Update, 1/27: Here’s the comment I received from the band:
“Playing shows allows us to donate to charities we believe in. We encourage you to do the same. @PPact @NStreetVillage @HRC @M4KDC @NPR.”
On Twitter, White Ford Bronco singer Gretchen Gustafson says the band donated the money they made from the show—$5,000—to Planned Parenthood.
For many years running, Washington City Paper readers have voted ’90s cover band White Ford Bronco as the best band in D.C. In fact, White Ford Bronco was voted as such so many times that City Paper had to break up its “Best Band” category into two: “Best Local Cover Band” and “Best Local Original Band.”
So yeah, D.C. residents love White Ford Bronco.
But if there’s one person D.C. doesn’t like, it’s President Donald Trump, whom only 4 percent of residents voted for in last November’s election. So it may come as a bit of a bummer to White Ford Bronco fans that, according to an agenda leaked by PhiladelphiaMagazine for a Republican Retreat this week in Philadelphia (that Trump, among other Republican leaders, is attending), the band is scheduled to perform at an after hours celebration tonight hosted by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
This might not seem like a big deal (and probably won’t be to a lot of people), but there’s a lot to unpack here, and this essay by musician and former D.C. resident Cousin Pnails it best:
I am, quite frankly, troubled by your decision to pander to politicians whose ideology is as backdated as the songs you’ll be playing tonight. The people who you’ll be playing 25-year old tunes for represent a real threat to the lives and livelihoods of Washingtonians. Yes, you will be performing for a room full of rhythmless men and women who don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, who’ve scoffed at the ideas of universal healthcare and fighting income inequality, and who’ve obstructed all attempts that D.C. residents have made to gain full representation in Congress. Furthermore, the event you’re playing is a celebration of impending budget cuts that will not only hurt artists and musicians who built the creative infrastructure that you’re currently thriving in, but also the people who bartend and clean up after your shows.
White Ford Bronco’s decision to perform at this event may feel like a slap in the face to its fans. It may be that a fair number of White Ford Bronco fans voted for Trump, but there are probably other fans, at least in D.C., who work to protect the policies Trump’s administration is actively trying to dismantle.