Plug pulled on Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park
They may be two of the best-known rock and roll musicians of all time, but stars Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney were silenced over the weekend after they defied a sound curfew at Hard Rock Calling in London.
Sir Paul had joined Springsteen on stage at the end of the singer’s headline slot in Hyde Park, but both stars found their microphones cut off before they could address the crowds.
Springsteen, known for his long performances, had been playing for more than three hours and had exceeded the curfew by half an hour.
After belting out hits such as Born In The USA and Because The Night, he welcomed Sir Paul to the stage to sing Beatles hits I Saw Her Standing There and Twist and Shout, but neither performer had the chance to thank the crowd, and they eventually had to leave the stage in silence.
Springsteen, who played with his E Street Band, had earlier sung two songs with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and singer John Fogerty had joined him for one.
He delighted the crowds with his energetic set, often shaking hands with audience members.
Actor and musician Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar in Springsteen’s E-Street Band and starred in US drama series The Sopranos, voiced his frustration, on Twitter, at the gig’s ending.
In a series of tweets he said: “One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?
“We break curfews in every country but only English cops need to ‘punish us’ by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes.
“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!”
“The cops got nothing more important to do? How about they go catch some criminals instead of f****** with 80,000 people having a good time?
“English cops may be the only individuals left on earth that wouldn’t want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney!”
The number of concerts that can take place in Hyde Park will be reduced from 13 to nine from next year following complaints about noise.
Boris Johnson, the London mayor, said the musicians should have been allowed to continue their set.
He said: “It sounds like an excessively efficacious decision. If they’d have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord!”
Leith Penny, Westminster Council’s strategic director for city management, said: “Concert organisers, not the council, ended last night’s concert in Hyde Park to comply with their licence, which allows them to run the concert until 10:30pm.
“Licences are granted until certain times to protect residents from noise late at night.”