Last week, the B Street Band made national news when it was announced that the Bruce Springsteen tribute group would perform at the Garden State Inaugural Gala for Donald Trump. After days of jokes and outrage, it seems the group has decided that playing songs written by such an outspoken Trump critic at a party for the president-elect probably wouldn’t sit too well with the Boss himself, despite the fact that the band played the same gala after Obama’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.
The group issued a statement today announcing that they’re withdrawing from the event “SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band.” The group’s full statement, via Backstreets.com, is below.
With deepest apologies to our fans and the New Jersey Inaugural Ball committee, the B Street Band is withdrawing from performing at this year’s inauguration Gala.
Our decision is based SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band.
Bruce’s music has been the foundation of our livelihood. The B Street Band would not exist without the talents of Bruce and our E Street brothers.
We are most grateful to these rock legends and look forward to many more years of emulating and performing the Forever Music, of Bruce Springsteen.
Most of the blowback against the band has been somewhat overblown, considering one of its members told Rolling Stone that the group signed the contract to sign this year’s gala in 2013, one month after playing the gala for Obama’s second inauguration.
“We never, ever thought this would happen four years ago,” the group’s founder, Will Forte, said. “The way it’s portrayed in the media is that Trump hired us for the inauguration. I don’t have any dealings with Trump at all! It’s just a New Jersey gala.”