Well gentle readers, i am now home sick as a dog – thank you manboy and whatever nasty virus is making the rounds here.  Chills, aches, ugh.

However… lol.. the purpose of today’s entry is to pay homage to a wonderful, magical place i spent most of my teenage nights at – Philly’s Spectrum.  Why am  paying homage to a stadium you ask?  Well – philly, in its ultimate “wisdom” has decided to tear down the spectrum in order to build a new and improved stadium (um, wasnt that the purpose of the wachovia center???).

I spent so many hours/days/weeks lol at the spectrum growing up and that was the spot of many of my glory days.  My parents took us every year to see the broad street bullies (the flyers for those of you who dont know sports history) play hockey.  I saw the Ringling Brother/Barnum and Bailey Circus there several times.  I saw the Harlem Globetrotters  there several times – and lets not forget Dr J and the 76’rs (yes  i AM that old lol).

But most importantly, i spent so much time at the Spectrum seeing concerts!  My very first concert at the Spectrum was Jethro Tull’s A tour, circa late 79ish.  Those years – the concert years, were my Glory Days – and a big part of my Growin Up.  For those of you unfamiliar with those tunes, they’re done by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  Bruce is a philly icon – and despite my not really liking him too much (i find his music a tad juvenile and whiney at times lol) I did my philly civic duty and  saw  Springsteen’s the River Tour – the night John Lennon was assassinated. *very sad*

The spectrum is trying to get as much in as they can before demolition – and what makes me angry is that they booked Pearl Jam as the final concerts.   I agree with Pierre Robert, dj at WMMR (93.3) – it should have been bruce doing the final concerts.

The Spectrum saw so much action – EVERYONE who was anyone has played there during the years – from Hendrix, Janis to today’s bands.  And it saw a lot of action from me as well (i’ve seen well over 100 concerts).  LMSAO  I was there so often i was on a first name basis with the outside, um, vendors… 😉 yeah, thats what they were, vendors…  They made a lot of money off me lol.

I’ll never forget my first concert.  My dad drove me down and insisted he walk me to the door.  Um – pop, i love you – but you looked like a narc lmsao.  Pop was always waiting for me after the show – fortunately in the car.  After my first show, i made him stay in the car when he dropped me off!  That night may have been the first time i sparked a spliff, but i’m not sure lol.  One night after a concert, i was exploring other dimensions and was in sheer post concert happiness,  i wasnt paying attention to where i was going while trying to find pop and walked straight smack into the biggest scariest bikers i’d ever seen.  I mean right into them – thud!  I must have amused them – as after i apologized profusely, they asked if i wanted to party, and thinking quick for my state of mind, i told them i would love to but i was looking for my old man…  Remember, i was all of 14/15ish… lol.

Eventually my friends got their licenses and we would drive down and either park at 30th street and take the subways (cheaper!!!) or as we got older, we’d drive to the spectrum and party, uh park there lol.  The shows that will always stand out in my mind are, naturally, the dead shows.  I’d get there right after school and party with the other heads until show time.  For those of you unfortunate souls who’ve never been to a Grateful Dead concert – you have no idea what you missed.

One year i was meeting my bestest bud kimmy there.  Now kimmy came from an extremely wealthy family and i was crashed on the steps to the arena waiting for her to get there.  Up pulls kimmy’s chauffeured Bentley (hand over heart – swear to god).  The driver got out, opened kimmy’s door and she rolled outta the bent.  I LOST IT!!!

On the way to a deadshow is where fain trare came from.

During the summers, i was there on average weekly.  During the winter – mebbe twice a month lol depending on who was touring.   My dad, bless his soul, knew that the only interest i had during my teenage years was music and he got me tickets to whatever show i wanted to see.  2 tix at least – but for the David Gilmour show at the tower, i took ALL my friends.  If my dad only knew… lol.

I had tickets to the Neil Young show that ended up being the date of the blizzard of 83.  The radio stations claimed all day long, the show would go on.  Yes.  I went.  It took me 4 hours i believe to get to the spectrum and i met my partners in crime on the train (which was several hours late).  It was so cold, the blizzard so bad, we were setting the big 50gal trash drums on fire to try to stay warm at the train station.  The train finally got there and we were off!  We made it to center city and hopped the subway to the spectrum, meeting and partying with all sorts of people who were on their way to the show – including several who hitchhiked down I-95 to get there!  Yes – the concert would go on despite the blizzard.

We FINALLY get to the spectrum, only to find out that the show was cancelled due to the weather.

Um. What did you say?  Cancelled?  What?  My friend beck threw herself down into the snow and screamed:  I’m not going home till neil young gets here!

We picked her up and carried her back into the subway.  I never saw so many depressed hippies in my life than at 30th street trying to get home that night.  We JUST made the last train out… and it was a long, cold, sad walk back  home from the train station.

*jenny quiets down a bit in remembrance of growin up and glory days at the spectrum – remember she’s sick and is really feeling the impending loss of her favorite place).

I’ve seen so many concerts there, many artists numerous times – ie tom petty and the heartbreakers 4.5 times.  dont ask lol.  The dead – 10.  Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, Hot Tuna, Heart, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, David Bowie, The Animals, oh god, i cant remember all the shows i’ve seen there.  And yes, i was at the spectrum for the Guns n Roses riot – axhole.  But i did see GNR there prior to that lol.

Of course, i also saw shows at the mann music center, the tower theater and JFK (i was there for Live Aid *grinning*).  But the Spectrum holds such a special place in my heart.  I spent my formative years there, an impressionable teenager loose in a world of outstanding humanity.  I think it was those years that made me the social whore i am lol.  While now i shun people and large events (im too old  to festival lol), there is something to be said for being surrounded by 20,000 of your closest friends (friends for just one night lol), all there in the pursuit of the same things – sex drugs and rock and roll lol.  Ok, well not the sex and drugs , ok, well not the sex lol but it was about the music, the absolute love of music.  Being there, feeling the bass line though your body, your soul soaring along with the harmonies.  You have to dance.  You have to sing.  Its a primal/tribal urge so strong that it can not be denied as if you do, you will die!

Is it any wonder i turned out the way i did?  It was truly a magical, wonderful, rebellious time of my life.  I simply can not believe that they are tearing down my spectrum.   It does truly break my heart (i am trying not to remember the valley forge music fair, which is now a grocery store).  It was the place that initiated  my end of innocence.

I will miss you old girl.

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