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Steven Van Zandt Apologizes for Hyde Park Comments, But Seeking Reasonable Regulations

Bruce Springsteen's Steven Van Zandt
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

Twitter may be great for some things, but a lot of times it provides an all-too-easy sounding board for your frustrations as Bruce Springsteen guitarist Steven Van Zandt can attest to after a rant against the police following the plug-pulling incident last weekend in London.

Rolling Stone reports that at the time, the guitarist wrote, “The cops got nothing more important to do? How about they go catch some criminals instead of f—ing 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! We break curfews in every country but only English cops needs to ‘punish us’ by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes.”

By the next morning however, Van Zandt had cooled off, issued some apologies, and thanked everyone for a great night. However, even now, the guitarist has had some time to compose his thoughts and is issuing a formal apology and a well thought out suggestion concerning the curfew.

He wrote in a piece titled ‘Hyde Park: A Final Thought’ for the Huffington Post, “Regarding Nick [Aldworth] and his fellow officers, I want to officially apologize for blaming them. I was mistakenly informed it was they who pulled the plug. We know now it wasn’t. I apologize because I was wrong, because I have a lot of cop friends, and because I don’t want the obviously hyperbolic question I asked, ‘when did England become a police state?’ to be misinterpreted as a criticism of the police themselves.”

However, while apologies are needed, Van Zandt says that so is some flexibility in the rules. He explains, “The point I was trying to make, clumsily as the attempt may have been, is we all need to keep a good eye on rules and regulations, enacted with the best of intentions, being carried out rigidly and mindlessly regardless of the circumstance.”

He concluded, “Obviously one song more or less at a Rock show doesn’t mean anything, but the motivation for the action — fear — should be instructively cautionary when applied to a bigger picture. In this case the promoters feared the Westminster Council would revoke their license for future shows. This in spite of being a mere ten minutes past the 10:30 curfew, only one noise complaint, and the six years young Hard Rock Calling festival already being world renowned — an event London, and England, can be very proud of.” 

Read How Bruce Springsteen Mocked the Plug-Pulling Incident

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