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The original Lady Gaga

    In 1982 when the new-wave band Missing Persons released the hit song “Destination Unknown”, it’s not likely that lead singer Dale Bozzio (i.e. the original Lady Gaga) would have predicted she was destined for prison. Last year, Bozzio was sentenced to 90 days in prison for animal cruelty after authorities discovered 12 cats in her New Hampshire home, all of which had to be put down. It’s hard to fathom such a drop-dead gorgeous entertainer could fall so far (sarcasm implied).

    Dale  Bozzio in the early 80's

    Regardless of the recent incident, I’m still a huge fan of Bozzio. She was fearless, edgy and sexy. Her bold and inventive fashion sense influenced me. Clearly, Lady Gaga was influenced as well. Some 20+ years later, Gaga has “borrowed” Dale’s style and is enjoying fame of her own. I know my friend WendyB is a fan!

    Dale wearing a bubble wrap vest (it's actually got nice structure and I like the use of small bubbles vs. large!)
    Since their lyrics weren’t the most poetic and thoughtful (i.e. “Walking in L.A. Walking in L.A. Nobdoy walks in L.A.” Or, “My lips are moving and the sound is coming out.” Genius… ), it’s safe to say that Missing Persons’ success was largely due to Ms. Bozzio’s outfits. Light bulbs, electrical appliances and even bubble wrap were all parts of her ensembles. Dale is also known for her high-pitched squeaks with which she so often finished verses. Luckily, I’m able to imitate this fairly well so “Words” is my go-to tune when forced into a karaoke situation.

    Dale with Missing Persons singing "Words" on Solid Gold!  Remember Marilyn McCoo?

    It requires a high level of confidence to be influential or to be an icon. Thank goodness Bozzio was ballsy enough to step out on stage wearing nothing more than a sheet of tin foil or a few light bulbs! Fashion has greatly benefited from her avant-garde approach to style. It’s actually nice to see Lady Gaga bringing it all back. I’m feeling nostalgic…