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Destination: In Depth Interview with Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons

Destination: In Depth Interview with Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons

Missing Persons To Headline Gallagher’s On March 31st

The legendary Dale Bozzio has had – and continues to maintain – a vast and brilliant career in music.  Founder of the iconic new wave band Missing Persons – whose catalog of tunes includes Walking In L.A., Destination Unknown, Mental Hopscotch, Words and more – Dale Bozzio has also collaborated with industry giants such as Frank Zappa and Prince.  Life is indeed a strange and wonderful experience, as Highwire Daze recently found out within this all encompassing interview we conducted with the one and only Dale Bozzio.  Read on, and don’t forget that Missing Persons will be headlining Gallagher’s Pub in Huntington Beach in March 31st!

First of all, what are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming show at Gallagher’s, and what was it like to play at such an intimate place?
It’s one of my favorite places actually. And it is an intimate place. It’s where my friends come – and my friend is the owner and I can also play there with my friends in Diane & The Deductibles. It’s a super gathering and it warms my heart. It’s kind of a social thing for me. I love to play concerts where I can hug everybody – and they talk to me and tell me their stories – and when they saw me – whether it was 30 years ago or if it was last week. It really makes the world come around for me because I hear some incredible stories. People come with their albums from 1982. It’s remarkable that they still have the memories and desire to seek me out.

In 2019, what could one expect from a live Missing Persons show?
Well surprisingly enough in this new age and era, I am still playing everything by scratch – which means the authentic players which each and every part is played solely by that particular musician with no tapes or extra electronics. Meaning, I could play at the top of the Eiffel Tower without a plug. I feel I am bringing that to the table, which is a unique stature of Missing Persons when we played live. Each person knew their parts – the bass, the keyboards, what have you – and they were laid down like a train track. We went around in a gear – and that’s the way the albums were recorded and produced and everyone knew their part. And when we all got together, and we played all of our parts perfectly, the train would run.

Your current lineup has Prescott Niles of The Knack in it. How did Prescott Niles become involved with Missing Persons?
Prescott and I have been personal friends for a very time – about 30 years now. We are old friends from another guitar player Chancesky that introduced us. And we’ve just stayed friends through his career with The Knack and mine with Missing Persons with the Terry Bozzio timing. And we just came together – once I moved to Los Angeles – about six years ago I came back from Boston to LA– that’s where I’m from – I’m from Medford, Massachusetts. I called him and said “I’m going to come back to LA. Let’s put Missing Persons back together.” And since I’ve acquired ownership of the trademark, I was hence not feeling so shy about playing the concerts and being Missing Persons, instead of being Dale Bozzio of or blah blah blah. People know me as Missing Persons and so that’s the way I show up.

What was it like working with Prince on your solo album and what was your reaction when you found out that he had passed?
Prince was a real interesting situation for me. I did an album on his label Paisley Park. He gave me his studio and his engineer and all of his guitars and drums – all of his instruments and let me make my album. He had a very open mind. We really connected musically. He could see the direction that I was going in and trying to get away from the pop era of Missing Persons. Which I still haven’t been able to get away from that… (Laughter) and I probably never will. It’s so funny. And I was like “Okay cool. We’ll brand out a little into this soul kind of vibe.” I am a white girl and I guess I sound that way. I just don’t have the soul that it takes. I wanted to be funky – and I got it across in this one song called Simon Simon.

It went to 10 on the Billboard Dance Charts in Europe – and Prince wanted me to go to Europe and promote the record and it was in 1988. So I was all geared up and ready to go – album was made, video was made – I was going to do press and then come back and do concerts in America. But then all of a sudden my father had a heart attack and he was in Boston and I had to leave immediately Christmas Eve and go back to Boston. And when I arrived, I had to call Prince and you didn’t have cell phones or anything back then. There was not that kind of technology for everybody. I actually called him from the hospital and told him that I was there – that my dad had a heart attack and I had to be by his side. He was 85 years old – my dad wasn’t a spring chicken. He said, “Oh no, you get back here right away! You gotta go to Europe and promote this record! What are you doing?” And I said, “What do you mean what am I doing? I’m here with my father.” And he said “Oh, yeah? Well you obviously love your father more than me.” And I said “Well you said that. I didn’t.” And he said “Well, you’re fired.” Well I was a little bit astonished – taken aback by what he said. I said “Excuse me? Look here babe, you’re supposed to put 50 gra