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Missing Persons

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Biography

Famed as much for their video-ready space age image as for their music, the Los Angeles-based new wave outfit Missing Persons formed in 1980, a year after the marriage of singer Dale Bozzio and her husband, drummer Terry. A one-time member of Frank Zappa's backing band, Terry Bozzio met the former Dale Consalvi (an ex-Playboy Bunny) at a Hollywood recording studio; after founding Missing Persons — initially dubbed U.S. Drag — the couple recruited fellow Zappa alumnus Warren Cuccurullo on guitar and Patrick O'Hearn on bass, and with classically trained keyboardist Chuck Wild in tow, they began playing area clubs.

In 1981, the band released its self-titled debut EP; after signing to Capitol, the label reissued the record in 1982, and the singles "Words" and "Destination Unknown" both nearly hit the Top 40. Their videos also helped Missing Persons find success on the fledgling MTV network, where Dale Bozzio's hiccuping voice and campy look (comprised of shocking-pink hair and sci-fi outfits capped off with Plexiglass bras) combined with the group's synth-driven songs to make them naturals for heavy rotation. Later in 1982, the group issued its first full-length album, Spring Session M (an anagram of their name), which launched the underground smash "Walking in L.A."

After 1984's Rhyme and Reason notched only a minor hit with the single "Give," Missing Persons enlisted Chic's Bernard Edwards to produce 1986's dance-pop effort Color in Your Life; the album stiffed, however, and both the band and the Bozzios themselves broke up. While Dale Bozzio issued one solo album on Prince's Paisley Park label, Terry Bozzio went on to work with Jeff Beck; Cuccurullo, meanwhile, joined Duran Duran, O'Hearn recorded several instrumental new age albums, and Wild composed music for films and television.

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