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Supporters vow to save famed New Jersey music club

Supporters of the famed Stone Pony music club, which has fostered the careers of rock ‘n’ roll greats like Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith, vowed on Thursday to save the club from the wrecking ball.

Developers are proposing to tear the Stone Pony down to make way for retail complexes and condominiums along the waterfront of Asbury Park, a century-old resort which has deteriorated in the last three decades under the weight of crime and unemployment.

The developers will present their plan soon to the city council for approval.

“Hell no, we won’t go,” said Domenic Santana, third owner of the rock and roll citadel that was founded in 1974, at a news conference held by the “Save the Stone Pony Campaign.”

The Stone Pony “is part of American rock and roll history and it needs to be immortalized,” 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.”

Santana said he has received more than 75,000 e-mails, letters and phone calls in the last two weeks “from all over the world” in support of saving the club, venue for numerous star rockers including Springsteen, The Kinks, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Elvis Costello and Bo Diddley.

Springsteen, a native of New Jersey and an avid supporter of saving the club, sent his personal manager, Terry McGovern, to the news conference as a sign of his support.

The campaign plans protest rallies on Jan. 16 at city hall and Jan. 19 at the club.

The developers, M.D. Sass Municipal Finance Partners III of New York and its local Ocean Front Acquisitions unit, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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