Is this censorship or reciprocal courtesy?
- [Bruce Springsteen] reportedly aggravated city police by performing “American Skin (41 Shots)” – a song inspired by the 1999 shooting of West African immigrant Amadou Diallo by four officers.
After Springsteen played the song during the Oct. 1 opening night, a high-ranking police official ordered that there would be no post-concert police escort for the Boss after his next show, the Daily News reported.
….Springsteen, through publicist Marilyn Laverty, declined to comment Wednesday on the report. NYPD spokesman Michael O’Looney, in a two-paragraph statement, danced around the issue.
“As a courtesy, Mr. Springsteen was given a police escort to his boat at the World’s Fair Marina following the concerts on both Wednesday and Saturday night,” O’Looney said.
He didn’t offer any comment on Friday night, but added that police had also provided an escort for E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg (news) from LaGuardia Airport to Shea on Wednesday.
Springsteen didn’t perform “American Skin” at either of the last two shows. [AP]
Sure sounds like a quid pro quo to me: play the song – sit in traffic. I can understand the cops being a little touchy about this, but can they really justify such a blatant tit-for-tat?
Here’s a verse from the song – pretty good advice:
Lena gets her son ready for school
She says “on these streets, Charles
You’ve got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you
Promise you’ll always be polite,
that you’ll never ever run away
Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”