Curfew squelches legends encore
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Curfew squelches legends encore

London : United Kingdom | Jul 15, 2012 at 6:49 PM PDT
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Bruce Springsteen & Elvis Costello, Steve Van Zandt and Dave Groll - London Calling (Live)

Summer months bring warmer temperatures and the sound of booming stereos or rock bands on the streets of American cities. However, the British government has strict rules about such things especially late at night. The Brits are unwavering in their resolve to keep things quiet and will not relent…even for royalty.

On Saturday night, 20 time Grammy Award winning rock legend Bruce Springsteen was performing in London’s Hyde Park. The rocker and his E Street Band had been playing for nearly three hours when musical royalty and a rock legend himself Sir Paul McCartney joined The Boss, his band, and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morrello on stage for the encore.

The stars had performed the Beatle hit “I Saw Her Standing There” and were in the process of performing “Twist and Shout” before a crowd of 76,000 fans when the Westminster Council pulled the plug saying that the concert had reached it’s three hour limit. It took a little time for the musicians on stage to realize that the sound had been cut off; but after a short acoustic farewell Springsteen and the band members left the stage leaving some concert goers somewhat befuddled and unhappy.

The Hyde Park concert is not the first time such an issue has arisen. Recently during the tennis tournament at Wimbledon Andy Murry’s quarterfinal match was threatened with a shutdown as it neared the 11pm mark, but the match was allowed to be played out.

There have been incidents of rockers being fined or having the plug pulled in the past but often those occurrences were due to the “stars” showing up very late and insisting on performing the whole show.

After the concert in Hyde Park, E Street Band guitarist Eddie Van Zant took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the abrupt end to the concert asking when did England become a police state and if there was already too much fun in the world.

Van Zant was not the only person to express dismay over the course of events.

London Metro reporter Richard James said via Twitter, “only in Britain could a council pull the plug on the greatest artists of the past 50 years.”

After the deed was done, the council and concert organizers were quick to issue statements on Sunday with the council heaping the blame on the concert organizers who were seeking to avoid any penalty for breaking the curfew. In Britain a license to perform a concert comes with a time limit and a specific time for traffic stoppages in order to ensure safety of the concert goers.

Concert organizers admitted that it was unfortunate timing in pulling the plug at the three hour mark and cutting off the encore performance by the stars.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, had a different take on the situation telling a London radio station in an interview, “it sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision. You won’t get that during the Olympics. If they’d have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord!"

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US singer Bruce Springsteen performs with guitarist Steve Van Zant and the E. Street Band in Seville
US singer Bruce Springsteen performs with guitarist Steve Van Zant and the E. Street Band in Seville
Sherrill Fulghum is based in Niagara Falls, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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