Check out photos of Cream rocking The Spectrum, November 1, 1968

Cream at The Spectrum | photo by William Kates courtesy of the artist
Cream at The Spectrum | photo by William Kates courtesy of the artist

We’ve talked a lot about the sheer volume of rock and roll history contained in storied South Philly arena The Spectrum, from its opening day in 1967 to its final concert in 2009.

Today marks an anniversary on the earlier side of things: on November 1st, 1968, Cream — the o.g. blues rock power trio from London consisting of of singer-guitarist Eric Clapton, drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce — played its final Philadelphia concert at The Spectrum.

The concert was remembered in the book Strange Brew: Eric Clapton And The British Blues Boom 1965-1970: 

Although the tour has more downs than ups, Clapton will have strong memories of tonight’s gig when talking to Phil Sutcliffe nearly 40 years later. “I remember one show at the Philadelphia Spectrum…and I was playing the Gibson Firebird…and it was one of our greatest gigs ever. I was flying; no confusion, no indecision about when to stop, start, come in, go out; I wasn’t tired, I seemed to get more elevated through the evening, one of my greatest gigs ever.” The view is seconded by Jack Bruce, who later tells Tony Bacon: “The Spectrum is one of the very best gigs in America, if not the best. Philadelphia is a great rock music town. I’ve played that a few times, and it’s always been great. A rocking gig; great audience.”

Local photographer and rock enthusiast William Kates was there, and posted this incredible reminiscence of the show a few years back (in conjunction with WXPN’s Most Memorable Musical Moments countdown). Continue reading →