Even cover bands are pulling out of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The B Street Band — a Bruce Springsteen cover band originally scheduled to perform has now dropped out of playing the Garden State Presidential Gala on Thursday. The B Street Band, 63-year-old front man, Willie Forte in a statement made available to the Huffington Post put down the reason to “the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band.”
“Our decision is based SOLEY 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. It became clear to us that this wasn’t working and we just had to do what we thought was the right thing to do and that was to pull out.”
The B Street Band has backed out of an inaugural event, despite having booked the gig back in 2013. (Taylor) https://t.co/q14Fjzy25M
— The Wolf 101.5 FM (@thewolfca) January 17, 2017
The B Street Band should not be confused with the E Street Band who actually provide back up for The Boss during his on-stage performances. The B Street Band had initially signed a contract with the New Jersey State Society at the Washington, D.C. Gala to appear on stage January 19. The band ran into plenty of criticism and backtracked on their decision like many other performers who bowed out of the swearing-in for the 45th president of America.
The New Jersey State Society said it was “very disappointed” with the cancellation, but understood fully why the B Street Band had to pull out. Many people had taken to social media to blast the cover group as the news made rounds that they would be part of the inaugural celebrations. Democratic New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak had accused the group of profiting from Bruce Springsteen’s music and then turning around to dump the message in his music for personal gain.
“Shame on the #BStreetBand playing at #Trump’s inaugural. They’ve profited from #Bruce now they’re abandoning his music.”
Forte argued that their appearance at the event had been planned since 2013, adding that he had no idea who was even running for the presidency at the time talk less of who was going to win the November elections. The 63-year-old also revealed that people had been peddling the wrong information about their botched performance.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 17, 2017
The keyboardist for the group clarified that they were only billed to perform at the gala and not Trump’s inaugural ball as many people believed. Forte believes plenty of the ire came from people wrongly concluding that they were going to perform at the inaugural ball.
The 63-year-old revealed that the cover group was made up of six “hard-working” guys who drew the inspiration for their name from the back-up group that had supported The Boss since 1972. Willie Forte said they had been performing Springsteen songs for 37 years and never picked political sides before.
The B Street Band had insisted that they would go ahead with their performance because we had “made a commitment and we’re not political.” However, before the end of the day, their stance had changed and they pulled out. Forte said they had been subjected to criticisms before, but that it was nothing compared to what they were getting for wanting to perform on Thursday.
Good on the B Street Band, Springsteen cover group, which just cancelled scheduled Trump/NJ inaugural gig out of "respect… for Bruce."
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) January 16, 2017
Okay, at this point calling it a "ball" is rude. It's not even an inaugural tailgate party. https://t.co/nGobUyCeTl
— Naomi (@Blacktress) January 12, 2017
OMG. Trump booked "The B Street Band" A Springsteen Cover band. #TrumpCoverBands
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) January 12, 2017
“We got some flak from the others, but nothing like this…as time went by, the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense. The band was caught in a hurricane. We didn’t see this coming”
Forte said they received 100’s of emails from disgruntled people and saw so many distorted stories on the Internet. According to him, misleading headlines like “Trump Hires B-Street Band,” made him and the rest of his band members believe that they were marooned on a desert island and needed to save themselves, even if it meant pulling out of a pre-signed contract.
The front man who said he was married with four kids and had a schoolteacher wife on $52,000 a year said the B Street Band was just out to work and make money. He said politics had never been on their minds and they always did music to make people happy and have fun. Forte said he regretted everything that had emanated from the incident and wished he could turn back the hands of time and go back to normal times.
— Tim Sika (@Tim_Sika) January 18, 2017
“It just a job to us. We’re just trying to hold up a contract. We’re not trying to prove anything. We’re just a fun band…I never thought the distortion of what we do as a band would’ve been so intense. We would’ve never got involved in this if I knew how this would turn out. I would trade in all the support and publicity just to back to where we were four months ago.”
Forte speaking to Fox News, admitted that performing at the party was something that the rock music icon would never have endorsed. The Born in the USA like many other celebrities was a vocal critic of Mr. Trump. In an interview with the Rolling Stone last year, the 67-year-old singer-songwriter called Donald Trump a moron who was pushing the dangerous ideas of the alt-right movement and white nationalism.
[Featured Image by Carterdayne/iStockPhoto]