One of the 79 chapters in Bruce Springsteen’s brand new 508-page memoir, “Born To Run,” is devoted to one night in St. Paul.
Specifically, June, 29, 1984, when he opened the pivotal Born in the USA Tour -- his first of three nights at the old St. Paul Civic Center.
Over the three pages in this mini-chapter, the Boss addresses three topics: the filming of the “Dancing in the Dark” video; the wardrobe for himself and the E Street Band, and the first-ever live performances by Nils Lofgren and Patti Scialfa with the E Street Band.
The key nugget about the filming of the video with Brian DePalma, the director of “Scarface” and “The Untouchables,” was that Springsteen thought that the young woman De Palma asked him to pull out of the crowd to dance with was a fan. He said that De Palma told him later that she was chosen from a casting call in New York City.
You might recall that her name was Courteney Cox. Yes, the one who later landed on “Friends.”
As for the band’s wardrobe, the Boss opined that the tour was “sartorial horror sweeping E Street nation.” After calling himself a wardrobe Nazi on previous tours, he let the band members choose their own outfits: Clarence Clemons' “Gap Band box cut, Nils’ [Lofgren] bandana and satin jockey jacket, Max’s [Weinberg] perm, Roy’s [Bittan] Cosby sweaters, and my soon-to-be-iconic bandana and pumped muscles. Looking back on these photos now, I look simply…gay.”
Five minutes before showtime, Scialfa knocked on Springsteen’s dressing room door to get approval for her jeans-and-peasant-blouse look. He thought she looked “girly” so he opened his small suitcase of T-shirts and told her to choose one.
Then came the show. Springsteen wrote that Lofgren messed up his first solo. “He’s caught briefly, a deer in the headlights. He goes red, we laugh it off, he settles in and aces the rest of the evening. Patti looks terrific (in my T-shirt!) and does beautifully under difficult conditions. Our new edition is battle ready and prepared for what lies ahead.”