REM frontman Michael Stipe was so shy during the band's early days, he only came out of his shell when he performed.

The SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE star, who was often too timid to communicate, believes he became addicted to the adrenaline rush.

Michael says, "Basically, I became an adrenaline junkie. And that's a much stronger drug than heroin. I loved it, but it had a debilitating effect on me away from music.

"I found it impossible to engage with anybody, even friends and family. I'd be sitting with them in a restaurant after a show, but I'd be distant and disengaged.

"The adrenaline was still pumping through me, and all I could think about was how to get my next fix."

11/11/2003 21:03