|Origin||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Genres||New Wave, synthpop|
|Associated acts||Frank Zappa|
|Former members||Warren Cuccurullo|
Missing Persons was an American band who played a blend of New Wave music and electronic pop rock. The band was founded in 1980 in Los Angeles by guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, vocalist Dale Bozzio, and drummer Terry Bozzio. They went on to add bassist Patrick O'Hearn and keyboardist Chuck Wild. Dale's quirky voice and unique fashions made the band a favorite on MTV in the early 1980s.
Dale and Terry Bozzio met and married while working with Frank Zappa, and Cuccurullo encountered the pair while contributing to the Zappa album Joe's Garage. O'Hearn was also a former member of Zappa's touring band.
In 1980 the band made its first record, a 4-song EP entitled Missing Persons, in Zappa's brand-new UMRK studios; the recording was financed by Cuccurullo's father. The band toured, promoted the EP, appeared in the movie Lunch Wagon, and became a must-see band among the L.A. live music crowd. "Mental Hopscotch" was a #1 record on local radio station KROQ, and the self-promoted EP ended up selling 7,000 copies.
Two years of hard work led up to a signing with Capitol Records in 1982. With label support, the re-released EP sold another 250,000 units, and the new album Spring Session M (an anagram of "Missing Persons") went gold.
The singles "Mental Hopscotch", "Destination Unknown," "Words," "Walking in L.A.," and "Windows" met with varying success, especially in the local markets of Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The music video for "Words" used unusual (albeit primitive by today's standards) visual effects, making it popular on the fledgling cable TV channel MTV.
Missing Persons appeared at the three-day Southern California concert, the US Festival in May 1983, along with Berlin, The Pretenders, U2, David Bowie, and many more.
The experimental album Rhyme & Reason (1984) was not a great success, and Capitol was not happy about the direction the band was taking. The band followed up with the more conventional Color In Your Life in June 1986, but during the short-lived promotional tour, increasing tensions between Terry and Dale Bozzio led to the end of the tour, the couple's marriage, and the band.
After the breakup of the band, Cuccurullo had his greatest success as guitarist for Duran Duran for fifteen years. Replacing original guitarist Andy Taylor in August 1986, he performed on the albums Notorious ('86) and Big Thing ('88), and was the sole guitarist on the global tours that followed. Becoming an official member in June 1989, he appeared on the group's next four studio albums, including being the co-writer of hit singles "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone." He left Duran Duran in 2001 due to a reunion of the group's original members. Warren also recorded several solo albums before leaving Duran Duran and continues to do so.
Dale Bozzio scored minor success as a solo performer with a top 40 hit on the Billboard Dance Chart, "Simon Simon", produced by Prince. Terry Bozzio has developed a varied and respected solo career. Beginning in 1987 with Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck, Terry has worked with several top level groups and artists as a session and tour drummer. He records albums and instructional videos in many styles and is a highly sought-after session/tour drummer as well as performing constantly at European music festivals and worldwide drum clinics. Presently, Bozzio is performing and recording with Californian nu metal band Korn in preparation for their untitled eighth studio album in place of regular band drummer David Silveria. O'Hearn is a composer of ambient instrumental music on his own albums and for television and movies.
Wild composes New Age and meditation music under the name Liquid Mind.
Spring Session M was released on CD in 1995, followed by Rhyme and Reason and Color In Your Life in 2000. Each of the three studio CDs were newly augmented by six rare B-sides or live tracks.
Classic Remasters is a compilation of remastered tracks and dance mixes issued by Capitol Records with no band involvement.
Beginning in 1997, Cuccurullo began work on his "Missing Persons Archival Trilogy" project. The first CD to be released was Late Nights Early Days in 1998, a live concert recorded in 1981 with the added 1980 studio track "Action/Reaction." This was followed up by a compilation of modern remixes of classic MP tracks, Missing Persons Remixed Hits (1999) which included the "Destination Unknown (TV Mania Mix)" remix. In 2002 Lost Tracks was released, a collection of extremely rare Missing Persons live tracks from five different eras of the band.
A proposed 1994 Missing Persons reunion never came to fruition.
In late 2000, Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio again began discussing a Missing Persons reunion. In May 2001, after Warren's split with Duran Duran, the new Missing Persons appeared, consisting of original members Warren, Dale and Terry. Joining them were Dale's keyboardist, Ron Poster (jazz pianist and organist for the Boston Bruins home hockey arena) and Warren's bassist, Wes Wehmiller (also formerly Duran Duran's tour bassist from 1997-2001). The short-lived, official reunion consisted of promotional activities and three live performances in July 2001.
Late 2002/early 2003 brought us "Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo." Filling in were keyboardist Ron Poster, bassist Wes Wehmiller and drummer Joe Travers (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour drummer from 1999-2001). This version of Missing Persons was featured on Access Hollywood (performing "Words") and did three live performances in February 2003, disbanding shortly thereafter.
It remains unlikely that there will ever be a full-fledged Missing Persons reunion, as Dale and Terry Bozzio, both of whom have remarried, are unwilling to work together on a longterm basis.
In 2005, Terry Bozzio and Cuccurullo collaborated on an as-yet-unreleased CD titled Playing In Tongues. At the same time, Terry Bozzio began a collaboration with Patrick O'Hearn on a project called "OUTtrio."
In 2006 a Missing Persons cover of "Into The Groove (Meeks Remix)" by Madonna appears on the tribue album "The World's Greatest 80's Tribute to Madonna" on Cleopatra Records, it is unknown if this is a reunion or simply a remix by someone called Meeks.
In 2006-2007 Missing Persons reunited to play a limited amount of live dates in California and a couple dates on the east coast including a January 6, 2007 date at the Middle East in Cambridge MA.
Missing Persons Featuring Dale BozzioEdit
Since the early 1990s, Dale Bozzio has toured with her own hired band, using the name "Missing Persons" and performing Missing Persons songs.
In June of 2005, this version of Missing Persons appeared on week five of the NBC show Hit Me Baby One More Time. They performed "Words" and a cover of the Kylie Minogue dance track, "Can't Get You Out of My Head". The winner of the show (original airdate June 30, 2005) was PM Dawn.
There has been controversy over Dale's usage of the "Missing Persons" band name and her former managers' misleading use of original member photographs when advertising her shows. Consequently, she now tours under the name "Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio." Cuccurullo occasionally joins in at the Southern California shows, usually unannounced.
- Missing Persons EP (1980) #46 US
- Spring Session M (1982) #17 US
- Rhyme & Reason (1984) #43 US
- Color in Your Life (1986) #88 US
- Best of Missing Persons (1987)
- Walking in L.A. (1988)
- Late Nights Early Days (1998)
- Missing Persons Remixed Hits (1999)
- Classic Remasters (2002)
- Lost Tracks (2002)
- [http://cglass.vinu.edu/mp.html Missing Persons Website
- Terry Bozzio's official site
- Warren Cuccurullo's official site
- Patrick O'Hearn's official site
- Chuck Wild's Liquid Mind site
- Destination Live on Extra via YouTube
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