Van Zandt apologises to London police

Mon, Jul 16, 2012, 01:00

Bruce Springsteen’s guitar player Steven van Zandt has offered an apology to the Metropolitan Police for accusing them in the wrong of pulling the plug on their concert in Hyde Park in London on Saturday evening.

Springsteen was on stage with former Beatle Paul McCartney for the first time when somebody cut the power because they had overrun their 10.30pm curfew by 10 minutes.

The decision was booed by 80,000 fans in Hyde Park and criticised by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson who described it as an “excessively efficacious decision”.

Immediately after the concert van Zandt tweeted: “One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state? 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! Who were we disturbing?”

It has since emerged that it was not the Metropolitan Police who pulled the plug on the concert but the organisers at the behest of Westminster City Council, the licensing authority.

Van Zandt turned up at Tower Records in Dublin this evening to broadcast his weekly two hour radio programme which he normally presents in the United States but his presenting from Dublin tonight on the eve of Springsteen’s two concerts tomorrow and Wednesday at the RDS.

Some 300 fans turned out for van Zandt’s appearance.

“I wasn’t really, really angry. Maybe I was a little bit too tough on the police, I think I should apologise about that and I think I will because I’m not sure who pulled the plug,” he said joking. "It may not have been the police.

"We don’t intend to break curfews. We just always do. The problem with curfews is that they are scheduled too early. They should reschedule the curfew. In this stage we were literally 10 minutes past curfew. We’re usually an hour past curfew.

"We could have done three more songs and been off stage by 11 o’clock. Who were we disturbing exactly? Six people in a council meeting! It was a Saturday night," he said.

Van Zandt said rock and roll was supposed to be about rebelling against the "cookie cutter thing" of excessive rules and regulations.

"Maybe rock and roll is so often of fashion that people don't realise that it is important anymore. It is kind of nice that it is still going on that we still have these silly confrontations like The Beatles on the roof top. Nothing's changed in 43 years."

Springsteen is on at the early time of 7pm tomorrow evening so there’s little chance of a curfew restricting the set.

There’s no support and he’s expected to play for around three hours, but as van Zandt said don’t bet on him running over.