Rockers Hold Their Noses to Perform Outside GOP Convention in Cleveland

They are "not at the Republican National Convention to endorse the party's platform"

Photo: Veda Jo Jenkins/REX/Shutterstock

They were in Cleveland – but defiantly not #RNCinCLE.

When it comes to booking the big showbiz entertainment Donald Trump promised for jazzing up his Republican National Convention, Third Eye Blind and Rick Springfield want to be very clear that they are not it.

“We performed at a benefit for Musicians on Call because we support their mission in bringing music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals,” Third Blind Eye’s Stephan Jenkins wrote on Facebook.

“We did not play a Republican National Convention event.”

He added, “Given that the benefit was held in Cleveland, we suspected that convention types might show up and we let it be known we were here to support Musicians on Call and that we in fact repudiate every last stitch of the RNC platform and the grotesque that is their nominee.”

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The singer also aired similar sentiments at the concert, where he criticized the Republican Party and taunted the crowd by saying, “Raise your hand if you believe in science.” In an apparent act of defiance, the band also refused to play its biggest hits. Met with boos from the audience, Jenkins retorted at one point, “You can boo all you want, but I’m the motherf—ing artist up here.”

And at a Tuesday concert at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – an event benefiting epilepsy research – Rick Springfield performed on stage wearing a T-shirt that read in big bold letters: “Not an Endorsement.”

“It feels like that wedding that you have to go to, where you know the couple’s going to be split in a month, but you have to show up anyway,” a convention-goer who attended the Springfield concert told PEOPLE.

“That is the vibe at this convention.”

Springfield and Third Eye Blind were not the only ones.

A number of music industry insiders with clients performing in the city this week told PEOPLE their acts weren’t doing interviews, as they were there for charity – not politics.

Jenkins further listed his and his bandmates’ frustrations with the conservative Republican platform:

“Science is science.

Coal is not clean.

Black Lives Matter


Separation of church and state (still a good idea).”

He finished his post by writing that Third Blind Eye musicians have Republican friends, family members and fans, and they love them all.

“But in keeping with Musicians on Call’s message, we believe in the gathering power of music,” wrote Jenkins.

“With that spirit we don’t step back from our audience wherever or whomever they are.”

It was hardly the music industry’s first snub of the Trump-led GOP.

After Monday’s convention opening, surviving members of Queen fiercely objected to their rock classic “We Are The Champions” being used for Trump’s dramatic entrance to the stage. R.E.M., Adele, The Rolling Stones, Twisted Sister and Neil Young have also objected to the Trump campaign using their music.

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