Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney's Surprise Duet Cut Short by Curfew

Legendary rock pairing ends prematurely in London's Hyde Park after organizers nix their performance because it ran overtime

By Josh Grossberg Jul 16, 2012 3:28 PMTags
Paul McCartney, Bruce SpringsteenPABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Image, Jim Dyson/Getty Images

In this case, it was a Hyde Park freeze-out.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band pulled out all the stops for U.K. fans in London's famed green space on Saturday night during a gig at the Hard Rock Calling Festival when they invited fellow rock legend Paul McCartney to join them onstage for an encore of some Beatles tunes.

Trouble is the Boss didn't bother to run it by promoters, who had a strict curfew to enforce.

Telling the record crowd of 76,000 that he'd been waiting 50 years to do this, New Jersey's favorite son brought the former moptop up for a rollicking run through "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout." But alas, little did Springsteen realize that by then the show was blowing past its scheduled 10:30 p.m. end time.

Consequently, according to the Guardian, just as he and McCartney were about to launch into yet another ditty, instead of letting the all-star jam play out, concert organizers shut it down entirely, cutting power to his microphone.

"Dancing in the Dark" indeed.

Those in attendance had to watch Springsteen suffer through the embarrassment of talking without the audience even hearing him before Bruce finally got the message and walked off to a chorus of whistles and boos.

Live Nation, which promoted the gig, called the incident "unfortunate."

"It was unfortunate that the three hour-plus performance by Bruce Springsteen was stopped right at the very end but the curfew is laid down by the authorities in the interest of the public's health and safety," the company said on its website.

A spokesman later added that everyone who attended "had a fantastic time."

Reps for Springsteen and McCartney were unavailable for comment, though E Street's guitarist Stevie Van Zandt did take to Twitter about it, saying there's no hard feelings.

"There's no grudges to be held," he tweeted. "Just feel bad for our great fans. Hard Rock is cool. Live Nation is cool. It's some City Council stupid rule."

He subsequently added: "Nobody's blaming England! I owe my life (and radio format) to the British invasion!"