One of the 79 mini-chapters in Bruce Springsteen’s 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. First, the Boss addresses the filming that night of the “Dancing in the Dark” video with Brian De Palma, the director of “Scarface” and “The Untouchables.” Turns out that Springsteen thought the young woman De Palma asked him to pull out of the crowd to dance with was a fan. Nope. The director told him later that she was chosen from a casting call in New York City. You might recall that her name was Courteney Cox (at right circa 1985). Yes, the one who later landed on “Friends.” Next, the Boss weighs in on the E Street Band’s wardrobe for the tour — “sartorial horror sweeping E Street nation.” After calling himself a wardrobe Nazi on previous tours, he let the band members choose their own looks. He describes Clarence Clemons’ “Gap Band box cut” hairdo, Nils Lofgren’s bandanna and satin jockey jacket, Max Weinberg’s perm, Roy Bittan’s Cosby sweaters and “my soon-to-be-iconic bandanna and pumped muscles. Looking back on these photos now, I look simply … gay.” JON BREAM
Twin Cities actor/playwright Sun Mee Chomet is having a moment in the current issue of Glamour magazine. She was in rehearsals for two shows in late summer — “The Last Firefly” at the Children’s Theatre and “The Two Kids That Blow S--- Up” at Mu Performing Arts — when she got invited to New York for an interview and photo shoot. In Glamour, she gives advice on fashion, dining, lodging and nightlife in MSP. “What I love about the Twin Cities is that it’s all about enjoying yourself,” said the woman who has a master’s in drama from New York University. “Dance like no one’s watching, cuz ‘Minnesota Nice’ is all-embracing.”
Saturday’s 40th anniversary gig by Flamingo (aka the Flamin’ Oh’s) at Famous Dave’s Uptown almost got washed out. A club official called bandleader Robert Wilkinson in the afternoon saying the show might be canceled because a water-pipe problem meant neither the restrooms nor kitchen would be working. A few hours later, he got another call saying the show was a go. “I told them: Don’t call me again. Every time you call, I get a heart attack,” the singer related during the standing-room-only reunion. He definitely attacked the music with all his heart — and soul.
Queen of all media
Minneapolis hip-hop goddess Dessa has been all over the local media for years. Now she has landed in an unlikely publication — Forbes, the business bible. Forbes is interested because she’s a social entrepreneur and record-label president who spoke about innovation at the Mayo Clinic’s Transform Conference last month. “I was a medical technical writer by day, a waitress by night, a rapper by night-night,” she told Forbes.com. After outlining her work history, she concluded: “I was young for the roles I was filling in corporate America, but I was old as a rapper.” And she has given back, Forbes notes, by launching a lipstick, Elixery, to benefit girls’ education and a Dessa-branded ice cream flavor with Izzy’s to benefit charity. An entrepreneur with good taste.
Saluting a real vet
Minnesota rock hero Jim Johnson, guitarist for the Underbeats and Gypsy, will be honored with the first Mancini’s Bill Diehl Award on Sunday at Mancini’s in St. Paul. Diehl, of course, was one of the top Top 40 DJs in the Twin Cities in the 1960s. “I saw the ‘Gypsy’ documentary and thought we should honor Jim, not only for his music but because he’s an infantry combat vet from Vietnam,” said Dennis Donovan, drummer with the Midas Touch and an organizer at Augsburg College. So he reached out to Mancini’s, where his band gigs and they give out annual sports awards. Sunday’s sold-out event will feature music by members of such ’60s bands as the Stillroven, Litter, Crow, the Trashmen, the Castaways, Gypsy, the Electras — and maybe Johnson, who is suffering from emphysema.
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