Born to overrun – Springsteen dancing in the park

Last night Hyde Park hosted  80,000 mesmerised spectators who stood in the rain and listened to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ,  joined by Sir Paul McCartney – the legend.

Here’s the video footage of the two singing “I saw her standing there” (thanks to ttp://

Also looking on were Westminster Council enforcing their 10.30 curfew , some disgruntled millionaires whose houses and flats might have been in earshot (if the gig had been played at normal volumes). Then there were the Hardrock organisers who had one eye on their watches and the other on their bottom line. Spingsteen like  Dylan’s rowin’gambler

 found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor. He said, ‘I never engaged in this kind of thing before

Hardrock were out of their depth. They provided a sound system cranked to 2 , I could sometimes hear Springsteen over the sound of the crowd singing but this was not Motorhead at Hammersmith!

Springsteen played his usual full on set and was joined on stage by John Fogarty and Tom Morello. He played almost all of his brilliant new album and along with the odd dud, an astounding set from his 40 year old back catalogue. The man gave his all.

Macca joined him at 10.20 just after Steve Van Zandt had joked about the curfew, at 10.35, the sound of McCartney and Springsteen duetting on twist and shout was faded out and we were left with the bizarre sight of 20 musicians hammering away for all they were worth with only the acoustics of the drum kit and the stage monitors working.

You could not make this up!

This update from Consequence of Sound

E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt shared his thoughts on Twitter: “One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state? We break curfews in every country but only English cops needs to “punish us” by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes. 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? The cops got nothing more important to do? How about they go catch some criminals instead of fucking with 80,000 people having a good time? English cops may be the only individuals left on earth that wouldn’t want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney! I’m sorry but I have to be honest I’m pissed. Like I said, it didn’t ruin the great night. But when I’m jamming with McCartney don’t bug me!”

This 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.

London’s Westminster Council later confirmed that concert organizers Hard Rock Calling had cut the power, saying they “were sticking to their license for the event.” According to the Hard Rock Calling website, Springsteen had been due to finish his set at 10:15 p.m. CNN)

I left happy happy because I saw a great gig,  but I had a nasty feeling in my stomach as we walked back in the rain to West London. I suspect that many will feel uneasy that in Lockdown London, a few pathetically short-sighted council geeks have managed to show themselves, Westminster and London up .

More worryingly for the next month, the implementation of curfews , penalties, armed security, army as security, Rapier ground to air missiles and no fly zones seems a million miles from the Olympic ideal.

For those who hark back to the  origins of the Olympic movement, it might be remembered that the original contestants performed naked. Perhaps the closest celebration of that was the Henley streaker last week! Spontaneous outbursts of unregulated spirit as displayed by the 80,000 of us last night are unlikely to meet any more sympathy than we got!

They even stole our Playpen and turned it into a corporate hospitality area!

So in honour of the great Bruce Springsteen I print the life affirming lyrics of Badlands which have kept me going thorugh many a dark hour and will do in dark hours to come.

You can unplug the human spirit but you cannot silence it!

Lights out tonight, trouble in the heartland.
Got a head-on collision, smashin in my guts man.
Im caught in a crossfire that I don’t understand.
But there’s one thing I know for sure girl:
I don’t give a damn for the same old played out scenes
I don’t give a damn for just the in-betweens.
Honey I want the heart, I want the soul, I want control right now.
You better listen to me baby:
Talk about a dream; try to make it real.
You wake up in the night with a fear so real.
You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don’t come.
Well don’t waste your time waiting

Badlands you gotta live it every day
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price youve gotta pay
Well keep pushin till it’s understood
And these badlands start treating us good

Workin in the field till you get your back burned
Workin `neath the wheels till you get your facts learned.
Baby I got my facts learned real good right now.
You better get it straight darling:
Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings,
And a king aint satisfied till he rules everything.
I wanna go out tonight, I wanna find out what I got.

Now I believe in the love that you gave me.
I believe in the faith that could save me.
I believe in the hope and I pray that some day it
Will raise me above these


For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside
That it aint no sin to be glad you’re alive.
I wanna find one face that aint looking through me
I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in Bankers, Consolation, Greece, happiness, pension playpen, springstee, Springsteen, The Racket of the Lambs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Born to overrun – Springsteen dancing in the park

  1. Pingback: Springsteen, McCartney cut off by London curfew | Bazaar Daily News

  2. Brian Spence says:

    Excellent post Henry – saw him in Paris last week and he played until 0040 – Metro was shut, not a taxi to be had and we walked 5 miles and got to our hotel at 0300. We met some Canadian fans and bemoaned that it would never happen in London. How right we were!

    Stopping at 1030 – ridiculous. Looking forward to seeing him again on Tuesday in Dublin – pretty confident he wont be swtiched off there either.

    • henry tapper says:

      Really! Why is it that we have allowed the agenda for these things to be controlled as it has. I hear that Boris Johnson is vocal about Jamming in the name of Jah, but all this is happening on his watch.

      Like the terrorism of anit-terrorism, the noise abatement mob have conrnered the market in paranoia!

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  4. Pingback: Do not be terrorised by anti-terrorism. | Henrytapper's Blog

  5. Pingback: Bruce Springsteen’s Blues: The Boss Reveals Battles With Severe Depression « Digiindie

  6. 10 Downing Street is also in Westminster Council, though the local authority appears to have been much more relaxed about curfews and the like there.

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