Well, we guess New Jersey’s B-Street Band must have thought about it a little harder after all. If you remember, just last week we reported that a New Jersey “tribute” band, which touts itself as the “#1 Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band,” was slated to perform later this week at New Jersey’s Garden State Gala in Washington, D.C. The show was scheduled to be held the night before Inauguration Day for President-Elect Donald Trump. As we noted, the irony of the gig–despite the fact that it was contracted years ago–was because of the blistering criticism that “the Boss” himself had foisted on The Donald prior to his election as President.
Well, there now is a change in plans as The B-Street Band has cancelled their appearance. The reason? For that, we go to the band’s Facebook page where they posted this:
Will Forte, the keyboardist, manager, agent, and publicist for the band, in speaking to Rolling Stone, embellished on the reasoning a bit more by noting that public backlash to the January 19 performance had left the band feeling like they were on an “island.” Citing “thousands” of emails (apparently pro and con) Forte stated that the band was “standing out in the storm right here, [and] [w]e gotta get out of the storm.”
However, it is also possible that the band took cues from others in making their decision. For example, there have been hints from people close to “the Boss” which have suggested that that the band might rethink its apolitical stance vis-a-vis the gig. Consider this recent Tweet from Springsteen right hand man Steven Van Zandt:
Nice guys. Met them. I wouldn’t say right or wrong. Up to them. But it’s naive to think one can separate Art and Politics. Art IS Politics. https://t.co/yoAtWruY9B
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) January 14, 2017
In the end it appears that Forte and crew had a difficult decision to make and according to Forte himself, it involved weighing various consequences, including financial ones. Forte said:
“Whatever the consequences are for breaking a contract, I’m willing to take [that] because this is much more important.”
Putting political viewpoints aside, I applaud the band for standing up for what they believe in and showing loyalty to their inspiring figure. The organizer of the gala has already expressed being “very disappointed” with the decision and undoubtedly, the band was going to get flak no matter what they did. Having to make a choice and considering the circumstances, the band probably made the right choice for themselves. Wow, that decision could have made loyalty great again. How ironic.