Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Stevie Van Zandt, musician, is the final speaker at at a press conference revealing project details for the former Taj Mahal and soon to be Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. "We're going to be doing shows down here" says Van Zandt. Wednesday April 5, 2017. (Viviana Pernot / Staff Photographer)

VIVIANA PERNOT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Local Jersey rock hero (and Springsteen sideman) Steven Van Zandt appeared at a press conference for the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on Wednesday, April 5.

Van Zandt spoke in strong support of the new project, while standing in front of a packed house at Atlantic City's Hard Rock Cafe, the only business that remains open at the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. 

When asked about possibly playing the resort when it opens, Van Zandt made the city a promise that hopefully he will keep.

"Its going to take a minute to build the hotel, but when it is built I can guarantee we will be down here in some form or another," he remarks.

Van Zandt has had a strong relation ship with the Hard Rock team that spans many years, including tour stops and private events. "We usually try and play all the (Hard Rock) hotels. And we have after parties and press events at the Hard Rock too," he says. "In fact we did two in Australia last month."

In addition to recording and touring with his own band — as well as with Springsteen's — Van Zandt has had his own syndicated radio show "Little Steven's Underground Garage" since 2003. The show features up and coming acts within the world of garage rock. In addition to the syndicated show, Van Zandt also has a 24-hour sister channel on SiriusXM. If things go according to plan, Atlantic City could be seeing performances from some of the bands featured on those outlets as well.

"We have introduced over 700 new bands, and a lot of them will play the Hard Rock, as the hard Rock has been our sponsor. It's been a great relationship."