Monday, November 22, 2010

Goodbye, The Spectrum




So the Spectrum will go bye bye tomorrow, and that makes me sad. I won't go into all of the sappy sentiment that folks do when an old venue is destroyed or decommissioned (if the Montreal Forum can be turned into a mall then nothing's sacred), but I think it safe to say that the folks here know just how much that place meant.

What it had--I speak now of the spirit--you can't explicitly create or later hope to recreate...it just happens. Eventually it becomes part of the character. So for right now I'll recall warmly randomness: the cramped concourse at intermission, the incredibly hip wall of photos so varied in subject as Sinatra, Globetrotters, Bernie Parent, and circus clowns in the tiny box office, and how the lights would go dark as a game began.

I'm going to open up the comments to all below. Feel free to share any memories you have from America's Showplace.

Oh, and here's an awesome 1024 X 768 MS Paint Wallpaper for you of some of the greatest moments in Spectrum history:

Click for full size.





26 comments:

  1. When I was a kid, my great uncle worked as Dr. J's butler for many years while Erving was still living in the area. Countless times Dr. J would give my uncle tickets to his private box seats for me to go see WWF wrestling on his dime. Some of the few fond memories of childhood with my own dad and it sparked my love for the sports complex.

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  2. Your wallpaper made me weep. I think I'm going to have it printed and literally use it as wallpaper.

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  3. Non-Sports related memory, but seeing the Beasty Boys there on the Hello Nasty tour was pretty damn awesome.

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  4. I saw Boyz II Men there. I'm not sure much could top that.

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  5. Random memories:

    1st Flyers game = beat MIN North Stars 4-3. Cousin Marc drove too fast. Section 31 was always full of family and friends.

    Saw Dave McWilliams and the Fever do indoor soccer.

    Stood at half-court when the 76ers drafted Iverson. (I wanted Marbury, shows what I know.) Me and best friend were in the front of the Daily News back page photo.

    Billy Joel concert in the early '90s.

    Frank Bialowas pounding MLL opponents to the tune of Def Leppard.

    Good stuff. So long, Spectrum.

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  6. Atari Teenage Riot/The Carigans/Beck - Easter Sunday 1997

    My HS Marching band as Half time entertainment at a random Sixers game in 1995

    The place where I attended my very first professional sporting event (Sixers game as a 6 month old) and screamed the entire time, my Dad had to just walk the concourse holding me the whole time to not cry.

    Seeing all the circus animals in the parking lots around the spectrum every May as we would go across the street to the Vet for Phillies Baseball memorial day weekends...

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  7. I remember a particular incident when I attended a wings game with none other than ZWR himself. There was a bench clearing brawl. A fan threw a soda at an opposing player and said player climbed over the boards to seek retribution. It was the most chaos I have ever seen. Awesome!! Oh and remember the time JB hit another kid at center ice who had to be carried out on a stretcher. Or the time Sweeny got in an actual fist fight with Flex. I could go on for days.

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  8. Seeing WWF there with my dad and sister in the late 80s. I got so excited when Hulk Hogan came out that I didn't know whether to cry, puke, or pee my pants. I think I managed to avoid all of those, but I probably dropped my cotton candy.

    Seeing my first Sixers game there. I don't even like NBA basketball, but I'll never forget how HUGE Manute Bol was.

    The concerts. Wow...the concerts. Phish, the Dead, Springsteen, Billy Joel, NIN, etc., etc. When the lights went down, it felt like the ghosts of shows past came alive and cheered along with you. Or the way the entire balcony would shake when the band got going.

    Eddie Vedder was right: "The Greeks, the Romans...they kept their coliseums. Why can't we keep ours?"

    Pave paradise and put up an overpriced bar.

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  9. back in 2008 the sixers held one last game at the spectrum against tbe bulls. my dad and i went to relive old glories, and i have to say that night was one of the most memorable nights i have ever had at the spectrum (runners up: 12/2/97 phish, 12/11/99 phish, sixers game 7 against the bucks in 2001).

    the night was so memorable because i had forgotten how amazing the old building was. sure, the concourse was barely wide enough for 2 plus sized philadelphians to fit through and maybe the bathrooms were too small and forcing people to go down a narrow staircase to reach them might not have been the best idea, but damn did that place have character. no bad seat in the house. you were right on top of the action no matter where you were. every concert sounded great.

    ill miss the old girl. at least i have the memories.

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  10. @addude

    Thats awesome that you put the soccer one 2nd. I helped out with the Temple soccer team this past season, and didnt know of him when I first got there. Hes a really good coach and was a great player. It was fun watching him play in a handful of practices too, he still has a great right foot that you wouldnt expect.

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  11. My first Flyers match in 1981, I was 5. Got a beer spilled on me during a goal celebration. My dad had fun explaining that one to my mom.

    Ten feet away from Bono for the Achtung Baby show. My first real concert.

    Watching the last Flyers/Phantoms match with my dad and seeing him well up with tears when they played Kate Smith on the big screen. Was also my sons first/last time there.

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  12. Springsteen in concert with my dad...awesome.

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  13. I remember having front row tickets with my family to a circus there when I was about 7. Unfortunately, whenever an elephant had to shit during the show, they would bring them right in front of our faces while they did their business.

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  14. Psychedelic Furs at the Spectrum Theatre. 3rd Row. My boyfriend standing on his chair, leaning in and screaming "SELLOUT! YOU SELLOUT!" at Richard Butler b/c "Pretty in Pink" became a John Hughes movie...Ah, the 80s. Don't you miss them?

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  15. I once saw a lady change a child's poopy diaper right at her seat during a Phantoms playoff game. It smelled terribly.

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  16. Smoked my first joint there at my first concert : Yes "In The Round"...The stage was roatating the whole show...Made me quite dizzy, or maybe is was the shitty weed...

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  17. Bruuuuuuuuuuuuccee!

    I was there the night John Lennon died.

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  18. Thanks for all the great memories Spectrum. I had some awesome times there.

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  19. Springsteen and Disney on Ice... and my first and only Sixers game. Great memories of a great place.

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  20. Saw Pantera there when I was 16 (94?)...got right up front, crowd surfed, thrown over the railing. Buddy locked his keys in his car. Dimebag got so F'ed up he though someone stole his guitar after the show, turns out it was just under a pile of crap.

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  21. Allman Brothers Band. Lots of Dead shows. Every time I went, I always saw one little thing, I hadn't seen before. The building was alive.

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  22. 10/27/09 - 10/31/09 was a pretty good stretch in there.

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  23. What's depicted in the top right of that drawing?

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