Greasy Lake

Those bloody hippies and their hippie music

Published 2012-07-15
Karsten S. Andersen
By Karsten S. Andersen

You would think it was 1967 and not 2012 when the police cut the sound of Bruce's show at the Hard Rock festival in Hyde Park last night. The show had run 30 minutes past the curfew, which to Bruce is standard procedure, but in London rules are rules. "Twist and Shout" had just ended. Paul McCartney had been on stage for it, joining Bruce for the first time ever in an intercontinental summit of rock 'n' roll legends. But even the presence of perhaps Britain's biggest rock star wasn't enough to make the London police show a little sense of propriety. The plug was pulled before Bruce could even say "thank you" and "good night", let alone play "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out", which was probably still left on the agenda.

And so a show that had the potential to be one for the ages just sort of fizzled out into the London evening sky. Sure, it will still be remembered, but maybe not entirely for the reasons that everybody thought when Paul McCartney joined the E Street Band six songs into the encores and duetted with Bruce on "I Saw Her Standing There".

Steve Van Zandt for one didn't take it lightly to be interrupted during that historical moment. His tweets after the show leaves nothing to your imagination when describing how he - and probably the rest of the band - felt. However, once the anger has settled, I'd be surprised if Bruce and Steve won't have a good laugh and reminisce about the times when these things last happened, oh, about 40 years ago when the Asbury Park police were more than happy to get an opportunity to shut up the local hippies' intolerable noise.

Well, this wasn't Asbury Park, it wasn't the Sixties, and the people on stage weren't hippies, but two of the world's biggest celebrities. Which to those of us who weren't present and weren't victims of this coitus interruptus only makes it easier to laugh at. One thing is certain: there won't be another official Hyde Park DVD. There probably also won't be another Hyde Park show, but to most UK fans that's not a great loss. Especially after this.

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Alan Clarke writes: Was at the show - the show itself was great and Paul McCartney topped that off at the end - never expected to see that but for the council/organisers to pull the plug was unforgivable, ruined what should have been a great end to a great show. I was near the front and you coud see te bewilderment amongst the whole band. They would onl have done one or two more songs and taken their richly deserved applause but "jobsworth" intervened and spoilt it for 65,000 people and the band. Hope this let are not running anything around the Olympics! Makes London look stupid!
Jon kewen writes: Totally agree....there are so many better venues than Hyde Park!!! At 62, Bruce has hopefully got at least one more big tour left in him in the next 2-3 years and as last night was my 26th time of seeing the legend that is the THE BOSS, I for one won't loose any sleep that it ain't at Hyde Park!!! - Jon,Newcastle.U.K.
duncan writes: Haaving seen Bruce on every tour since Born in the Usa in 85. I was surprised he decided to revisit Hard Rock again as his only London Show. 09 he was on top form, last night he was'nt. I only wish he would come back in the winter and do what Bon Jovi did take up residence at the O2 For month. Great version. Of version of Standing There one for the bootleg collection no thanks to the metropolitan police who robbed ofthe chancee chance to pay tribut
michael writes: good article, it was a great gig and a shame the way it ended. i was lucky enough to be at the sunderland and manchester gigs which were fabulous. and i got to see 10th avenue twice with the tribute. but thats what annoys me, think how many people that wanted to see that song to pay there respects to the big man and they were robbed at 10.45???????? my god what has this country come to when adults cant have a party in a park at least up to 11pm.......
andrew kenward writes: i was there and i have to say it makes me ashamed to be british!!!! england is supposed to be the cultural capitol of the world this year in conjunction with the olympics, so what do they do, cut the power because bruce wanted to play a tad past his curfew. what are we babies, do they have to tell us what time we should be in bed by, all of this noise pollution rubbish to, its stupid!! hope bruce never comes back to hyde park again!! if you ever read this bruce please please come back to hammersmith!!
steen writes: A disgrace.... I went to Paris (Bercy) and the show didn't finish 'till 1240!!!In Manchester he played for 3hr30min so the stupid promotors must have known who they have booked.He's got a track record of playing overtime (Glasto). I'm just glad that I live 250 miles from London. When I go to see him in New Jersey in September I don't think for one min. they will think of pulling the plug.Fath..........Tramps Like Us
redpath writes: Keep up the great blogging. No possibility that this could be a DVD? The curfew cut-off has made this amazing gig (the best Sprngsteen & E Street performance I've even seen) even more significant. It would be a great DVD release. Any word on what concert is planned to be this tour's DVD?

Another thought. Do we really think they would have gone into Tenth Avenue Freeze Out? I know Steve said they would have played until 11pm - but I wonder. It's been a beautiful tribute to Clarence, but surely it would not have finished the show after the crescendo was raised to the McCartney duet?

Is it not more likely they reluctantly decided to cut it from an earlier slot in the encore because they were running late? They did come on about 30 minutes later than scheduled.
Quinn writes: How shameful to end such an epic gig in this way - especially as the organisers hadn't got them on in time in nthe first place.
I was in the front row and just about heard Springsteen round the show off with a refrain of "I'll see you in my dreams" which might have been the last song he was going to sing as this concluded the Harrison Concert For George that McCartney played a few years back. Did anyone else hear this?
Tommy Beck Kobberoe writes: @ Quinn: The song Bruce sang unplugged was "Goodnight Irene", which is an old folk song. The lyrics include "I'll see you in my dreams", but is not the song you are referring to
Tony writes: I was there and for me Bruce, as alway was on top form, but the rest of the site was very poor. I get better sound from my system at home. Some of the crowd I dont believe want to be there, that or too many want a fight, yes i see at least 4 fights break out. That and at least 4 people tried to pick pocket me.......

Bruce 10 out of 10

Hyde Park 0 out of 10
Kevin Buckel writes: Those idiots are lucky they didn't have a riot on their hands. Nothing sucks more than when a concert ends right at the witching hour simply because the hands of the clock have fallen on it when the crowd is begging for more and paid a premium price to do so. When we buy our concert tickets we aren't buying 3 hours of amusement, we are trying to capture that irreplaceable moment we, the performer and rest of the crowd are just one. Except that moment at a Springsteen concert just keeps on going and who wants that to end?
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