Bruce Springsteen Cover Band Drops Out of Trump Inauguration Party
The B-Street Band, a popular Bruce Springsteen cover group that’s performed nearly 200 gigs a year since 1980, convened in the dressing room Sunday night before a typical late-afternoon gig at Bensalem, PA’s Parx Casino.
Will Forte, the group’s 63-year-old keyboardist, manager, agent and publicist, among other roles, was telling the band about the “thousands of emails from both sides” he had received after news broke that the group would be playing the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on January 19th as part of Donald Trump’s inauguration. “We’re standing out in the storm right here,” he told the band. “We gotta get out of the storm.”
The group had played the gala twice before to little controversy for President Obama and signed a contract for this year’s gig in 2013, years before the presidential nominees were decided. But this year was different.
“As time went by, the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense,” Forte tells Rolling Stone. “The band was caught in a hurricane. We didn’t see this coming, of course.”
In the past few days, they had started to feel isolated because, as Forte says, “the story was so distorted.” “There were misleading headlines like, ‘Trump Hires B-Street Band,'” he says. “We felt like we were out on our own on an island.”
“We owe everything to [Bruce] and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else.”
If the B-Street Band pledge allegiance to anyone, it’s Springsteen, who has repeatedly voiced his anger and disgust at the president-elect. (Forte half-jokingly said of the B-Street Band last week, “I don’t even know if they have any politics.”) Out of respect for their musical inspiration, they’ve decided to pull out of this week’s event.
“We felt that we had to make it known that we didn’t want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape or form, to Bruce and his music and his band,” Forte says. “I don’t want to upset them. We owe everything to him and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else. It became clear to us that this wasn’t working and…