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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mavericks' Purple Raen

Bobby Rae was an All-NCC third
baseman for the Mavericks in 1984
As an infielder for Minnesota State back in the mid-1980's, Bloomington native Bobby Rae hit .353 over the course of 70 games in two seasons of varsity baseball under the direction of head coach Dean Bowyer.

The Mavericks went 54-34-1 in 1984 and 1985 in capturing a pair of North Central Conference North Division titles and appeared in the 1985 NCAA DII Midwest Regional where they posted a second-place finish in Romeoville, Ill.  Rae garnered All-NCC First Team honors as a third baseman in 1984.

A 1986 graduate of the school, Rae has remained in Minnesota where he now serves as a vice president for RBC Wealth Management in Edina.

As it is with most Land of 10,000 Lakes natives, Rae has an affinity to the Twins and has been known to play a little boot hockey.  But with the recent passing of legendary Prince Rogers Nelson, his connection to one of the state's iconic musicians gives him some unique perspective on what it's like to be Minnesotan.

Not unlike Rae, Prince was a native of the state and his musical drama movie Purple Rain and Oscar-award winning soundtrack hit the theatres in 1984.  The movie was filmed in Minneapolis and Rae and one of his friends responded to a newspaper ad looking for extras. After showing up with a head shot and going through a short "audition" in a theatre across the street from First Avenue (the venue in which Prince rehearsed and performed in the movie) where they danced with a couple of girls in order to gauge their rhythm, they were asked to come back to First Avenue for actual filming of the concert scenes.

“It was cool," said Rae, who was already a Prince fan prior to the release of the movie and subsequent Purple Rain album.  "They had everyone show up at the theatre where they divided us into two groups. The first group would go shoot scenes in the morning. The next group would go over and shoot in the afternoon."

Rae, who said that he was paid $125 for his "role" in the audience, heard the unpublished songs from Purple Rain for the first time during his short stint in the movie business. “They had music playing, which was Prince’s music from the movie, which wasn’t playing commercially yet. We thought, "this is the greatest music we’ve ever heard".  But just to sit and watch how they filmed was really interesting. Obviously I’d never seen a movie being made before. Of the four songs that my friend and I were in, they gave us the actions of I Will Die For You and the part you can actually see me in the Purple Rain scene, they had to show us how to raise our hands above our heads and that kind of stuff.”

Rae has remained a Prince fan since his brief brush with greatness and appreciated the fact the artist remained in the area where he grew up before passing.

"He liked his roots, I think. I don’t know if he liked it better because this is where he was from, but this is what he knew, versus Hollywood. He was just cool and while it's been somewhat surprising to see the outpouring and tributes globally, I guess that's the indication of how iconic he is.  You have Elvis. And Michael Jackson. Then there's Prince right there with them. I think it’s tremendous that a lot of people are reminiscing and remembering the music and his talent.”

                                               - contributed by Courtney Johnson, Athletic Communications Intern

1 comment:

  1. I am an event photographer, I love this venue, and I will revisit this venue in a heartbeat. The Chicago event venues have really great staff and pretty decent drinks. Their halls and rooms are absolutely gorgeous.