BELMAR — They've been paying tribute to Bruce Springsteen for nearly four decades, and next Thursday the B-Street Band, the original Springsteen cover group, will play its third consecutive Garden State Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.

But the band is catching some flak from fans who say they should forgo the gig because Springsteen himself has been so critical of President-elect Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated the next day.

In a Facebook post Thursday morning, bandleader Will Forte said that the Garden State Inaugural Gala is a bipartisan event, sponsored by a nonpartisan organization, that is separate from the official Trump inaugural ball scheduled for the night of Jan. 20. Forte also said that the B-Street Band was asked to appear — and contracted almost immediately — following its 2013 performance.

Gov. Chris Christie and Mary Pat Christie are the honorary co-chairs of the Garden State Inaugural Gala, the Asbury Park Press reported. Gov. Christie is a Trump ally, but also a well-known fan of Springsteen who has attended many of the New Jersey entertainer's concerts.

B-Street lead singer Glenn Stuart, a frequent guest of Steve Trevelise on New Jersey 101.5, called in to Trevelise's show Thursday night, reiterating that this date was circled on the band's calendar long before Trump even became a candidate.

"We have the utmost respect for Bruce Springsteen, what he stands for, and his music," Stuart said. "If this was a Donald Trump, Trump Organization, Republican Party event ... absolutely no desire and interest in playing it. That's not what it is."

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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