A Bruce Springsteen tribute band is pulling out of an inaugural event.
"We're not a political band. We are a band that creates fun and energy for people that come and see us," said Will Forte. His group represents the heart and soul of the Garden State. The “B Street Band” is a cover group for New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. But the group says a newspaper headline has forced them to hit a sour note with fans of the “Boss”.
"The headline was Trump hires Springsteen tribute or B Street Band Springsteen tribute for inauguration and like I said explained before this is a non-political inauguration. We had nothing to do with it and now it goes viral," said keyboardist Will Forte. He says they were booked to play the New Jersey inauguration gala this Thursday just as they've been contracted to do for the past eight years. They played at galas for both of President Obama's two terms. But Forte says somehow it was misinterpreted that they were playing for President-elect Trump's actual inauguration which are two very different events.
"It's held the night before the real inauguration usually at a downtown ballroom and what they do is they do the whole venue like New Jersey from the towns to the food. They try to copy everything," said Forte. But fans lashed out at the B Street Band on social media accusing them of not being in line with Bruce Springsteen’s views against Trump. The band tried to explain.
"We're not political. The band is a bunch of blue collar guys. We owe our existence to Mr. Bruce Springsteen and his music and the E Street Band. We're totally grateful and respectful but we're under contract of obligation." But some fans responded unfavorably. Ultimately the band decided to follow their hearts which meant following the “Boss”. They backed out of the event.
"It says I really appreciate you stepping out of the inaugural proceedings for exactly the reason you did," Forte read one comment.
Another person commented , “Sorry to hear you’re pulling out now. I guess you can't stand on your own. I guess you are like so many that can't rise above political thuggery. Good luck with yourself introspect. Great band but no guts," Forte read.
"We play the music of Bruce Springsteen. We respect him. We're grateful for what he allows us to do. We can't continue this any longer. It might be misconstrued as disrespectful,” said Forte. They posted a statement to their fans on the band’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey State Society says it's disappointed but it understands and they've been overwhelmed with offers for bands who want to play.