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Music-Theater-Dance

Springsteen, McCartney defy curfew, are silenced

Organizers pull plug in London's Hyde Park

Britain-Hard-Rock-Calling

Bruce Springsteen performs with Jake Clemons, left, nephew of late E Street Band member Clarence Clemons. Paul McCartney joined Springsteen for the last two songs.

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LONDON -- Concert organizers pulled the plug on rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney after the pair defied the sound curfew at London's Hyde Park, silencing their microphones near the end of the show.

Springsteen already had exceeded the 10:30 p.m. curfew by half an hour Saturday night when he welcomed Sir Paul on stage and the pair sang the Beatles hits "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout."

But the microphones were turned off before they could thank the crowd, forcing them to leave the stage in silence.

A statement from concert organizer Live Nation said it was unfortunate that Springsteen's three-hour-plus performance was stopped "right at the very end," but it said the curfew had been laid down by the authorities "in the interest of the public's health and safety."

Hyde Park is 350 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland that abut some of London's wealthiest neighborhoods. Huge concerts there have caused friction between fans and the area's well-heeled residents. Many gripe about late-night noise and nuisance.

With complaints on the rise, local officials have decided that, as of next year, the number of concerts will be reduced to nine from 13.

They plan to reduce crowd limits to 65,000 from 80,000.

Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar in Springsteen's E-Street Band, criticized Saturday's decision as heavy-handed.

London's flamboyant mayor, Boris Johnson, said Sunday that the singers should have been allowed to keep going.

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