“Get yourself a song to sing and sing it till you’re done
Yeah, sing it hard and sing it well
Send the robber barons straight to hell” — Bruce Springsteen, “Death to My Hometown”
The B-Street Band, a Jersey-based group that plays the music of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (as well as other material), has made national news by agreeing to perform at the Jan. 19 Garden State Inaugural Gala, at the Washington Court Hotel.
With the incoming Trump administration having a hard time securing prominent entertainers for its inauguration celebrations — and with Springsteen himself having called Trump a “moron” and a “toxic narcissist” — some members of the press have used this as an opportunity to have some satirical fun.
But some have gone too far. To cite just one example, The New York Daily News posted an article stating that “Donald Trump still hasn’t booked an A-list performer for his inauguration, but he has locked up the B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover band that’s been playing since 1980” — as if Trump himself got on the phone and offered the B-Street Band a deal. That’s ridiculous.
This event 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. Trump didn’t organize it, and won’t necessarily get anywhere near it.
The band responded to the criticism with a post on its Facebook page today, stating that it has “no political agenda” and describing the event as a “bipartisan” gala that “celebrates the change of office and gives respect to the office of the president.”
On the gala’s Eventbrite page, where its tickets are being sold, it is also described as “a nonpartisan affair.” BUT … the gala is also described there as an event to “celebrate the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence.” Somehow, given the present climate in Washington, I suspect a lot of democrats are going to sit this one out.
But with the country as divided as it is right now, and the stakes as high as they are … sorry, but you’ve got to take a side. And if you’re anti-Trump, maybe you even have to break a contract.
The B-Street Band, by agreeing to play this event, has taken a side. And it’s not the side that Springsteen has taken.