Springsteen, McCartney Silenced by London Curfew

LONDON (AP) — Concert organizers pulled the plug on rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney after the pair defied the sound curfew at London’s Hyde Park, silencing their microphones at the tail end of the show.

Springsteen had already exceeded the 10:30 p.m. curfew by half an hour Saturday night when he welcomed McCartney on stage and the pair sang the Beatles hits “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout.” But the microphones were turned off before they could thank the crowd, forcing them to leave the stage in silence.

A statement from concert organizer Live Nation said it was unfortunate that Springsteen’s three-hour-plus performance was stopped “right at the very end,” but it said that the curfew had been laid down by the authorities “in the interest of the public’s health and safety.”

Huge concerts in Hyde Park, a 350-acre (140-hectare) expanse of landscaped garden and parkland that abuts some of London’s wealthiest neighborhoods, have increasingly caused friction between fans and the area’s well-heeled residents, many of whom gripe about the late-night noise and nuisance.

With complaints on the rise, local officials have decided that as of next year, the number of concerts will be slashed from 13 to nine. Also in 2013, they plan to reduce crowd limits from 80,000 to 65,000.

Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar in Springsteen’s E-Street Band, criticized Saturday’s decision as heavy-handed.

“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 on Twitter. “On a Saturday night! Who were we disturbing?” Finally he added: “There’s no grudges to be held. Just feel bad for our great fans. … It’s some City Council stupid rule.”

London’s flamboyant mayor, Boris Johnson, said Sunday that the singers should have been allowed to keep going.

“It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision,” he told London radio. “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!”

FROM WIKIPEDIA

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949), nicknamed “The Boss“, is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who records and tours with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock, poetic lyrics, Americana sentiments centered on his native New Jersey and his lengthy and energetic stage performances, with concerts from the 1970s to the present decade occasionally running at over 220 minutes.

Springsteen’s recordings have included both commercially accessible rock albums and more somber folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born in the U.S.A. and Born to Run, showcase a talent for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily American life; he has sold more than 65 million albums in the United States and more than 120 million worldwide and he has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century, and in 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him as the 23rd Greatest Artist of all time.

Sir James Paul McCartneyMBEHon RAMFRCM (born 18 June 1942), is an English musician, singer, songwriter and composer. With John LennonGeorge Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, and his collaboration with Lennon is one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. After the group’s break-up he pursued a solo career, forming the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine.

McCartney has been described by Guinness World Records as the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time”, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and as the “most successful songwriter” in United Kingdom chart history. His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists, more than any other song in history. Wings’ 1977 release “Mull of Kintyre“, is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. McCartney has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on theBillboard Hot 100, and as of 2012 he has sold over 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States.

McCartney has released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist, and has composed classical and electronic music. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rightsseal huntinglandminesvegetarianismpoverty and music education. He has been married three times and is the father of five children.

Steven Van Zandt (born November 22, 1950) is an American musiciansongwriterarrangerrecord produceractor, and radio disc jockey, who frequently goes by the stage names Little Steven or Miami Steve. He is best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, in which he plays guitar and mandolin, and as an actor in the television drama The Sopranos (1999–2007), in which he played the character Silvio Dante. Van Zandt also had his own solo band called “Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul” in the 1980s.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (born 19 June 1964) is a British Conservative Party politician and journalist, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008. He was previously the Member of Parliament for Henley and Editor in Chief of The Spectator magazine.

Johnson was educated at Primrose Hill Primary School, the European School of BrusselsAshdown House SchoolEton College, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Literae Humaniores. He began his career in journalism with The Times and later moved on to The Daily Telegraph, where he became Assistant Editor. He was appointed Editor of The Spectatorin 1999. In the 2001 general election, he was elected to the House of Commons and became one of the most conspicuous politicians in the country. He has also written several books.

Under Michael Howard, Johnson served on the Conservative front bench as the Shadow Minister for the Arts (April-November 2004). When David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, Johnson was re-appointed to the front bench as Shadow Minister for Higher Education and resigned as Editor of The Spectator.

In September 2007, he was selected as the Conservative candidate for the 2008 London mayoral election. Johnson defeated Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone and was elected Mayor, after which he resigned his seat in parliament. With over a million votes, he received the largest personal mandate of any politician in British history. On 4 May 2012, Johnson was re-elected as Mayor, again defeating Ken Livingstone.