It's great that Long Island native Billy Joel, an artist who has traditionally been in high demand in the New York area, has signed a Las Vegas-style music franchise agreement with the 18,000-seat Madison Square Garden to play monthly concerts there as he sails off into the twilight of his super-brilliant career.

With Atlantic City in dire straits due to burgeoning gaming competition, I've often wondered why any casino company couldn't sign Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to a similar long-term contract to play at the 14,000-seat Boardwalk Hall.

Imagine that, instead of touring, Bruce was to anchor himself in the gaming capital of the East Coast and force his worldwide following to come to legendary Jersey Shore: How that would revive the city and its image.

Currently, New Jersey has a governor who is an alpha Springsteen fan of the purest pedigree. Surely, this is an idea that has had to cross his mind. Couldn't Atlantic City use a fresh crowd of 14,000 cash-spending tourists every week? Isn't economic development high on Gov. Christie's priority agenda?

So what's the problem? Is it that this is just such a super great idea that it falls under the "it's too good to be true" category?

As George Bernard Shaw once said, "Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were and say why not!" Thanks to Billy Joel paving the way in New York, I say that Bruce Springsteen in Atlantic City is an idea whose time has finally com.

Eugene R. Dunn, Medford, erdunn@optonline.net

* * *