Deborah Iyall - vocals
Benjamin Bossi - saxophone
Peter Woods - guitar
Frank Zincavage - bass
Aaron Smith - drums
Romeo Void never really cracked the commercial threshold while they were together between 1980 and 1985, but they certainly left a decent musical legacy with three studio releases and a number of bootlegged live recordings. Formed in San Francisco in 1980 while the members were students at an art college, Romeo Void broke out of the growing alternative music scene in 1981, signing with 415, a division of Columbia Records based in the Bay Area. Featuring Deborah Iyall, the band's female lead vocalist wasn't much of a sex symbol, but she sure could sing. One of the most "musical" of all the new wave bands to emerge in the late '70s or early '80s, Romeo Void excelled in their strong musicianship, especially saxophonist Ben Bossi, who took the place of a flashy lead guitarist.
Opening with "Billy's Birthday" and "Just Too Easy," the group was well rehearsed and at the top of their game when it came to live performances. Romeo Void had been produced by Cars leader, Ric Ocasek, and had a Cars-like pop groove in many of their songs, but the overt sax lines of Bossi, give the band an avante garde jazz feel. Credit must also be given to drummer Aaron Smith, who is exceptional throughout, especially on "Six Day And One." Next, they launch into their MTV hit, "A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)" which proved the band could write and record hit singles. Another highlight is "Never Say Never," with the unforgettable chorus, "I might like you better if we slept together." They close with the driving rockers, "Chinatown" and "Say No." Towards the last song, people in the audience started throwing food at the band, and vocalist Iyall was hit in the head. Not knowing exactly what she was struck by, she became upset and didn't sing on the last song; the rest of the band didn't even know what happened until they got offstage. Despite this chaotic ending to their set, the band sounds composed and still delivers a strong performance.
The band's popularity started to wane after this tour, and in 1985, they split. Iyall returned with a solo LP in 1986, which made little impact and didn't sell. The band was reunited for a one-off concert in 2003 by VH1's Bands Reunited, but has not worked together since.