If the B-Street Band pledge allegiance to anyone, it's Springsteen, who has repeatedly voiced his anger and disgust at the president-elect. (Forte half-jokingly said of the B-Street Band last week, "I don't even know if they have any politics.") Out of respect for their musical inspiration, they've decided to pull out of this week's event.
"We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," Forte says. "I don't want to upset them. We owe everything to him and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else. It became clear to us that this wasn't working and we just had to do what we thought was the right thing to do and that was to pull out."
The group had played the gala twice before to little controversy for President Obama and signed a contract for this year's gig in 2013, long before the presidential nominees were decided. But this year was different.
"As time went by, the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense," Forte tells Rolling Stone. "The band was caught in a hurricane. We didn't see this coming, of course."
Well hey all is not yet lost, they still have Lee Greenwood, Toby Keith, a Rockette or two, Jon Voight, 3 Doors Down, and that America's Got Talent runner up.
Sounds kind of like the lineup for a county fair in the middle of fucking nowhere.
Of course it really doesn't make any difference, nobody is going to be watching anyhow.