"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:
In the sixties, Clark and American Bandstand packed up for the West Coast, Philadelphia teens having moved on to the Beatles,Animals,Stones and the Four Seasons. We also got to 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 to 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,
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.
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, 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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"
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.
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 parked 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.