The Spectrum. Ah, the Spectrum. Just saying the word evokes so many memories. The Flyers winning the Stanley Cup, Christian Laettner hitting that buzzer beater, Dr. J, Bob Clarke, Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead, so many more. It's hard to believe, but the Spectrum which was always known as "America's Showplace," will close at the end of October. What a year of celebration it has been. The Philadelphia Flyers played two preseason games last fall, the Sixers played a regular season game last March, Villanova played one more college game at the Spectrum and now the musical acts are coming back for the Final Farewell Concert Series.
There is a great website called "Remember the Spectrum.com" where fans can relive all of the great Spectrum memories. Also, fans can order a piece of the court to own, or shop the store for other memorabilia. I also highly recommend getting a copy of "God Bless the Spectrum." It's a beautiful book with hundreds of amazing photos - all shot at the Spectrum.
Springsteen has so much history in the place. He opened for Chicago there in 1973 where he aparently was booed off the stage. He later returned to the Spectrum in 1976 as a headliner and it was history ever since. He played there the night John Lennon was shot and had to get back on the stage the next night and perform. He opened the show by stating it was hard to get up and perform after something so tragic, but it was the best for all. He then played for four hours. He also played at the Spectrum the night after his 50th birthday. It was a special night as he returned to the Spectrum (1999) after five shows at the Wachovia Center which is across the parking lot.
We called Guinness Book of World Records and submitted the show as the "shortest distance traveled by a rock band for a show." They literally packed up the stuff at the Wachovia Center and drove it 758-fett and nine-and-a-half inches to the Spectrum. I think Guinness laughed at us, but it sounded cool, though.
It's great that Springsteen and the E Street Band will return for four more shows in October. Also, those Pearl Jam shows to close the building are going to be special. They are the only shows the band is doing on the East Coast this year.
Also, a really nice way to celebrate the Spectrum is the "Last Call" show, featuring Daryl Hall and John Oates, the Hooters and Todd Rundgren. The price is the same price as the first show in 1967 - $4, $5, and $6.
I'll miss the Spectrum, but I know I'll always have the memories. There are so many of them. I may just have to build an arena in my head to store all of them.
God Bless the Spectrum.