" Streets of Philadelphia "
Center City Philadelphia-City Hall
"I walked the avenue
Till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends
Vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Just as black and whisperin' as the rain
On the Streets of Philadelphia"
Information for this page has been gathered from a variety
of on-line sources, especially the following pages:

Bruce Springsteen: The Boots
Bruce Springsteen: The Boots-The Top 50 Shows
Bruce Springsteen's CD Brucelegs
Bruce Springsteen: Brothers Under the Bridge

I recommend that you check these pages in depth,
as the information cited here, and the links
provided, represent only a tiny portion
of what is available from the above sources.

Philadelphia has long been a town in love with Rock n Roll. Some claim that Rock was born in Philly, or at the very least heavily influenced by the " Philadelphia Sound" of the late 50's and early 60's. Others will claim that Cleveland or Boston gaveBill Haley and the Comets birth to Rock. No matter, the debate is a silly one, as Rock was actually born in the deep South, gleaned from the strains of Black Spirituals and the great black blues and rhythm and blues artists. While Allen Freed was wowing teen audiences in Cleveland with his radio show, white America was about to be introduced to a strange and new type of music. On April 12th, 1954, seven musicians from Chester, Pa.,Bill Haley and the Comets Danny Cedrone, Billy Williamson, Johnny Grande, Joey D'Ambrosio, Marshall Lytle, Billy Gussack and William Haley, entered the Pythian Temple Studio on West 80th Street in New York City. Calling themselves Bill Haley and the Comets, they recorded "Rock Around the Clock", a tune which immediately sold 75,000 copies. Later that year, when used in the movie "Blackboard Jungle", the song forever became the rock and roll anthem of America.

Rock came to Philly in 1952 with the advent of Bob Horn's "Bandstand", a popular Dick Clark-American Bandstand-Philadelphia, Pa local television show which featured teenagers dancing to top 40 hits. In 1956, hosting duties were assumed by the "oldest teenager in America", Dick Clark, the show went national, the name was changed to "American Bandstand" and every teenager in America discovered Rock n Roll. Filmed at WFIL's television studios, at 46th and Market Streets in West Philadelphia, the show was swamped by hordes of teenagers who attended three nearby high schools. Thousands from West Philly High, West Philly Catholic Boys High and West Philly Catholic Girls High would line up to gain admission. Few would enter, but those who did became the stars of the show.

The show became so popular that teen clothing and hair Lee Andrews and the Heartsfashions were being determined by the kids who danced on Bandstand. They received tons of fan mail from around the nation, and if an aspiring singer or group wanted a hit, Dick Clark would have to play their song on his show. Many local Philly acts took advantage of their proximity to Clark, and the show made them famous. This group included Fabian Forte, ( Tiger ), Frankie Avalon, ( Venus ), James Darren, ( Gidget ), Bobby Rydell, ( Wild One ), ( Forget Him ), Chubby Checker, ( The Twist ), Danny and the Juniors, ( At the Hop ), Lee Andrews and the Hearts, ( Teardrops ), ( Long Lonely Nights ), and the Dovells, ( Bristol Stomp ).

In the sixties, Clark and American Bandstand packed up for the West Coast, DJ Jerry Blavat and Mayor Frank RizzoPhiladelphia teens having moved on to the Beatles, Animals, Stones and the Four Seasons. We also got Disco John Travoltato know Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Jerry Blavat. Rock lost its innocence in the 60's, as the English invasion and the pairing of drugs and music forever changed what we would hear. Undoubtedly, some of the best rock music of the 20th century was created in the 60's. The 70's came along and brought in a disease called "disco", and many feared that Rock n Roll was endangered. We joined Don McLean on his trip, "down to the sacred store, where he'd heard the music years before." We realized, as Don did, that the music "just wouldn't play." We wanted someone we could listen to the way we used to listen, without reservations of any kind. We wanted rock and roll's past to flash before our eyes. We wanted Rock n Roll's Future!

This page is actually an attempt toBruce Springsteen in WMMR, Philly Studio trace Bruce Springsteen's history with the City of Philadelphia, long a bastion of support for his music. From the earliest days of his career Bruce was on the Philly airwaves. AM radio was fading fast in the early 70's and the FM jocks had a freedom to choose their airtime cuts. This freedom would not exist for long. DJ's like Ed Sciaky from WMMR in Philly, Kid Leo in Cleveland, Scott Muni in New York City and Jim Ladd in Los Angeles introduced Bruce to the nation and kept him on the air. Sciaky's loyalty to Springsteen ran deep. Springsteen would talk about Sciaky at his area concerts. In 1978, during an introduction to "Born to Run" at the Spectrum, Bruce thanked his loyal Philly fans for their support during the band's hard times. He said they always joked, "If things go bad, we can always go back to Philadelphia". Though he hails from New Jersey, David Bowie, DJ Ed Sciaky, Bruce Springsteen born in Freehold and associated with Asbury Park, we believe that Philadelpia has a distinction which cannot be claimed by any other town. There is a parcel of land in South Philadelphia, located in the 3600 block of South Broad Street, home to the city's sports facilities, where Bruce has appeared on many occasions. It currently houses Veteran's Stadium (Phillies and Eagles), the Spectrum (former home of the Flyers and current home of hockey's Phantoms), the First Union Center (the current home of the Flyers and 76er's) and Lincoln Financial Field, the newly completed home of the Philadelphia Eagles. Beginning in 1973, Bruce has made concert appearances at all four locations.

Veteran's Stadium, The Spectrum and First Union Center, Philadelphia Pa

The site has long been the center of the Philadelphia sports and concert scene. The city is currently building an additional facility, Citizen's Bank Park, to house the Phillies. It is scheduled for completion in 2004. Prior to the opening of the First Union Center in 1996,Veteran's Stadium, The Spectrum and John F. Kennedy Stadium the site was occupied by John F. Kennedy Stadium (originally called Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, the former home of local college teams and the Army-Navy football game. Let's pause a moment and talk about venue capacities. Veteran's Stadium, a throwback to the 1970's multi-purpose stadium rage, seats 66,000 people. The Spectrum, opened in 1967, seats approximately 18,000 while First Union Center holds 22,000 fans. Lincoln field seats 69,000. The former JFK Stadium held 110,000. Starting with the Spectrum, let's look at the history of Bruce's performances in these venues over the years.

"First Union Spectrum"

The famous Rocky Balboa Statue-The Spectrum-Philadelphia, Pa
"Rocky Balboa"

6-6-73 -30 minute set as opening act for Chicago. A rousing Philadelphia welcome greets Bruce and the Band. Bruce joins the ranks of Santa, Joe Kuharich and Dick (Don't call me Richie) Allen.

Pics of 1973 Spectrum Appearance

10-25-76 CD's-Streets of Life
and The Boss Keeps Rocking
and The Boss Keeps Rocking Vol 2
and Down In Jungleland Vol 1
10-25 Song Intros

Streets of Life- 10-25-76-Bruce Springsteen The Boss Keeps Rockin' Vol 1 December 15, 1978-Bruce Springsteen The Boss Keeps Rockin' Vol 2-10-10-76-Bruce Springsteen Down in Jungleland Vol 1- 1025-76-Bruce Springsteen


The "Darkness Tour"

8-18 Song Intros
08-19-78 CD's-The Jersey Devil
and Philadelphia Special
and Cover's Story Vol 1
and The Firecracker Show


The "River Tour"

07-15-81 CD-Spectrum Night


The "Born in the USA Tour"

09-11-84 CD's-Cover's Story Vol 2
and Live Rarities
09-14-84 CD's-The Full Spectrum
and Alpine Valley Night and Nebraska Live
09-15-84 CD's-The Full Spectrum
and Alpine Valley Night
09-17-84 CD's-The Full Spectrum
and Lost and Live Vol 2
09-18-84 CD's-The Sounds of Philadelphia
and This Gun's For Hire
and The Full Spectrum
and Alpine Valley Night


The "Tunnel of Love Tour"

03-09-88 CD-This Is Not A Dark Ride?


The "Human Touch/Lucky Town Tour"



The "Reunion Tour"

Rated by Boots as one of his Top 50 Shows!!

Except for the 1973 Chicago show, I'm going to assume the others were sell-outs. Along with Billy Joel, Bruce holds some sort of record for sold out Spectrum shows in succession. If we give him the sell outs, 468,000 fans have seen his performances at the Spectrum over the years.

Now let's head across the parking lot to the First Union Center. Only in Philadelphia could an arena be named in such a way as to enable patrons to refer to it as the " F-U Center! "

"The F U Center"

Opened in 1996, his first appearance was during the reunion tour of 1999. The 9-16 First Union show was cancelled due to a hurricane, and the show was rescheduled for the Spectrum on 9-24, due to a scheduled Flyers game.

The "Reunion Tour"

09-13-99 CD-Live in Philadelphia
09-15-99 CD-Live in Philadelphia
09-20-99 CD-Live in Philadelphia
09-21-99 CD-The Philadelphia Special
09-25-99 CD-Live in Philadelphia
CD Compilation of Philly Tour-Come On Philly, Let's Dance

Pictures From 9/25

My Trip to Philly 9/25 Show

The Rising Tour


The First Union Shows were all sell outs, with 132,000 fans attending his concerts. We now have an appoximate total of 610,000 fans, between two facilities, for 34 shows. Let's move along now to his appearances at Veterans' Stadium.

"Veteran's Stadium"

The "Born in the USA Tour"


Over 66,000 fans packed the Vet for each night's show. Philadelphia had not seen crowds of that size since the Phillies World Series defeat in 1983. Our total is now at 742,000 fans.

Vet Stadium-1985

We'll now visit our final venue on Broad Street, one which does not exist anymore, John F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, formerly known as Philadelphia Municipal Stadium. The city has hosted the Army-Navy football game since 1899, the games being played at Municipal/JFK Stadium, built in 1926 for the nation's Sesqui-Centennial celebration. The games are now played in Veteran's Stadium. The capacity of the facility was 110,000.

"John F. Kennedy (Municipal) Stadium"

"Philadelphia Municipal Stadium 1926
Sesqui-Centennial Celebration"

Only three acts in music history have ever sold out JFK Stadium. Peter Frampton, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen have all drawn capacity crowds at the Stadium. Bruce has appeared there on several occasions.

The "Human Rights Now Tour"

09-19-88 CD-Human Rights Now

Guest Appearance

09-25-87 JFK Appearance at U2 Show CD's-Band on the Run
The Bruce Springsteen Collection Vol 1
and U2-Covering 'em
and Songs For an Electric Mule

We now have a total of 842,000 fans who have attended Springsteen shows in this one small city block! I won't even count the fans who attended the U2 JFK show, as Bruce appeared as a guest. Though my numbers may by suspect, and my estimates not entirely accurate, I think you get the point. Now let's look at the shows at Lincoln Financial.

" Lincoln Financial Field "

The Rising Tour


Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.

January 16, 1973
April 13, 1973
October 6, 1973

Roxy Theatre, Phila, Pa.

November 17, 1973

The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

January 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1973
April 24th and 25th, 1973 CD's 4-24-73 Thundercrack,
And the Band Played and Small Town Boy
Rated by Boots as one of his Top 50 Shows!
July 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th, 1973
October 29th, 30th and 31st, 1973 CD 10-31-73 Before the Flood
December 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th, 1973
February 25th and 27th, 1974
May 28th and 29th, 1974
September 18th and 19th, 1974
February 5th, 1975 CD The Saint, the Incident and the Main Point Shuffle, and You Can Trust Your Car...
Rated by Boots as one of his Top 50 Shows!
September ? 1975

ArchBishop Carroll High School, Radnor, Pa.

May 25th, 1974

Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa.

April 20th, 1974

Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band, Ursinus College, Collegeville Pa, April 1974

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.

April 28th, 1974

Bucks County Community College, Newtown, Pa.

May 6th, 1974

Electric Factory, Phila, Pa.

October 19th, 1995

West Chester University, West Chester, Pa.

November 22nd, 1974

Ripley Music Hall, Phila. Pa.

April 13th, 1984

Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.

November 15th, 1974

Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, Pa.

September 20th, 1974
November 1st and 2nd, 1974
December 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st, 1975 CD 12-28-75 Sha La La
CD 12-30 and 12-31 Teardrops on the Tower
12-30 show rated by Boots as one of his Top 50 Shows!!
December 8th and 9th, 1995 CD 12-8-95 In the Arms of God

Widener College, Chester, Pa.

April 5th, 1974
February 6th and 7th, 1975

Obviously Bruce has performed on many occasions in the City of Philadelphia and he has many faithful fans. The city is mentioned in two of his songs, the classic "Atlantic City" from his "Nebraska" album, opens with the lines:

"They blew up the Chicken Man
In Philly last night,
The blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight,
Gonna see what them racket boys can do"

The lines refer to the early 80's Mafia Wars involving the Philadelphia and New York familes over control of Atlantic City Casino Union business. At 2:55 am, on March 15, 1981, Philip "Chicken Man" Testa Phil (Chicken Man) Testa (left) and Philly Mob Boss Angelo Brunoparked his 1980 Chevy Caprice in front of his Porter Street South Philadelphia row home. He walked onto his porch to open his front door, and a bomb containing several pounds of roofing nails and TNT rocked the neighborhood, killing Testa and destroying much of his house. It had been remotely detonated by Rocco Marinucci and Teddy Di Pretorio, sitting in a van down the block. Testa had just taken control of the Philly Mafia when Angelo Bruno was assasinated in March 1980. By 1984 over 30 mob killings were carried out in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area. DiPretorio and Marinucci were dead within a year.

In 1993 Bruce wrote and performed the song "Streets of Philadelphia" for Johnathan Demme's movie "Philadelphia", featuring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. The movie portrays the final days of a Philadelphia lawyer, stricken with the AIDS virus, who is fired by his employer. Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for BEST ACTOR while Bruce took the Oscar and Golden Globe Awards for BEST SONG.
Neil Young wrote and performed the title track, "Philadelphia".

Information for this page has been gathered from a variety
of on-line sources, especially the following pages:

Bruce Springsteen: The Boots
Bruce Springsteen: The Boots-The Top 50 Shows
Bruce Springsteen's CD Brucelegs
Bruce Springsteen: Brothers Under the Bridge

I recommend that you check these pages in depth,
as the information cited here, and the links
provided, represent only a tiny portion
of what is available from the above sources.

Since 12-22-2001
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