Pictured above is Trey Anastasio (left) of Phish and Ike Richman.”My favorite guy in the business,” Ike said.
If Ike Richman wasn’t the VP of Public Relations at Comcast Spectacor, he thinks he’d probably be a game show host.
“I’d love to be Steve Harvey for a day, hosting Family Feud,” he told us.
However, working at Comcast Spectacor is Ike’s dream job. When he was young, Ike’s family was involved with the Philadelphia 76ers (his grandfather, also named Ike Richman, was one of the investors that bought The Syracuse Nationals in 1963 and relocated the team). Because of this, he grew up hanging around the arena where they played.
“As a young boy, my brother and I would wander the concourses of the Spectrum gathering ticket stubs and collecting them,” Ike said. “I used to make a scrapbook of all of the clippings from concerts at the Spectrum. I still have the book! I used to pretend I worked here as a kid.”
These early experiences instilled a love of live events in Ike and he is thrilled to oversee PR for the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and Comcast-Spectacor and the Spectra companies.
“Every day is a different event and that’s what makes this business so much fun,” he said. “We work a lot of nights and weekends. We have to love what we do to be in this business. I truly love every aspect of the industry.”
Ike is looking forward to a big year at Wells Fargo Center. Along with celebrating its 20th Anniversary on Aug. 31 of this year, the Center is hosting the NCAA Men’s East Regionals in March (“GO TERPS!”) and the Democratic National this summer.
“Time really does fly when you’re having fun,” he said.
To keep the fun times rolling, check out Ike’s favorite live shows of all time below.
Garth Brooks at Wells Fargo Center, 1998
It was the fifth of six consecutive shows. Each night as the show started to wind down, only Garth would come back on stage for an encore. On the fifth night as I stood to the side of the stage I asked the violin player, why do you stand down here as if he is going to call you back up. He said, “You never know when he may invite us back.” As soon as he said that, Garth motioned the band back out for a few additional songs. He went right up to midnight that night, had everyone eating out of his hands. He apologized for keeping everyone out late and told everyone if they had to get home to relieve the babysitter he would understand. There was magic in the air that night indeed!
New York Rock & Soul Review at The Spectrum, 1993
A great billing of the New York Rock & Soul Review, featuring Donald Fagan, Michael McDonald, Phoebe Snow and Boz Scaggs. It was a great night of soul music and some great rockers. On paper it looked like it would be a great night. Little did we realize that Walter Becker was in the band and it would become the unofficial reunion of Steely Dan. When they performed “My Old School” the building started to bounce and we knew we were seeing something truly special. Steely Dan would make it a point to tour regularly after that.
Roger Waters, “The Wall Live,” at Wells Fargo Center, 2011
The greatest show ever! Hands down! Nothing will ever top seeing “The Wall Live.” Roger is a genius. He was able to take a concept album and make it come to life on a giant video wall that would be constructed throughout the show only to be demolished at the end. I saw this show four times and that wasn’t enough. Extremely moving and inspirational.
U2 with Bruce Springsteen at Wells Fargo Center, 2005
At the mixing board, I noticed I was standing next to Bruce Springsteen. He pulled out the set list and “People Get Ready” was circled. He started to look for an exit from the floor as we were getting close to that part of the show. I leaned over and said, “I can help you.” He said, “Great. Let’s go!” As we got out to the floor, security let me out as I had a pass. They stopped Bruce and Patty, who weren’t wearing passes. I whispered to the guard, “Take a close look at this guy. He is with me.” They realized it was Bruce Springsteen. We watched two songs from the pit and then they we went under the stage. At that moment I think I was the only one in the arena who knew what was about to happen. When Bono said “we need a guitar player for this next song,” Bruce walked out. Philly is a special place for Bruce Springsteen. It was a great night.
Bruce Springsteen at The Spectrum, 2009
The Spectrum was the first arena Bruce Springsteen ever performed in as an opening act for Chicago in 1973. He had many memorable nights in the Spectrum, so it was appropriate he was one of the artists who would close the building in 2009. As the show was winding down, he dedicated “Save the Last Dance for Me” to the Spectrum. He refused to leave the stage that night and the crowd refused to see the evening end. He kept coming back for more. Shutting it down with “Rosalita” with everyone standing, fists in the air, singing as loud as they could still echoes in my ears even though the Spectrum is no longer here.
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