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Boss Says No To "Rising" Condo

Maybe it should have been called Lucky Town. Then again, maybe not. 

A New Jersey developer has backed off plans to name a condominium complex in Asbury Park The Rising as a nod to hometown hero Bruce Springsteen's Grammy-winning 2002 album and song after the Boss objected to the moniker.

The waterfront project, which began construction less than a month ago, is part of a $1.2 billion redevelopment plan that includes two additional condominiums being built by Metro Homes LLC of Hoboken along the area's long-neglected shore, where Springsteen first launched his career.

However, in a letter to a local weekly newspaper, the rocker--who lives nearby and has been an ardent supporter of efforts revitalize the area--let it be known that the company's decision to use The Rising as inspiration for the condo's name was a "mistake."

"The Rising was written in the shadow of September 11th and should remain connected to the heartbreak and courage of that day," Springsteen wrote in the triCityNews.

Springsteen's first full-length rock album since 1992, The Rising tackled such weighty topics as mortality, the mind of a suicide bomber, and the renewal of the human spirit--not exactly the right elements to market a timeshare. (It could have been worse, Metro Homes could have gone with Badlands.)

"It's time for a little originality on the waterfront," Springsteen continued. "I respectfully ask the city fathers and developers to place both my and my song's names out of the running for any new buildings, streets, hot dog stands (well, maybe hot dog stands) as the city moves toward its exciting future."

As soon as the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer announced he was against the name, Metro Homes immediately agreed to change it, according to city manager Terry Reid.

The proposed building comprises 224 residential units within two art-deco-style towers--one 16 stories and the other 10--that's scheduled to be ready for occupancy by 2006.

Dean Geibel, the president of Metro Homes,said the company intended for the name to symbolize Asbury Park's rebirth and meant no disrespect when it chose the name a few months ago--two years after The Rising was released.

"Being a big Springsteen fan and having lost good friends in 9-11, I certainly was sympathetic to his request and it's the right thing to do," Geibel tells E! Online. "So we decided yesterday to change the name and make it more interesting."

Geibel says Metro Homes will now hold a contest in which area grade school children can submit suggestions with the winner receiving a $10,000 savings bond and that child's school, $5,000. The competition will likely get underway in January, and the executive said Metro Homes hopes to invite Springsteen to join city council officials in judging the student entries.

"I'm not upset about changing the name and I think Bruce will be happy," says Geibel. "It's win-win for everyone."

Springsteen, who had hit the road in the Vote for Change Tour and the campaign trail in support of Democratic contender John Kerry's unsuccessful bid for the White House, made his first post-election appearance at the nearby Stone Pony on Saturday night.

The musician turned up at the famed nightclub to perform at the Light of Day concerts, a series of benefits for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Organization.

Springsteen eschewed politics and stuck to music for most of the 90-minute set, which included "Atlantic City," "Johnny 99," "This Hard Land," "Murder Inc." and "Code of Silence." After performing "This Hard Land," Springsteen said, "No surrender"--an apparent reference to his song that was adopted as a campaign anthem by Kerry.

By Josh Grossberg (

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November 15, 2004

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