Diva / Anti-Diva — Missing Persons, Rough Trade & Carole Pope

It’s 1980 and two new bands, one American and one Canadian, emerge with a raw new sound. One, Missing Persons, with a four song 7″ EP recorded at Frank Zappa’s Utility Muffin Research Kitchen on a shoestring budget. A second, Rough Trade, releases their debut album Avoid Freud, full of themes of catastrophic power and dimestore smut, satire and parody. One band appeals to the American male’s libido and traditional boy/girl themes, while the other pokes fun at both North American sexual orientation and the myths which go along with them. Still, it is interesting to compare the styles of these two bands, and the diva/anti-diva dichotomy at play between Dale Bozzio and Carole Pope.

In 2007, Carole Pope released the solo CD, Transcend.

Author: urbangraffito

I am a writer, editor, publisher, philosopher, and foole (not necessarily in that order). Cultural activist and self-described anarchist.

5 thoughts on “Diva / Anti-Diva — Missing Persons, Rough Trade & Carole Pope”

  1. Ah . . . Dale Bozzio & Missing Persons. The Hair . . . The Make-Up . . . Dale’s see-through Bubble Bra!
    Probably one of the most talented New Wave Bands ever, but NOT the most popular.
    After seeing them in ’83 in New York, I proclaimed they were the next “Big Thing”! Okay, I was wrong. But seeing them live was an experience. I loved Dale back then. I thought she was so new wave trashy hot (I’m one of the few idiots that bought her first solo album produced & performed with her new husband which was unfortunately lost in a move) I realize her singing is an aquired taste and she didn’t move around much on stage (I’m guessing because of the 9 inch high “come fu*k me pumps” she wore). But Terry Ted’s performance alone was worth the $10.50 I spent to get in. I’ve never seen a band where the drum kit was front and center stage. And that’s because regardless of how hot you may think Dale is, the real show is TERRY BOZZIO. The man was on fire that night. I had never seen a drummer perform quite like that ever. Sadly, the next tour Terry switched to an all-electronic drum kit and it sucked the life out of his performance.
    Other than Carolyn Pope sharing Dale Bozzio’s make-up artist I know nothing about ROUGH TRADE.
    So what’s the scoop?

  2. Rough Trade was a Canadian new wave rock band active in the 1970s and 1980s.
    Through their combination of hard-edged new wave rock and raw sexuality (Pope often performed in bondage attire), became a popular draw on Toronto’s live music circuit through their regular shows at Grossman’s Tavern. When they were signed by True North Records and released their debut album, Avoid Freud, in 1980, they reached a larger audience, particularly with the controversy surrounding the raunchy lesbian-themed single “High School Confidential.” They released an album a year until 1985, and their last tour took place in 1986. The lead singer, Carole Pope went on to produce several solo albums in the 1990s after moving to Los Angeles where she continues to do film and television soundtrack work for such series as Queer as Folk. Pope was one of the first openly lesbian pop stars in the world with her blend of explicit homoerotic and BDSM-themed lyrics set to hard-edged New Wave rock.

  3. I’d never heard of Rough Trade ’til now. It’s a pity but not a surprising if you think about the rise of the Religious Right in the Eighties and the surpression of gay/lesbian expression. Wish there were more ‘out’ lesbian hard rock singers. P.S. Joan Jett rules!!

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