Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Spectrum goes out with a bang

Earth, Wind and Fire is flown in for a grand finale party.

Spectrum goes out with a bang

Philadelphia Flyers legends Bob Clarke (left) and Bernie Parent present the Stanley Cup to Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider during a Spectrum finale Saturday. (Photo: Len Redkoles)
Philadelphia Flyers legends Bob Clarke (left) and Bernie Parent present the Stanley Cup to Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider during a Spectrum finale Saturday. (Photo: Len Redkoles)

The Spectrum's last show was Pearl Jam on Oct. 31. 

Right?

Not quite.

Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider staged one last blow-out Saturday night with a spectacular cocktail party that filled the floor of the doomed arena. Ice sculptures, some bearing raw bars laden with jumbo shrimp, crab claws, and oysters, dotted the room, which was draped off from the seating area by white fabric.

More coverage
Gallery: Goodbye Spectrum
 
Collecting bits of Spectrum history

The guest roster was a mix of sports alums and front-office folks, power players (Steve Cozen, Ron Rubin, Bart Blatstein), and broadcasters (Al Morganti, Keith Jones, Steve Coates, Ron Burke, Michael Barkann) -- some of whom, like concert promoter Larry Magid, were even around when The House That Ed Built opened in September 1967. 

A spotlight shined on a full-size ice sculpture of singer Kate Smith as Flyers alums Bernie Parent and Bob Clarke carried the Stanley Cup (on loan from the Penguins) and led a line of about 10 Broad Street Bullies teammates to greet Snider. Queen's "We Are the Champions" played. Jerry Blavat spun records during the breaks.

After Snider's welcoming remarks -- and a duet of "God Bless America" featuring a recorded Smith with a live Lauren Hart -- he pointed to a curtain. It opened to reveal the evening's headliner: Earth, Wind and Fire, whose second set was followed by a performance by Elvis interpreter Johnny Seaton & Bad Behavior

(There's the answer to the trivia question: "What was the last musical act to perform at the Spectrum?")

Snider's children presented their father with the framed blueprints of the building, bearing an Ayn Rand quote, and staff suprised him with a tribute video set to Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrecking Ball." (For the record, the Rand quote: "Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.")

The building will come down in the spring to make way for an entertainment complex called Philly Live.

(1/18: Rand quote added.)

 

Michael Klein Philly.com
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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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