Springstein’s microphone cable cut by the Blade Wheel

Bruce Springsteen had to leave the Hyde Park stage in silence when his microphone was switched off. Photograph: Jim Dyson

In an article about turning poison into medicine I recently wrote about the Blade Wheel (Or Wheel of Sharp Weapons), an ancient buddhist text of apology and renunciation. In it, the reader is effectively chastised, or reminded that all of the sufferings that befall him are the actions of the Blade Wheel (once thrown against others) returning to cut away at the ignorance of wrong thoughts, views, words and actions.

The musicians, the “Boss” himself, and predictably, London mayor, Boris Johnson (like some cuddly feudal overlord) all launched scathing attacks on the ‘jobsworth’ who ended the concert at Hyde Park so abruptly.

Live Nation, promoters of the concert – part of the Hard Rock Calling festival – said on its website: “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.

I expect this was also to protect the promoters against any claims for damages (I doubt the promoters would have worried too much about the noise or public safety had their permit lasted into the early hours). And there is the blade wheel in action.

Consider this. If everyone in the crowd :

  • was subjected to the noise of a concert they didn’t want to attend, maybe if they were caring for an elderly relative in the last hours of their lives at home, would any of them complain (or sue)?
  • were parked at a red light and rear ended (just enough to bend a fender) and despite being perfectly uninjured, would they feign a neck injury to the insurance company?
  • slipped in a supermarket, would they sue?
  • basically respond in kind to anyone or anything that impinged on their peace of mind?

The decision to switch off the mics was not spontaneous – it didn’t just occur to someone to “spoil the fun”. The decision had causes and conditions that led to it’s manifestation. It was not right, or wrong – but it was inevitable.

I would argue that anyone who was annoyed, angry and upset by the turn of events should look no further than themselves for the answer to why this occurred.

We all want the world to be more fun to live in, more caring, considerate – more humane. Yet, what are WE doing to make OURSELVES more so?

One Response to Springstein’s microphone cable cut by the Blade Wheel

  1. David July 17, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    I think this has been blown out of proportion. I saw the complete video of the encore with Paul McCartney, and they had actually finished up, the E-Street Band had laid down their instruments, and Paul had already left the stage. So it wasn’t like they cut the sound in the middle of anything. It looked as if Bruce, obviously on an adrenalin high, wanted to do one more song (“Goodnight Irene”) when the event officials came out to talk with him and then they cut off the sound. After almost 4 hours, I don’t think the fans were really robbed of anything.

    Bruce, bless his rock ‘n roll heart, just can’t stop sometimes. He was grinning ear to ear, so jazzed about playing with one of his idols, and looked so pumped up that he probably could have played for another 2 hours. But that’s one of the things that makes Springsteen one of the greatest live rock performers ever. I’ve seen him about 30 times and let me tell ya, he can prove it all night.

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