Ever caught a concert courtesy of New Jersey’s very own B Street Band?
If your first sonic taste was set to be the Garden State Inaugural Gala on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. — the night before Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office — you’re out of luck.
Because the B Street Band has pulled out.
Now, relax — we’re not talking about the E Street Band, the legendary collective that accompanied Bruce Springsteen on his path to rock stardom. We’re talking a few letters in the alphabet before.
The B Street Band is a tribute group to the Boss and his musical pals, covering their famous music as well and as close to the original article as they know how.
Seems the B Street Band was booked to play the gala well before Trump won the election, noted that it’s non-partisan and also played in honor of President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Indeed, the first sentence on the New Jersey State Society website advertising the gala reads, “We send our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-Elect Michael R. Pence, and we cordially invite you to celebrate the inauguration with us!” (Plus, Republican Gov. Chris Christie is honorary chair and Trump was invited.)
But in light of Springsteen’s well-known left-wing politics, E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent was unsurprisingly unhappy about the B Street Band’s upcoming engagement — as were Tallent’s Twitter followers:
Please tell me this is more fake news. Or at least a joke. https://t.co/I8pyvHKPsy
— Garry Tallent (@gwtallent) January 12, 2017
— Peter Knobler (@peterknobler) January 12, 2017
@gwtallent Garry, not a joke or fake news. But totally infuriating none the less. Can a tribute band be stopped? Cause this ain't no tribute
— Sharon Froehlich (@Mairead_McKeoug) January 12, 2017
— Renee Brinn Williams (@JerzeyBeachBum) January 14, 2017
— Susan Redpath (@sjredpath) January 12, 2017
With that, the B Street Band said Monday they’re not playing the event anymore. Here’s the group’s statement:
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.
Whatever your view of their decision, the B Street Band is quite good at what they do:
They even play Springsteen’s hit as his famed haunt, The Stone Pony in Asbury Park:
(H/T: Consequence of Sound)