The Full Spectrum

An oral history

Peter Buck, guitarist, R.E.M.: We were playing three nights at the Spectrum in ’95, and I remember going around and checking the acoustic properties in the various showers and dressing rooms. One of the showers [in the Sixers’ locker room] sounded best. We recorded an instrumental in two days on the spot [“Zither,” on R.E.M.’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi album]. No matter how many great people treaded through that room, nobody else has made a record in it.

Charles Barkley, NBA analyst/former Sixers forward: The crowd was so close to you. That’s what made it a home court. But the amenities in the building were rough. Our locker room was so small that if you turned your head either way, you might kiss Doc or Moses in the ass.

Bobby Jones
: When I got traded [to the Sixers], I was amazed by how small the locker room was. But they weren’t paying me to sit in a nice locker room. They were paying me to go out there and bust my rear end.

Charles Barkley: I made a mistake and went into the Flyers’ locker room one day, and it was really nice. Then I realized: We were second-class citizens. It was really the Flyers’ building.

Bob Clarke: Tough luck.

Ed Snider: In the late ’80s and early ’90s, buildings were built with suites and club seats. To compete with other teams, we had to have those revenues. We looked at how we could expand the Spectrum, but came to the conclusion that remodeling this building didn’t make any sense. We had to have a new building. That’s when I decided to start the minor-league Phantoms. We kept the circus here, we had the Kixx. It worked out well.

Bill Barber: As a player, I was on the ice on the goal we scored to win the Cup. Then when I was coaching the Phantoms in the championship, we had a comfortable lead, and I sat back and enjoyed the fans. It was sold-out, and I said, “Take a look at this building. Do you believe this?” It just rocked.

Jon Bon Jovi
: I came back there under the guise of the owner of a football team [the Philadelphia Soul]. Whatever team got in the playoffs, the Flyers or Sixers, bumped our arena team. They had to put our game in the Spectrum, and when our rivals came to Philadelphia, they were in the seedy, sweaty, loud Spectrum. That was a huge advantage. Huge.

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