Missing Persons is one of those iconic bands from the ’80s that will forever be ingrained in our memory. The Los Angeles band was a darling of MTV, VH-1 and new wave radio stations all over the planet. The iconic front-woman Dale Bozzio was a major factor in that role.
The biography of a woman in a successful band is interesting enough, but Bozzio has way more stories to tell. From her early days in Massachusetts, to the Playboy Bunny Club in Boston, then the journey to Los Angeles at the invitation of Hugh Hefner… well, you can assume she has some juicy details. The book, “Life is So Strange,” promises to detail “intimate and inspirational moments” and Bozzio “kisses and tells ALL.”
Most of us know Bozzio from her Missing Persons role, which she continues to tour under. Formed in 1980 with her new husband/drummer Terry Bozzio and guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, the band met while working with the legendary Frank Zappa. Dale would go on to provide vocals for two major Zappa projects: “Joe’s Garage” and “Thing-Fish.”
The thing about Bozzio and Missing Persons, life can be stranger than fiction. She is a character in the story of the decade of decadence that has become larger-than-life. Through their music and her words, we all get to live through the experience that was the ’80s as Dale Bozzio.
As for the story of Missing Persons, that reads almost like an unreal Tella Novella filled with ups and downs. The music made the band, but their infamy made them legends. Their self-released, self-titled EP which included singles “Mental Hopscotch” and “Words” simply blew up. With touring, playing the Los Angeles music scene, and local radio station KROQ playing their stuff, they got the attention of Capital Records and the label re-released the EP.
The positive response to the new EP led to their first full-length studio album, 1982’s “Spring Session M.” Keeping “Words” in the track listing, the album found huge success with “Destination Unknown,” “Windows,” and the mega-hit, “Walking in L.A.”
The album would go gold and Missing Persons was a legit hit.
Like any successful band, Missing Persons became victims of their own cartoon crazy success. While follow-up albums did not capture the uber frenzy of “Spring Session M,” the band enjoyed success with songs “Surrender Your Heart” and “Give” (from “Rhyme & Reason” in 1984), and “I Can’t Think About Dancin’” (from “Color in Your Life” in 1986).
By this point, the touring and tensions led to the split of Dale and Terry, and the eventual breakup of Missing Persons.
Many great stories always have a twist. Dale would regroup with Terry and Cuccurullo (after his stint in Duran Duran) in 2001. They did a few shows and released singles “Dark and Dangerously Guy” and “Throw Money,” but Terry again exited.
Missing Persons with Bozzio and Cuccurullo would tour here and there over the decades, plus release two more albums, but by 2014, it was Dale alone as a founding member. Using the moniker Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio, two more albums were released (in addition to her own solo material).
The iconic photos of Dale Bozzio throughout her journey in Missing Persons are captured throughout “Life Is So Strange.”
Missing Persons remains a force and they are as electric as ever,. The band now features Dale (vocals of course), Fred Bensi (keyboards), Karl D’Amico (guitar), Prescott Niles (bass), and Andy Sanesi (drums). Bozzio has been touring with the gang – even doing some fantastic shows with Dramarama, Oingo Boingo Former Members, and A Flock of Seagulls – but she has also been putting pen to paper.
Written with Keith Valcourt, Dale Bozzio’s “Life is So Strange” covers working with Frank Zappa, the incredible rise of Missing Persons, her Prince collaborations, and tons of color photos, poetry, lyric sheets, plus a collectible pink vinyl with recut versions of “Destination Unknown” and a remix of “Mental Hopscotch” by Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus). Also, each book is personally autographed by the legend herself.
In a recent interview with us, Bozzio says the book is the story she wanted to tell in the way she wanted the story to be told. It covers the loves and losses in her life and a redemption of finishing this book project. If you love music history, “Life Is So Strange” is a book for you.
“Life is So Strange” is available now, so go out and get it!