman details the band’s post-prime era and unpacks their downfall with real candor. The book even gets into
his post-AOD brush with major-label rock life, his move to Orlando and AOD reunions all the way up to the 2020 COVID cancellations.

While AOD are NJHC legends, their sense of humor always set them apart in the very self-serious hardcore crowd. Naturally, and fortunately, this book carries that same spirit in Schwartzman’s tone, which makes it a brisk and colorful read. Indeed, it’s an intriguing rock story, told in all its grit and glory, that refreshes the legacy of a worthy cult band. But it’s also an inside look at the legendary people and places of a seminal time in punk rock.

To celebrate the release, there will be a book signing event this Saturday (Dec. 17) at Will’s Pub. Schwartzman himself and AOD guitarist Bruce George Wingate (who’s now also a Central Floridian), will be on hand to sign books, hopefully while tripping mad balls (read the book for those escapades). While an AOD reunion show sadly isn’t part of the program, there will be performances by The Smash (Schwartzman’s all-star classic punk tribute band) and St. Pete post-hardcore band Last Bias.

About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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