Bruce Springsteen tribute act B-Street Band pull out of Trump inauguration gala

Musicians bow to criticism from fans and withdraw from ball hosted by groups from Springsteen’s home state of New Jersey, despite event’s non-partisan roots

Bruce Springsteen tribute band the B Street Band have pulled out of playing a Donald Trump inauguration ball.

The group, who call themselves the “number one Bruce Springsteen tribute band” in the US, had been set to play the Garden State Gala at the Washington Court Hotel in DC the day before the president-elect’s inauguration on 20 January. Despite criticism from Springsteen fans and anti-Trump protesters, the band had claimed that the gala, which they have played twice before for President Obama, was a “non-partisan affair”.

However, the band have now relented to the pressure and pulled out. In a statement they said: “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.”

They continued: “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.”

President Barack Obama with Bruce Springsteen at his Medal of Freedom presentation at the White House in November 2016.
President Barack Obama with Bruce Springsteen at his Medal of Freedom presentation at the White House in November 2016. Photograph: Pix via ZU/Rex/Shutterstock

Springsteen himself has been a vocal critic of Trump. In a recent Guardian interview he said: ““In Trump’s case, the facade is easy to see through, and what you see is a bundle of anxiety, fragility and insecurity. It’s the thinnest possible mask of masculinity.”

It’s yet another headache for the Trump team who, despite claiming they don’t want celebrities appearing at the inauguration, are finding it increasingly hard to book anyone notable for the event. The latest star to pullout was Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday who wrote an open letter apologising to the LGBT community for originally agreeing to perform.

She wrote: “Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”


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