It was on Friday night June 29, 1984, and I was sitting with some friends who happened to be VIPs very close to the stage at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota waiting for the first show of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s Born in the USA tour to start.

It was very electric that night, the band had walked out in the darkness of the stage, Bruce came out, the stage lights went on and he went right into "Born in the USA." The hits kept coming and the band was tight and on top of their game, Bruce was in excellent form. I was in heaven.

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vazguez on Unsplash
Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vazguez on Unsplash

An hour or so into the nonstop show Bruce said that “we’re going to take a little intermission,” he told us to go to the bathroom, grab a beer and come on back for round two. I remember thinking that this is so unusual that Bruce would take an intermission, especially on opening night of a big tour. I had been to many concerts, and he never did that.

Intermission had ended, my friends and I were in our seats and the stage lights are on and out comes Bruce all dolled up. I am thinking what the heck is going on. What have you done with the guy in the denim and red bandana?

Bruce explains that he is shooting a video, and we are all going to be in it. They start "Dancing in the Dark" and in true Bruce fashion he plucks a girl in a Dancing in the Dark t-shirt out of the front row. They start dancing to the song on stage. Then she goes back to the seats, and he pulls her up several times as they reshoot the video.

Photo via YouTube Screengrab from Bruce Sprinsteen on YouTube
Photo via YouTube Screengrab from Bruce Springsteen on YouTube

I am thinking this girl is so lucky to be in a video, how cool. They finally finish shooting the video and Bruce and the band continue for another two hours of great rock n roll. It was a phenomenal concert.

We all go backstage after the concert, say hello to all the Jersey guys and walking towards us is the girl that was jumping and dancing on stage in the video. I stop her and say how lucky she is to be in the video and she introduces herself and says that she’s an actress from LA. My friends and I looked at each and deducted that makes sense. She had half a beer with us and went on her way.

Of course, I found out after that legendary director Brian De Palma was the director of the video. The Dancing in the Dark video went on to sell over a million copies and was the number one video on MTV, when they showed videos, for five weeks.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the video, Courtney Cox this week showed off her Dancing in the Dark video moves on YouTube. She still has it.

Congratulations Courtney, you made my night 40 years ago in St. Paul.

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Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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