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A Bruce Springsteen tribute band has pulled out of a scheduled performance at a pre-inauguration ball out of “respect” to the Boss.
The B Street Band was supposed to perform at the New Jersey State Society’s ball on Thursday, the day before President-elect Donald Trump‘s inauguration. Though the event is billed as non-partisan, and the band was actually hired for the gig before the election, they have come under fire for agreeing to participate.
This is, in large part, due to Springsteen’s stated enmity towards Trump. In the past, Springsteen has called him a “moron,” and questioned whether or not he was “competent enough” to be president.
Now, the band has issued a statement to the Springsteen fan site Backstreets, saying, “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.”
The band confirms its decision to ABC News, saying, “We didn’t want to be construed as disrespectful to Bruce and his music and the E Street Band. We thought we could explain that it is a nonpolitical event, and that we were contracted and there’s no connection to Trump and his camp…It was more about Jersey, and doing it because it was a Jersey gala. But it just exploded and we were getting fairly isolated.”
He added that the band decided its priority is that we “honor and respect Bruce. And right now, it’s construed that we were not doing that.”
In a statement, the executive director of the New Jersey State Society tells ABC News that it’s “disappointed” at the B Street Band’s decision to pull out, but adds, “We understand [it] based on all the questions and attention this has brought to the B Street Band.”
The B Street Band has played the New Jersey State Society event twice before: in 2009 and in 2013.
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