Missing Persons Found Again

Staple '80s new wave act Missing Persons will reunite for a brief series of California shows in July that will be the precursor further touring later this year, and a full U.S. tour next summer. Best

Staple '80s new wave act Missing Persons will reunite for a brief series of California shows in July that will be the precursor further touring later this year, and a full U.S. tour next summer. Best known for such songs as "Destination Unknown" and "Words," the core of the original band -- singer Dale Bozzio, drummer Terry Bozzio, and guitarist Warren Cuccurullo -- also plans to work on music for a possible new studio album.

Cuccurullo, who has been a member of Duran Duran for the past 15 years, tells Billboard.com that the idea to spearhead a Missing Persons reunion came with the decision of his fellow Duran Duran members to reunite the original group. "And then I thought, well, we might as well get Missing Persons back together," he says. "There's an interest in that music from the early '80s, we were one of the hottest bands of the time... we're all alive, why don't we do it?"

The four-date tour will kick off with a July 17 show at San Diego's 4th & B. A pair of Los Angeles shows will follow July 18-19 at the Roxy, with a finale the next night at the House of Blues in Anaheim.

As for new material, Cuccurullo says that he and Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes have been writing together for some time, resulting in several things that might suit Dale Bozzio's voice. "And lately I've been working on some melodies, and [Dale's] been coming up with titles and cool little lines, and it's like, 'Wow, this is how it used to be.'," he says.

"The funny thing is, we've got about 10 or 15 songs that we've never recorded, from our early club days [that may be revisited in the studio]," he adds. "Actually, one of them we're going to be performing in the set now, called 'Dark and Dangerous Guy.' It's really good."

While he says several labels are interested releasing new Missing Persons material, Cuccurullo wants to gauge the reaction at the early shows before any commitments are made. "I'm curious to see what people think of this stuff," he says. "I think we're going to be playing for a lot of people that never saw us before."

Rounding out the band on the road will be bassist Wes Wehmiller, who has worked with Cuccurullo on solo projects and with Duran Duran, as well as keyboardist Ron Poster, who has worked with Dale Bozzio in her solo efforts, which have included touring under the Missing Persons banner. Terry Bozzio, who was a drummer in Frank Zappa's band before forming Missing Persons, has collaborated with the likes of Jeff Beck and Deborah Harry, and conducted drum clinics since the band, and his marriage to Dale, split in 1986.

While busy with Missing Persons, Cuccurullo is somehow finding time to devote to a major Web initiative, the launch of cuccurullo.tv. The free areas of the site will feature news and information, as well as the opportunity to purchase memorabilia and his solo albums. Subscribers will have access to much more, including monthly downloads, regular live chats, contests, and message boards, as well as some features designed to provide a more intimate connection between the artist and fans.

"The plan [for the site] is to do things that people aren't really doing with the Internet, which is giving 100% of who they are," he explains. "With the Internet, you can deliver whatever music you want to deliver in whatever form you want -- you can put out demos, if you like, you can have any kind of lyrical content, you can have 10-minute instrumentals -- and you can also appear nude, if you so choose!"

To that end, there will be a personal photo collection available, while premium membership will grant access to adult and erotic material featuring Cuccurullo, which he says will be presented "in a humorous way." The most interesting of the site's features may be the streaming video "Come Clean Q&A" section, where the artist will answer questions while in the shower.

"If somebody goes onto my site, they'll know me," the guitarist says. "If they ever run into me, they'll get the same person they got online. It's not like listening to a record and going, 'Wow, it's so mysterious.' It's different. It's like, 'here I am.'"

An online streaming station dubbed Radio Cuccurullo will be launched in 2001. Along with his own music, it will feature many of the artist's favorite songs and artists. Live video Webcasts are also planned.