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Friday, 11 January, 2002, 15:36 GMT
Springsteen backs music club fight
Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen sent his manager to the campaign meeting
Music fans in the American state of New Jersey are rallying to save a music club which helped foster the talents of Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith.

The Stone Pony music club in Asbury Park is under threat from developers who want to demolish it to make way for retail complexes and a new waterfront development.


It has an important place in history and is a great source of pride for the state of New Jersey

Steven Van Zandt
The plans are due to be discussed by the local authorities in the near future.

The campaign to save the club has the backing of artists such as Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Bo Diddley and Elvis Costello, all of whom have played at the club.

History

More recently Russell Crowe's band Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts played at the venue.

"Hell no, we won't go," said Domenic Santana, third owner of the rock and roll venue that was founded in 1974.


It's the most tremendous bar that's ever been put on the face of the earth

Tony Amato, musician
The Stone Pony "is part of American rock and roll history and it needs to be immortalized," Santana said.

The developers have suggested relocating the club but the owners insist it should not be moved.

Mr Santana said: "We welcome bringing back Asbury Park... but you need to preserve the history too.

"You need to be sensitive to all the fond memories of people attached to this place."

Support

He says he has received more than 75,000 e-mails, letters and phone calls in the last two weeks backing the campaign.

Springsteen sent his personal manager along to a news conference organised by the Stone Pony campaign as a sign of his support.

Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt
Harmony: Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt
"It's a corner bar, that's all it is," said Tony Amato, a local musician who performs there regularly.

"But for the people who have played here, it's the most tremendous bar that's ever been put on the face of the earth."

Springsteen bandmate Little Steven Van Zandt, in a statement to the news conference, said: "It has an important place in history and is a great source of pride for the state of New Jersey as well as being an international tourist attraction.

"Leave it where it is."

The Stone Pony was named as the fifth best "reason to love New Jersey" in the latest issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine.

See also:

28 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Springsteen faces fresh court battle
07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Springsteen loses website fight
05 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Race award for Springsteen
13 Jun 00 | Americas
Springsteen out of tune with police
24 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Words with the Boss
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