Springsteen band cancels inaugural gig out of ‘respect’ for Bruce

Springsteen band cancels inaugural gig out of ‘respect’ for Bruce
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The B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover group, has canceled its slated performance at the New Jersey State Society’s Thursday night ball marking President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSessions says grants to be withheld from sanctuary cities German government denies receiving NATO invoice from Trump Breitbart denied congressional press passes: report MORE’s inauguration.

The band announced the decision on Monday, after it said the planned appearance “generated a storm of national news, from New York to Los Angeles, particularly given Bruce Springsteen's clearly articulated feelings about President-elect Trump.”

“Our decision is based SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band,” founder Will Forte, said in a statement.

Springsteen has been an outspoken critic of the president-elect, calling Trump a “moron” and his campaign "a tragedy for our democracy." Earlier this month, he questioned whether Trump is "competent enough" to be president. 

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The group pointed out on its website that it was hired to play for the event in 2013, years before “anyone had a clue who would be inaugurated."

“We're a non-political band. ... It's not about the candidate or who was elected; it was about the office of the presidency. I was performing for that,” Forte told Rolling Stone.

"We are very disappointed, but we understand the decision based on all the questions and attention this has brought to the B-Street Band," the executive director of event organizer New Jersey State Society told Rolling Stone. "Our mission has always been to bring people together in a congenial, nonpartisan way. In New Jersey, we are always stronger than the storm."

The cover band has performed twice before for the New Jersey State Society’s galas marking President Obama’s inaugurations, the Associated Press reported.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- a Springsteen fan who worked closely with the Trump campaign -- and his wife, Mary Pat, are honorary co-chairmen of the $225-per-person event, the AP reported, though it's unknown if they will attend.