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She saw big things for Springsteen, “The Boss” remembers

July 3, 2008

springsteen.jpgSinger Bruce Springsteen has paid tribute to the late fortune teller who saw big things for him when he was young — and who he mythologized in a 1973 song inspired by the 4th of July and life on New Jersey’s ocean boardwalks.

In a statement on his Web site, “The Boss” remembered Madam Marie Castello, who told fortunes at her Temple of Knowledge on a boardwalk in New Jersey, and died last week at age 93.

“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,” said Springsteen, 58, an icon of folk rock.

springsteen2.jpg“She always told me mine looked pretty good — she was right,” he said.

The New Jersey-born Springsteen’s “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” makes brief mention of Castello with the lyric, “Did you hear, the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin’ fortunes better than they do.”

When she was alive, Castello said she had also told the fortunes of actress Judy Garland and singer Ray Charles, according to The Star-Ledger, a New Jersey newspaper. Castello’s boardwalk bunker was decorated with a giant eye, and she first set up shop during the Great Depression, the paper reported.

Over the years, Springsteen fans would stop by to see for themselves the fortune teller the “Boss” had sung about.

“The world has lost enough mystery as it is — we need our fortunetellers,” Springsteen wrote on his site. “We send our condolences to her family who’ve carried on her tradition.” 

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