Their fans, like so many others in the lead-up to President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural celebrations, weren’t happy with the news. But ‘80s tribute band The Reagan Years will ignore that criticism to perform at a ball honoring the incoming president this week.
A founding member of the five-person band, Sy Seyler, told The Hollywood Reporter that their choice was made in light of the group’s view that the event is merely “a celebration of the democratic process.”
“We took quite a shellacking from people saying, ‘How dare you support this bigot, womanizer, horrible man,’” Seyler, a drummer and singer, told the publication.
The band will play at the sold-out All American Inaugural Ball on Thursday night at Washington, D.C.’s Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill hotel, one of several “unofficial” balls celebrating the swearing-in ceremony on Friday. The official inaugural balls ― at least three ― will take place that evening. A long list of celebrities including Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Jennifer Holliday and Charlotte Church have declined to participate.
Seyler clarified that the name Reagan Years has nothing to do with the group’s politics, just a desire to play at an inaugural celebration. (“For the longest time, our slogan was, ‘No voodoo economics, just great music.’”) Admittedly, their Republican-flavored name may have influenced organizers’ decision to pick them this time around.
The group has garnered just about 16,200 likes on its Facebook page, and a promo video shows them playing covers of a wide range of songs from Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” to Def Leppard’s “Rock of Ages.”
The drummer neglected to state whether he or his bandmates actively support President-elect Trump.