Curfew Cuts Short Springsteen, McCartney Jam Session at Hard Rock Calling
Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen are inarguably two of the most acclaimed and well-known musicians on the planet right now – perhaps the top two. So you’d think that when those two take the stage together, folks would let them do pretty much whatever they want. This was not the case over the weekend in London’s Hyde Park when officials pulled the plug on a concert featuring both artists.
Springsteen was headlining Saturday night’s festival in the park, and was clearly enjoying himself.
“I gotta tell you, I’ve been trying to do this for 50 years,” he told the crowed that numbered over 76,000.
But he was enjoying himself even more when, at the climax of a three-hour plus show, he brought out former Beatle Paul McCartney to play along with him, the E Street Band and guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. CNN said this about Springsteen’s excitement about his guest: “His face lit up like a child with a super-sized Christmas gift.” I think most anyone in Springsteen’s position would’ve looked exactly the same.
But after the group performed an extended version of “I Saw Her Standing There,” they ripped into a rendition of “Twist and Shout.” But during that song – at 10:40 p.m. local time – the sound was cut from the concert. At first, it appeared the band didn’t notice, as Bruce kept singing and strumming. But once they discovered the sound was gone, Springsteen and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt seemed to give an impromptu, a capella performance to those in the front rows of the concert and then left the stage.
London’s Westminster Council later confirmed that concert organizers Hard Rock Calling were responsible for cutting the sound because Springsteen played past the 10:30 p.m. noise curfew.
Rules are rules – sure – but Springsteen is Springsteen and McCartney is McCartney. This may have been the last chance anyone will ever have to see them perform together, and it was unceremoniously cut short. Perhaps Van Zandt put it best in a later tweet about the incident.
“It didn’t ruin a great night,” he tweeted. “But when I’m jamming with McCartney don’t bug me!”