Noise Nannies Pull Plug On Springsteen And McCartney


(Apologies for occupying your attention with this news, which is neither gay-related nor Earth-shattering. But the gall! The gall of it!)

Bruce Springsteen headlined the second evening of the Hard Rock Calling festival in London's Hyde Park last night, in front 60,000 typically enthused fans. He hit the stage at 7:30 p.m., did his usual superhuman three-hour sweatathon — and then, as a finale, brought out Paul McCartney. CNN reports that this was the first time the men had shared a stage; a  collaboration, Springsteen said, he'd dreamt of "for 50 years." Bruce grinned. Paul grinned. They did "I Saw Her Standing There" and a rave-up on "Twist And Shout," which was just building towards some ungodly convulsive denouement when —

— the power was cut. From CNN:

At first, the Boss didn't seem to notice. He attempted to address the crowd, apparently unaware that they couldn't hear him. But as it became clear that there was no amplification, he and lead guitarist Stevie Van Zandt played what looked to be a brief a cappella goodnight for the benefit of the front rows, shrugged, and left the stage.

The plug had been pulled by the event's organizers. Hard Rock, it turns out, mustn't call past 10:30 p.m., at least in swank Westminster, where residents have for years complained of noise during the park's summer concert series. Out of concern for residents' ears, the number of concerts held in the park each summer has been trimmed from 13 to nine, and concerts are scheduled to end at 10:30 p.m. They didn't pull the plug on Springsteen and McCartney until 10:40 p.m. I'm assuming that's because McCartney's been knighted.

Hard Rock Calling concludes tomorrow evening with a set by Paul Simon. 


  1. Josh says

    Maybe not gay-related, but for a Springsteen fanatic and Beatlemaniac such as myself, it’s pretty close to Earth-shattering! The gall indeed!

  2. jake says

    Good. You make a contract to end at 10:30 then you end at 10:30. Or go to somewhere indoors so not everyone has to endure the endless noise.

  3. Zell says

    Not everyone likes hard rock. If I lived in “swank” Westminster I’d be annoyed, too. What an obnoxious article.

  4. Aaron says

    Try going to a community board meeting in NYC anytime a new bar opens. You’d think the residents thought they were living in in the middle of nowhere the way they would be upset by not only the noise but the possibility of their 6-year-old being served alcohol. Absolutely no common sense applied.

  5. Mike says

    All it takes is one complainer. San Francisco is rife with scolds and grumps blocking bars, limiting festivals and fairs, and shutting down clubs. Apparently, no one told them that there are plenty of quiet, boring places to live in right across the bridge.

  6. Steven says

    Why is a story about Springsteen and a Beatle not gay-related and stories about Madonna and Nicki Minaj are? It’s time for our community to stop with the stereotypes and assumptions that we all like dance music just because…you know…we’re gay.

  7. Dxx says

    Madge is playing there Thursday, and is infamous for not starting her show until an hour after scheduled time. I wonder if she’ll start on time or end up having her power cut as well; something tells me she won’t be as gracious as Bruce or Sir Paul.


    It is interesting how this is all over the news. Any why? Rules are rules. If I put money in a jukebox at the bar and it closes before my songs are played, sucks for me.

  9. Elsewhere says

    I live near a street corner that is often the venue of impromptu (but electronically amplified) concerts. I have no choice but to listen and, yes, the music coming from outside my apartment can drown out normal conversations inside of it.

    Sure, the area around Hyde Park is pretty posh, but that’s not the point; the point is forcing someone to listen to something whether they want to or not.

    I’m sure as hell that the stage manager(s) knew about the 22:30 curfew, but they thought it might not apply to their situation. It did.

  10. kevin says

    I’m sorry, but how is this story yet another example of the world’s increasing lack of common sense? The program was due to end by 10:30. There are neighbors to consider, not just the people in the park for the concert. And who cares how Madge will react. The world doesn’t revolve around these people when they are in a public setting. Those who like peace & quiet in their homes have rights too!

  11. RobWest says

    Why was this place chosen, if it has sound rules? There must have been an alternative location.

  12. Sargon Bighorn says

    “He attempted to address the crowd, apparently unaware that they couldn’t hear him” The music was so loud they all went deaf.

  13. Mike says

    Paul McCartney should do more to support LGBT people since he has made songs about love and peace for so long now. God knows we buy his music and go to his concerts.
    It would be good to see some support for gays from a man who has made peace and love his trade mark for all these years now.



    THANK YOU, SIR! I AM A HUGE Bruce Springsteen FAN.


  15. WHAT? says

    @Mike: what exactly do you expect him to do? Does he owe you something? When he sings about love and peace, is he specifically excluding gay people? Is he not talking about all ethnicities, creeds, and nationalities, sexual orientation when he sings about that? All inclusive?

    Sounds like you live in a world where you judge people based on what you think they should do for you. Sad. You might want to get a hobby or make some friends.

  16. John Conolley says

    News for rock fans: Not everyone wants to hear it. Keep your damned rackety “music” to yourselves.

  17. John Conolley says

    News for rock fans: Not everyone wants to hear it. Keep your damned rackety “music” to yourselves.

  18. Fahd says

    I can tell it’s the weekend.

    Anyway, there has to be something that’s not being taught in schools nowadays.

    Here, you get everyone to wrap up graciously so you don’t go too far over the time limit. Without complaint, the organizers pay whatever fine there is imposed for going over (see contract). You deal with the other consequences.

    My neighbor who has parties at 3:00 AM outside other people’s bedroom windows needs more stern measures.

  19. Solomon says

    Brandon, no need to apologize. This news interests us. My father once told me something that has stuck with me for my life so far: Fart proudly or not at all! Stop equivocating. It’s unnatractive. Nice article choice. How dare they slight the bruce-man!!?

  20. AZEXPAT says

    The trouble with making exceptions for rules is that everybody thinks that they have the right to be the exception. Whose rights are more important? Seems creating a schedule for a venue with time and day limits was a reasonable compromise to not allowing concerts at all, or saying FU to the people who live there and having no restrictions and no respect. It’s called civilization.

  21. Icebloo says

    Well this is what happens when you perform a concert in a rich area. The rich get to do what the hell they want AGAIN.

    As usual the artists choose a venue that is expensive and hard to travel to for working people. They should have chosen a venue more easily accessible for every day people. Why must London get everything at the expense of everyone else ?

  22. Ryan says

    Bottom line: people who moved into that nieghborhood knew about the concerts. They shouldn’t have the right to then go all NIMBY on them and try to cap those concerts at their knees.

    Too many other people enjoy them.

    How much harder now will it be to attract talent when an artist knows the plug can be pulled right out from under him.

  23. Elsewhere says

    Hyde Park is… a park. In London, just off Park Lane, and is served by 2 or 3 tube (subway) lines and 6 bus lines. So us poors have lots and lots of ways to get there.

    There have been special event concerts in HP since at least the 1960’s (the Rolling Stones in 1969 was, I think, the biggest) but the concert promoters haven’t been doing a regular season in the park for all that long. It’s 9 concerts a summer. That end at 10 pm. The promoters know it. The concert acts know it. It’s all part of the contracts they sign.

    Springsteen & co. went 40 minutes over and expected no repercussions, and when there were they blamed (and criticized) everyone else except themselves.

    How does that not represent an unattractive sense of entitlement?

  24. Kevin thor says

    Letting this garbage go on till 10:30 was bad enough. Why disturb people’s life with this noise that late especially when they knew of the curfew ?

  25. Chris says

    Reminds me of Mardi Gras in New Orleans… at midnight on Fat Tuesday IT IS OVER!!! Police and street sweepers come through the city. “You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here…”

  26. Rules are Rules says

    Sorry, but not everybody wants to have to hear noise after 10:30pm. Not everybody likes the same type of music and some people like quiet at night. If these spoiled performers don’t following the rules, they need to play indoor arenas or start their shows earlier.

    And for the person who said Vadge is doing a concert there and was wondering if her power will be cut, the answer is absolutely. She’s nobody special. If Paul McCartney (who’s from England) got the power cut, has-been Vadge definitely will. So if she’s smart she won’t pull that diva shyt and will peform on schedule. Otherwise her fans will get screwed with only half a show and people will be demanding a refund.

  27. Mike says

    Such a crack-up reading about that awful rocker and that long hair McCartney on tho thread. “Those kids and that rock music!!!!”

  28. ratbastard says

    The places London, NYC, even where I live Boston, many clubs, bars and venues for music, festivals, walks or runs for this or that, even political demonstrations, are also residential areas. The people who live in these neighborhoods of course have a right to keep the noise, activity, at a reasonable level, especially in the evening and over-night. The only way to avoid this is put all the bars, clubs, festivals, demonstrations, etc. in an industrial district, a financial district that usually empties out at the end of a work day [which is one reason why many bars and clubs are located in financial districts] or out the less populated and more spacious suburbs. Now everybody knows suburbs are NIMBY central, not gonna happen. But ironically, many of the people who complain about early closing of various venues themselves live in these NIMBY suburbs, but have the attitude they’re entitled to cut loose in town and behave in ways they wouldn’t where they live.

    The venue managers and promoters knew damn well what the rules were. This manufactured outrage just gives them publicity and a little street cred.