John McLauglin With Mahavishnu Orchestra (Spectrum, May 2, 1975)
Johm McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra: Spectrum, May 2, 1975
John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra opened up for the Jeff Beck band. The arena was configured in the more intimate “Theater” setting. A large orange drape, spanning the width of the seating area, sealed off the darkened backstage area from the Flyers’ blue line back to the delivery tunnel.
The crowd was mellow, security was lax. I sat on the stage, in the shadows just off to the side of the drummer.
Earlier in the evening, I had taken some backstage shots of McLaughin playing with a young girl, and Jeff Beck posing with my peers. Dinky Dawson, celebrated as the “sound man to the stars,” worked with McLaughin on this tour. Read his comments about the Philadelphia show:
On May 2nd, we played the Spectrum in Philadelphia. On a previous tour with the Kinks and Loggins and Messina, I had gotten into such a loud fracas with the unions that Topeka had to step in and settle the confrontation. This would be the first time back at the arena, and I felt a little nervous but resolved to hold my tongue if anything came up. Fortunately, the guys had a short memory, and my three-year-old daughter, Amanda, charmed the stagehands and teamsters with her singing and dancing. When the load-in was completed, they gave her a tour of the venue, lavishing sports swag to her delight. Even Jeff [Beck] and John [McLaughlin] were laughing as she danced with the stagehands during sound check. I was relieved! By the end of the show, they couldn’t do enough for us.
I found a box of John McLaughlin’s guitar picks alongside his opened guitar case. There were about 100 of them packed tightly in a clear plastic case.
They were uncomfortable to hold and difficult to use. They were white, textureless and slippery, extra hard and unusually small with a tapered round shape, about the size of a finger nail.
McLaughlin’s picks were some of the many special souvenirs I accumulated while working at the Spectrum. Special thanks to the Statute of Limitations!