Follow TV Tropes


Music / Missing Persons

Go To

What are words for when no one listens anymore?
— "Words"

Missing Persons was an American band that 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 heavy makeup 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.

Missing Persons music videos:


  • Breakup Breakout: Terry Bozzio left Frank Zappa's band to join UK (who broke up) and then Missing Persons (who also broke up), and so did not return to Zappa's band afterwards. As a result, when Missing Persons broke up he became a session drummer, and has played on many, many records and been in demand ever since.
    • Warren Cuccurullo also got a big break playing with Duran Duran afterwards, playing such memorable guitar riffs as "Serious".
  • The '80s: Their music reflects the sociocultural patterns around them.
  • '80s Hair: Dale was a prime example.
  • Follow the Leader: Dale's bright fashion sense was very influential on 80s fashion. Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani have both mentioned that they were inspired by her as well (Dale's influence is blatant on the cover of Gaga's EP The Cherrytree Sessions, which takes inspiration from Spring Session M)
  • Advertisement:
  • I Am the Band: Dale Bozzio has used the name Missing Persons for her own solo material and live shows, where she's backed by hired musicians. Rather infamously, her 2014 solo album Missing In Action was touted as "the first Missing Persons record in 28 years", despite being the work of her and a producer. The other members of the band have basically given her the go-ahead, since she is the only person apart from Warren Cucurullo who is still interested in their music.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Dale Bozzio is a woman. Terry Bozzio is a man.
  • The Power of Language: The subject of "Words", where the singer expresses frustration at her words' apparent complete lack of power.
    My lips are moving and the sound's coming out
    The words are audible but I have my doubts
    That you realize what has been said
    You look at me as if you're in a daze
    It's like the feeling at the end of the page
    When you realize you don't know what you just read ...
    What are words for when no one listens anymore?
  • Advertisement:
  • Spiritual Successor: Lady Gaga has acknowledged her inspiration from Dale, which in turn renewed Dale's popularity after years of languishing in obscurity.
  • Stealth Parody: Somewhat - Their lyrics and image frequently parodied 80s tropes. The band members had previously worked with Frank Zappa and wanted to see if they could work his interest in unusual song structures into new wave music. However, their music was more commercial than his and was frequently serious (especially on Rhyme And Reason).