From MusicWiki Detroit
Jump to: navigation, search
The Romantics
The Romantics.jpg
Background Information




Power Pop, New Wave, Pop Rock, Rock

Years Active

1997- Present


Nemperor, Bomp!, Ktel

Current Members

Wally Palmar
Mike Skill
Rich Cole
Brad Elvis

Past Members

Jimmy Marinos
Coz Canler
David Petratos
Clem Burke
Johnny "Bee" Badanjek


Info from website
The Romantics formed in 1977. The original members of The Romantics - Wally Palmar, Jimmy Marinos, Mike Skill and Rich Cole - formally became a band on Valentine's Day at My Fair Lady Club, in Detroit, opening for the New MC5. They were influenced by 1950s American rock and roll, Detroit's MC5, The Stooges, early Bob Seger, Motown R&B, 1960s North American garage rock as well as the British Invasion rockers.

After signing with Nemperor Records in 1979, The Romantics released their debut LP, recorded in three weeks. Anchored by "That's What I Like About You," "When I Look In Your Eyes" and a cover of Ray Davies' "She's Got Everything," The album is an exemplary pop-rock period piece. The Romantics evoke a youthful portrait, haunting in its innocence, a direct contrast to the tough world they know in Detroit.

A follow-up, National Breakout, was released in 1980, followed by tours of Europe and Australia. More influences -- surf music, Motown -- were evidenced, yet the sound was increasingly unique. "Tomboy," "21 and Over" and "Stone Pony" lived up to the post-punk battle cry of "Two minutes or bust."

The Bomp material was included on a compilation titled Midwest Pop Explosion (Quark 1980), but by the time of 1981's Strictly Personal, lead guitarist Skill departs and is replaced by guitarist Coz Canler, only to return one album later, replacing Rich Cole.

The band reaches its commercial peak in 1983-1984 with In Heat, a platinum album bearing two top ten singles: "Talking In Your Sleep" and "One In A Million." This should have been the big payoff, but drummer Marinos departs as "success" creates division and confrontation between management and the band.

The Romantics, with Dave Petratos on drums, released Rhythm Romance in 1985. Other than the 1990 greatest hits compilation, "What I Like About You" (and Other Romantic Hits), Rhythm Romance is the last record The Romantics cut for Epic/Nemperor.

In 1987, The Romantics endure an inordinate amount of adversity. The fall-out and lawsuit with their former managers slowed royalty payments and prevented the band from focusing on recording and touring. In late 1990, the Romantics added current Blondie drummer Clem Burke to the lineup, and in 1994 they released a 5 song EP titled Made In Detroit for Westbound Records, containing fellow Detroiter George Clintons' Funkadelic songs along with three originals. Later that year, The Romantics received an award for Outstanding Pop/Rock Recording Artists from the Motor City Music Awards, now called Detroit Music Awards.

In 1992, when Clem had other obligations, The Romantics enlisted legendary Detroit Wheels drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek to perform with them at Rob Tyner's (MC5) Memorial Service.

1995 saw The Romantics settle their 7 year old lawsuit against their former management and regained control of their publishing rights and music catalog. In 1996 Jimmy Marinos, the original drummer, rejoined the Romantics to tour and work on recording projects until leaving the group in 1997. The Romantics were presented with the Distinguished Achievement Award at the Detroit Music Awards in 1999.

The next several years were spent recording and finishing songs for their nextalbum, "61/49". Released in the fall of 2003 and named for the storied crossroads near Clarksdale, Mississippi where bluesman Robert Johnson made his pact with the devil, "61/49" is intended as a tip of the hat to the roots of rock 'n' roll and the nucleus of The Romantics' fervent pop. The album features members Wally Palmar, Mike Skill, Coz Canler and drummer Clem Burke (a founding member of Blondie). They were joined by their original drummer, Jimmy Marinos, as well as drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek with a supporting cast that included keyboardists Eddie Hawrysch (Black Crowes) and Luis Resto, among others.

In 2004, due to touring commitments with Blondie, Clem Burke recommended the addition of Brad Elvis. Regaled by both critics and fellow drummers for his precision beat-keeping and showmanship, Elvis is best known as a member of the Elvis Brothers and Big Hello.

In addition to being a staple on classic and contemporary rock radio, television commercials and movies; Sirius/XM Satellite radio has also embraced The Romantics. Their songs can be heard on a number of stations including Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

2011 brought the re-emergence of original bass player, vocalist, Rich Cole. With his addition, the band is able to expand their set list and include more songs from their first two albums, as well as new and unreleased material. They are now able to focus in more on harmonies and getting back to their original rock sound that established The Romantics from the very beginning.

Currently, Palmar, Skill, Cole, and Elvis are touring and writing songs.


Studio albums

Year Album Peak positions
Billboard 200|US Sweden|SWE
1980 The Romantics (album)|The Romantics 61
National Breakout 176
1981 Strictly Personal (The Romantics album)|Strictly Personal 182
1983 In Heat (The Romantics album)|In Heat 14 Certified Gold in Canada and US 33
1985 Rhythm Romance 77
2003 61/49
"—" denotes releases that failed to chart


Year Album
1979 Tell it to Carrie/Runnin' Away//First in Line/Let's Swing
1993 Made in Detroit

Live albums

Year Album
1996 The King Biscuit Flour Hour Presents: The Romantics Live in Concert


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
Billboard Hot 100|US Mainstream Rock (chart)|US Main Rock Hot Dance Club Songs|US Dance Sweden|SWE
1977 "Little White Lies" Single only
1978 "Tell It to Carrie"
1980 "What I Like About You (song)|What I Like About You" 49 The Romantics
1980 "When I Look in Your Eyes"
"Tell It to Carrie" (re-release)
"Forever Yours" National Breakout
1981 "A Night Like This"
"No One Like You" Strictly Personal
1983 "Talking in Your Sleep (The Romantics song)|Talking in Your Sleep" 3 2 1 5 In Heat
"Rock You Up" 49
1984 "One in a Million" 37 22 21
1985 "Test of Time" 71 44 Rhythm Romance
"Mystified" 42


Additional Reading

Washington Times
Michigan Rock and Roll Legends
Metro Times

External Links