July 17, 2012 16:54
Organisers defend decision to pull plug on Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney's Hyde Park show
Live Nation boss says Hyde Park residents "wield inordinate power" over the Mayor of London and Parliament
The organisers of Hard Rock Calling have defended their decision to pull the plug on Bruce Springsteen's duet with Paul McCartney on Saturday night (July 14).
In an email to The Wall Street Journal, Live Nation's Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Paul Latham, says that to continue hosting concerts in one of London's most exclusive neighborhoods, the company has to agree to a strict 10:30pm noise curfew with local authorities.
"For the last 12 months we have been fighting the good fight with the Local Authority and their licensing teams to retain the ability to stage concerts in Hyde Park," he writes. "The current licences were granted on very strict noise restrictions, traffic plans and curfews with the “sword of Damocles” hanging over any future events if we broke any of the conditions." He added:
Suffice to say the residents of Park Lane and Mayfair may not be numerous but they wield inordinate power over the Gogs and Magogs of City Hall and Parliament.
Latham said that he had let the concert go over for ten minutes, but was forced to pull the plug so that the promoters wouldn't lose their license to hold events there in future: "A combination of Bruce coming on 20 minutes late, the crazy British weather...and the fact that Bruce and Co. were so into the gig meant we knew the curfew was going to run perilously close."
He added: "Throw in the curveball of his Maccaness rocking up at the last minute and we had a musical cocktail for the ages but a nightmare curfew scenario. We were assured that they were going to only do a couple of numbers so we could turn a blind eye to a 10 minute over-run and risk the wrath of our naysayers but then the couple of numbers happened to be Beatles medleys and when Bruce went to change guitars to start again I'm afraid the power had to come off on music history in the hope that we will be allowed to create more in the future."
The decision prompted consternation on Twitter, with Springsteen's guitarist Steven Van Zandt leading a chorus of disapproval. He wrote: "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?"
Mayor of London Boris Johnson also joined the calls of dismay, saying this morning (July 16) that he believed the pair should have been allowed to continue and joked that he would have said for them "to jam in the name of the Lord!"
Meanwhile, NME’s sister title Uncut has launched a new iPad app telling the story of Bruce Springsteen.
'Bruce Springsteen: The Ultimate Music Guide' gives an in-depth look across The Boss' entire career, including the release of this year's 'Wrecking Ball', through a host of archive features and reviews taken from classic issues of NME and Melody Maker.
Also included in the app are a bunch of classic photo galleries, video links and playable MP3 samples of every track on his studio albums.
Other highlights include the interactive guide 'Introducing The E Street Band', and a masterclass in Springsteen collectables and rarities.
The first chapter of 'Bruce Springsteen: The Ultimate Music Guide' is available now for free from iTunes. The other four chapters are available for 69p each.
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