Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (Bruce Springsteen)

Boardwalk fixture and Springsteen song legend Madam Marie, the seaside clairvoyant immortalized in "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," died last Friday [June 27, 2008] at age 93, great-granddaughter Sally Castello told the Asbury Park Press.

The medium, whose real name was Marie Castello, was an iconic presence along the Asbury Park boardwalk, performing her palm reading next door to Springsteen's old Jersey Shore haunt, the Stone Pony.

"Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do?" Springsteen sang in the track off his 1973 sophomore release, The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

He was so fond of Castello that he always dropped by her small stand to say hello whenever he was in town.

"I'd sit across from her on the metal guard rail bordering the beach, and watched as she led the day-trippers into the small back room where she would unlock a few of the mysteries of their future," Springsteen writes in tribute on his website. "She always told me mine looked pretty good—she was right.

"Over here on E Street, we will miss her."

SONG: 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) by Bruce Springsteen

BOOK: The Fortune Telling Book: Reading Crystal Balls, Tea Leaves, Playing Cards, and Everyday Omens of Love and Luck by Gillian Kemp

POEM: Hotel Insomnia by Charles Simic

I liked my little hole,

Its window facing a brick wall.

Next door there was a piano.

A few evenings a month

a crippled old man came to play

"My Blue Heaven."

Mostly, though, it was quiet.

Each room with its spider in heavy overcoat

Catching his fly with a web

Of cigarette smoke and revery.

So dark,

I could not see my face in the shaving mirror.

At 5 A.M. the sound of bare feet upstairs.

The "Gypsy" fortuneteller,

Whose storefront is on the corner,

Going to pee after a night of love.

Once, too, the sound of a child sobbing.

So near it was, I thought

For a moment, I was sobbing myself.

QUOTE: "A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it." ~ Jean de La Fontaine

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