• October 5, 2022

Remembering All Those Great Years At The Spectrum

Not sure how many people are affected by the Spectrum being imploded on Tuesday,

but for a guy like myself it will be a very emotional day. Yes, we all grew up

with the Spectrum, but for me the Spectrum will always hold a special place in

my heart. If you don’t mind, please allow yourself to take a trip down memory

lane with me as I reflect on my three most memorable moments at the Spectrum.

For me the Spectrum was my home away from home. As a youth, I always found a way

to attend games at the Spectrum, mainly because my father worked there (he

worked the players’ parking lot). Growing up as a Sixers fanatic, I thought

it was the coolest thing that my father worked at the Spectrum. He would

constantly receive tickets to Sixers games and naturally he would give them to

me. I never cared who they played, I always wanted to attend the games. He would

always get two tickets and I would pick one of my friends to join me.

One of the times that we attended a game my friend and I arrived before tip-off and

hung out in the booth with my father. Now that wasn’t always the most exciting

thing in the world to me at age 12, but I was always guaranteed to see my

favorite players come in and say “Hey John” to my father.

Well at one particular game I was caught off guard when one of my favorite players pulled up

and spoke to my father as if they had been friends for years. His name was

Julius “Doctor J” Erving, and he shook my hand and talked to me for about 5

minutes (but at the time it felt like hours). He told me “good luck with school”

and said my father always mentioned how I was doing in school. To this day, I am

not sure if I actually said anything to him or if I just nodded my head over and

over again. But regardless I will never forget that day (and only time) I met

Dr. J.

Another moment that sticks out in my head also involves the perks of

having a father that could take me all throughout the Spectrum. Let me back up

for a second, I was a big time card collector and would always take cards of the

opposing team to Sixers games to get the opposing star to sign them for me. I

remember one time when Portland was in town and the man that everyone wanted to

get to was Clyde “The Glide” Drexler. My father being the man that he is, knew I

wanted his autograph and that almost every kid in the tunnel (the area where the

players walked to their bus and would meet the fans) would also. So he took me

as close as he possibly could get to the visitors locker room so I could

possibly meet Mr. Drexler. And of course, it worked. Mr. Drexler walked out of

the locker room and looked me directly in the eye as I handed him a card and a

sharpie. As I opened my mouth and uttered, “excuse me Mr. Drexler can I have

your autograph”, he replied “Sorry kid I don’t sign cards.” Well similar to how

Ralph felt when Lisa Simpson broke his heart on Valentines Day, I was stunned

and didn’t know what to say. Mr. Drexler must have noticed how my hands were

shaking more than Candlestick Park during the earthquake that interrupted game 3

of the 1989 World Series, because he said “you’re lucky nobody is around, kid”

and took my card and signed it.

The last experience is my favorite and actually did not involve my father. During my 7th grade year, my basketball team

played St. Thomas (South Philly) before the start of a Sixers game. My heart was

beating faster than the world’s fastest drummer as I walked on to the court.

I’ll never forget how sweaty my palms were as I shot my first shot. Luckily for

me it went in and I got to hear my name announced by the Sixers public

addresser. However, what stands out the most was after I scored for a second

time the PA must have figured it wasn’t that big of a deal if he said my name.

My mother, God love her, yells from the stands, “hey you forgot to say his

name!” Naturally, the PA said my name instantly and made sure he said my name

after every time I scored. After all who really wants to mess with a mother when

her son is involved? Not me (and apparently, the PA announcer either).

You see the Spectrum was more than just a place where the Flyers, and Sixers played. It

was more than the house Bruce Springstein rocked numerous times. It was a place

where I grew up. A place where you could buy a nose bleed seat and were

guaranteed to have the ushers escort you down to the lower level after half

time. After all, they had to make sure the house “looked” packed. A place where

Willie Burton scored 53 points versus the Miami Heat in  1994 (yes I was there).

A place where Philadelphia said “we have our own Jordan” in reference to when

the Sixers signing Thomas Jordan.

The Spectrum may no longer exist in the physical form after Tuesday November 23rd 2010, but in my mind, and my heart it

will always exist. God speed Spectrum, you will forever hold a special spot in my heart.

John Jervay

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Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
November 23, 2010 1:01 pm

Great memories watching all the teams play there and even visiting the CIrcus when they came to town when I was a kid.. But nothing compares to attending many Grateful Dead Concerts there..I went to my first show in Spring of ’80-81 and saw them every SPeing when they came to Philly on multiple night runs.. Usually around Easter time up until they closed the JFK Stadium after a July ’89 Concert Great shows, strange and wonderful people and a long strange trip indeed…
One particular show stands out where I went by myself after work, went in,hopped over the Hockey boards and was 15 feet of the Stage for hell of a time and show… The boys opened up with “Jack Straw” and the place went nuts and then Phil dropping the “Bombs” with his bass during the 2nd Solo and then right into “Franklin’s Tower” where Jerry was simply on fire, March 31st 1987
Which was also simulcasted by WMMR with Pierre Robert to commerrate the CD re-release of “Blues For Allah” album from ’73 if my memory serves me well.

1st Set
Jack Straw
Franklins Tower
CC Rider
Ramble on Rose
Tons of Steel
Mama Tried
Big River
Candyman
Desolation Row
Don’t Ease Me In

2nd Set
Touch of Grey
Estimated Prophet
Terrapin Station
Drums
SPace
Uncle John’s Band
I Need a Miracle
Stella Blue
Around and Arouns
Turn on Your Love Light

Encore
Brokedown Palace

jimmy mac
jimmy mac
November 24, 2010 7:10 am

I saw my first Dead show ever in ’87 at the Spectrum during the In The Dark Tour..I was 12 and have never been the same since..God bless the Grateful Dead and the Spectrum.