Springsteen’s Guitarist Calls England ‘Police State’ After The Boss and McCartney Silenced
(LONDON) — A Bruce Springsteen concert in London’s Hyde Park ended in controversy on Saturday night after The Boss’ microphone was cut off when the show ran over its allotted time.
Springsteen performed 29 songs, playing for more than three hours with several special guests as part of the Hard Rock Calling concert series. The set was already 30 minutes past its 10:30 p.m. curfew when Springsteen began the Beatles hit “Twist and Shout” with Paul McCartney. Before the song ended, the microphones had already been turned off.
Video shot by one of the 76,000 concertgoers, who braved rainy conditions, and posted on YouTube, showed the singers attempting to thank the crowd at the end of the show, but they could not be heard. Several in the crowd booed.
Steven Van Zandt, the lead guitarist for Springsteen’s E Street Band, vented on Twitter after the concert ended.
“One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?” he tweeted.
“Is there just too much fun in the world? We would have been off by 11 if we’d done one more. On a Saturday night! Who were we disturbing?” he added, suggesting that the police focus on fighting crime instead of cracking down on noise violations.
In a statement posted on the Hard Rock Calling website, a spokesman for concert promoter Live Nation apologized to fans.
“It was unfortunate that the three hour plus performance by Bruce Springsteen was stopped right at the very end but the curfew is laid down by authorities in the interest of the public’s health and safety,” the company said.
Meanwhile London Mayor Boris Johnson distanced himself from the decision to end the concert, saying the musicians should have been allowed to “jam in the name of the Lord.”
Ultimately Van Zandt lay blame with city officials and not the concert’s organizers.
“English cops may be the only individuals left on earth that wouldn’t want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney!” he wrote.
Later on Sunday, Van Zandt backed off his criticism slightly, tweeting “Nobody’s blaming England!”
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