Dale Bozzio: Destination Unknown

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When people think about Dale Bozzio, the drop-dead gorgeous frontwoman of the ’80s new wave band, Missing Persons, they think of her super sexy persona and distinctive squeak in songs like “Words” and “Destination Unknown.” Unfortunately, the story of Dale’s life today does not resemble any of that. An arrest on animal cruelty charges in 2008, have led to her being labelled an animal hoarder.

Born Dale Frances Consalvi in Medford, Massachusetts in 1955, Dale wanted to be an actor at a young age. When she was 16, she was admitted to Emerson College’ performing arts program. While in Beantown, she looked in the mirror and realized she was more Playboy bunny material. She got a job at the city’s Playboy Club. And, in 1975, she was named Boston Playboy Club Bunny of the Year.

In 1976, she flew to Los Angeles to try her hand (pun intended) at becoming a Playboy Valentine party hostess. Hugh Hefner requested a meeting with her, interviewed her and offered her a place to stay while she went on auditions for acting roles. Pretty sure we all know what that means…and so did Dale. She declined. She did go on to pose for Playboy, as well as Hustler. She did accept an offer however from Frank Zappa whom she met previously at one of his Boston concerts. Frank asked her to appear on his rock opera album, Joe’s Garage singing the role of Mary. Dale went on to also be a part of his musical, Thing-Fish. It was there that she would meet her future husband, Terry Bozzio. In 1980, Dale and Terry formed Missing Persons with Warren Cuccurullo (later to replace Andy Taylor in Duran Duran), also a Zappa musician. The band became known for their new wave music featuring Dale’s high-pitched squeaks and over-the-top, colorful and very sexy wardrobe and hair styles. Lady Gaga is often compared to (and accused of ripping off) Dale’s fashion sense.

Missing Persons produced three-full length, studio albums and disbanded in 1986. Dale continues to tour performing the band’s music, but due to some legal problems, she goes under the name Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio. In 1988, Dale released her first solo album on Prince’s Paisley Park Records. Her first single, “Simon, Simon” was a flop. Don’t believe me? Check out this horrible video.

In 1986, Dale and Terry divorced. There was an incident where Terry accused Prince of not promoting Dale’s career because she refused to sleep with him. In 1987, she married entrepreneur Leonard Holness II. They divorced the next year. In 1990, she married a local Boston businessman Richard Mckenzie. They have two sons, Shane Maxmilian and Troy Sebastian. They divorced in 2006.

As the years went on, things got a little crazier…like an arrest-and-conviction-of-animal-cruelty-charge crazy. In 2008 while living in New Hampshire, Dale was accused of animal hoarding and charged with keeping some 30 cats in horrific conditions. She was known to take in feral cats. While on tour, she says, she had arranged for a caretaker to come and feed and watch the animals. This person developed pneumonia before coming to the house and never showed up. Somehow, Dale claims she never knew that there was no one to watch the cats. When police arrived at the house after neighbor complaints of the smell, they saw a home full of starving and dehydrated animals. Some had already died, many were ill. A bloody cat leg was found on the kitchen floor. Apparently, one cat had died and some others began feeding on it. In a 2009 Boston Phoenix article, she told the reporter that the whole charge and conviction was a case of crooked cops, small-town conspiracy and lying witnesses. The reality is, she was convicted on the charges, barred by a judge from keeping pets and sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 60 days deferred for two years. She was also ordered to complete 250 hours of community service and made to pay $2,700, the cost to euthanize 12 of the sickest cats found in her home. Her lawyer used the “crazy artist” defense and told the judge that the awful case of abuse was the result of negligence, not bad intentions. He told the Phoenix that friends, such as Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” singer Tommy Heath, could attest to her good heart. Heath called her “compassionate, honest, a loving parent, and a champion of animal rights” in a statement read to the court. Dale told the judge that she has a long history of saving animals—burying roadkill, rescuing cats while on tour (Run Kitty!) and saving a trapped bumblebee in her kitchen. She even performed on NBC’s reality show Hit Me Baby One More Time in 2005, trying to win $10,000 for the Humane Society of  the United States—P.M. Dawn walked away with the prize. In the end, she agreed to go to jail and take responsibility. “I’m only here for the good of the world, and if you tell me to go and clean every cat’s cage from here to China, I will…I would lay down my life to save an animal, and I respect your time, and I’m sorry to make this into a circus for you,” she told the court. “I’m crumbling. I beg of you to forgive me.”

In a somewhat strange turn of events, Dale tried to get Consalvi Foods, a line of Italian gourmet products and organic wines, off the ground. She set up a Twitter account (@ConsalviFoods), but has only posted 4 times: two about the company, and two about Lady Gaga. It would seem that the company never really amounted to much. One reason could be that after Dale’s legal ordeal, she moved to California where she was found in violation of the terms of her probation which stated that she was not allowed to have any pets. Apparently she was living in an apartment with two cats and two dogs. Not cool.
Her official website: http://dalebozzioofficial.com/ lists three tour dates for 2012, one of which was cancelled. Her Facebook page is a lot of postings of Youtube music that she likes, such as Bruce Willis’ “Respect Yourself.” Ummm, OK.

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3 responses »

  1. O.K. – where to begin! Great school to Playboy, No one saw the future coming? No to “The Hef” but yes to Zappa. Again – No one sees this!?! Three Marriages, two kids, thousands of cats, REALLY, STILL? Jail and then a “gourmet” cook? Ummm – WHAT! Now Gaga? With that why not Amy Winehouse also? Were the 80’s all the “preformers” of today have to look too for inspiration?
    And what ever happened to the actual bands? Let’s be thankful her cooking career didn’t really take off. Who knows were that could have gone. Her poor kids. Let’s hope they got feed. Oh yeah, great mug shot!

  2. This story bears a disturbing resemblance to ‘Spinal Tap’, only, true to the axiom, the truth ended up stranger than that fiction….

  3. I happen to really enjoy people with eccentric lives. If it weren’t for the animal hoarding I think Dale is awesome! She had the balls to say no to Hugh Hefner with his little “offer” and pursue an off beat career in alternative new wave music. She could have been a mainstream blonde actress but she decided to dye her hair all different colors and be an awesome frontwoman for Missing Persons! I love her voice and their best album is “the best of Missing Persons!” Rock on Dale! 🙂

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