Bruce Springsteen's decision to cancel the E Street Band's Sunday (April 10) show in Greensboro, N.C., to protest the state's controversial new Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act -- dictating gender use of public restrooms -- has the full support of at least one of the group members.
Guitarist Steven Van Zandt told reporters at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday (April 8) that the move "was a tough decision, obviously. Y'know, you never want to disappoint the fans who were expecting to see a show on Sunday, but we just felt the issue was just too important and this really vile and evil discrimination is starting to spread state to state, and we thought we better take a stand right now and catch it early and maybe try and stop it, y'know, or at least, y'know, set some kind of example for others to, y'know, to do the same. It's unfortunately the only way people understand, y'know?...You have to hurt them economically in order to have them do the right thing morally, unfortunately, y'know?"
Van Zandt was on hand Friday to induct the late songwriter and producer Bert Berns. Springsteen and company return to the road Tuesday (April 12) in Columbus, Ohio.
...Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Re. Mark Walker, who represents Greensboro, called Springsteen's cancellation "a bully tactic. It's like when a kid gets upset and says he's going to take his ball and go home."
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.