It's a little bit of Minnesota music lore: how a hastily gathered crowd of 200 Twin Cities extras -- plus a pre-"Friends" Courteney Cox -- helped Bruce Springsteen film a music video in St. Paul in 1984 just as "Born in the USA" was about to make him a superstar.

Now we can see why he did it, thanks to an early version of the video that was scrapped but subsequently resurfaced.

According to Billboard magazine, Springsteen "did not like [director] Jeff Stein's concept." No wonder -- it looks like Urkel meets "Flashdance," with Springsteen's clumsy moves and dorky outfit. Stein -- who in his defense made the great Who documentary "The Kids Are Alright" along with a lot of MTV hackwork -- takes an awfully literal approach to the song. (It's Bruce! Dancing!! In the dark!!!)



So: When Springsteen began his "Born in the USA" Tour at the old St. Paul Civic Center on June 29, 1984, he recruited Hollywood director Brian De Palma to fly out to the Twin Cities and film a new version. Patching in footage from the first of his three shows here, it was truer to the Boss' persona and onstage energy -- even if it kept the same dorky dance moves. And the rest is history ...


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