Steven Van Zandt Apologizes for Hyde Park Comments But Urges More Reasonable Regulations

'We all need to keep a good eye on rules and regulations . . . being carried out rigidly and mindlessly'

Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt perform at day 2 of Hard Rock Calling at Hyde Park. Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Steven Van Zandt was not happy about having the plug pulled on Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's performance in London's Hyde Park last week, and he took to Twitter to vent his frustrations. "The cops got nothing more important to do?" he wrote that night. "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! We break curfews in every country but only English cops needs to 'punish us' by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes."

After thinking the situation over for a week, however, Van Zandt decided to clarify some of his point, and to apologize to the cops he blamed for abruptly ending the concert in the middle of the band's historic encore with Paul McCartney, because the show had gone past curfew.

"Regarding Nick [Aldworth] and his fellow officers I want to officially apologize for blaming them," Van Zandt wrote today in the Huffington Post. "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." 

Van Zandt went on to decry the "toxic bureaucracy" that he believes was behind the concert promoters' fear of losing their license for going 10 minutes past their 10:30 curfew, which he describes as "the mechanism of the Orwellian police state in a nutshell." 

"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 wrote.