Inside one particularly memorable ‘90s pop-rock song are two princes. One prince has diamonds in his pocket. The other wants you to buy him flowers.
If you were any level of sentient in the ‘90s, you remember the inescapable scat soundtrack that underscored far too many pop cultural moments, “Two Princes” urging you to just go ahead now. Three decades have passed since the song was released in 1991, and the Spin Doctors have mostly faded from public consciousness. But their hit, “Two Princes” endures, thanks to oldies radio blasting from Ubers and 24-hour drug stores. (“Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” too, if you choose to believe they are one-and-a-half hit wonders.) You’ve probably heard “Two Princes” at least once in the last week, and you might have even wondered, “Hey, who is this band?”, “What are they up to?” and most morbidly, “Are they still alive?” Wondered, but, you know, not enough to actually look it up. You have better things to do. You’re busy! I get it. But luckily, I don’t. I tracked them down to find out, and you can thank me later.
The Spin Doctors, the four princes of the ‘90s rock scene, are still actively touring, headlining places like a summertime Street Faire in downtown Louisville, Colorado, playing a small pavilion behind a public library, and, more recently, Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling alley music venue hybrid in…Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The latter is where I tracked down the Spins (a nickname bassist Jack Daley used throughout our conversation and that I have now adopted).
Brooklyn Bowl Philly is as confused as the name suggests, the dystopian conclusion of a world Josie and the Pussycats or Just My Luck imagined. (If you don’t remember: both movies, from 2001 and 2006, respectively, featured bands playing gigs at bowling alleys to small, uninterested crowds. In the Y2K-era, this sort of thing was synonymous with failure.)
Because one very loud activity at a time simply isn’t enough, here I am. On one side of the vacuous space is a stage with a 1,000-person capacity standing area and a large bar; on the other, there are a few exposed bowling lanes rentable for just a few hundred dollars on top of your ticket purchase—nothing says rock ‘n’ roll like you and seven of your friends enjoying a leisurely game of bowling while watching your favorite band from middle school perform in the distance.