After generating controversy with its plans to perform at a gala celebrating Donald Trump, Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C., the New Jersey-based B Street Band has withdrawn.
Band member Will Forte provided the following statement to the Springsteen fan site, backstreets.com:
“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.”
Springsteen has been very critical of Trump, calling him a “moron” and a “toxic narcissist,” among other things.
The gala, titled the Garden State Inaugural Gala, is presented by the New Jersey State Society — a networking organization for the New Jersey community in Washington, D.C. — with Gov. Christie and his wife serving as honorary chairs.
On the gala’s Eventbrite page, where tickets are being sold, it is described as “a nonpartisan affair.” But it is also described there as an event to “celebrate the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence.”
JAN. 17 Update: Nancy Fatemi, executive director of the New Jersey State Society, has issued the following statement:
We are very disappointed but we understand the decision based on all the questions and attention this has brought to the B Street Band. Our New Jersey State Society mission has always been to bring people together in a congenial, nonpartisan way. In New Jersey, we know how to be stronger than the storm.
The State Society has been overwhelmed with offers from other bands today. We have already selected another top flight band whose live music will be complemented by the DJ’s tunes of our greatest New Jersey music legends, from Frank Sinatra to the Four Seasons to right up to today. We will announce the name of the band once details are finalized.