The Full Spectrum

An oral history

Anthony Gargano: The Spectrum was organic in its devotion and loudness and fandom. Philadelphia does not need thundersticks. With all the bells and whistles now, the game gets lost. There’s all the advertising — that’s just the cost of doing business today, I get that. The Spectrum outlived its usefulness, like anything else. It needs to go.

Pierre Robert: That’s a bunch of bullshit. Looking out at the last shows with the Dead and Bruce, I said to my 29-year-old producer, “Try to freeze this in your mind, because it’s not something you’ll see at many other arenas.” It’s not a beautiful building, but it has value as architecture and as our heritage. How long before the Wachovia Center is ripped down because it’s antiquated? The Spectrum is a small symptom of the disease that faces this country — everyone is relentlessly impatient and ripping things down because the new thing is better. If I could talk to the powers that be, I would say, “Rethink this proposition.” But most corporate entities don’t come to Pierre Robert for opinions.

Howard Eskin
: I refuse to call it the Wachovia Spectrum. It’s the Spectrum. End of story.

Larry Magid: We made it to almost five decades here. It’s time to move on. The Vet was a horrible stadium. The Spectrum is a lot better, but the time has come.

Ed Snider: People say, “How are you going to feel when the building comes down?” I don’t know. I don’t get there hardly ever, up until this year’s celebrations. But it’s been a revelation. I never focused on how much this building is a part of people’s lives, for all different reasons. You hear from people, and the stories they tell. It makes you feel like you really accomplished something. Whether the physical building is here or not, I’m always going to have those memories.

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