Thursday, July 3, 2008


"Madam" Marie Costello, the fortune teller made famous in this song by Bruce Springsteen, just died at the age of 94. The psychic reader began telling fortunes on the Asbury Park Boardwalk in New Jersey in the 1930s.

In "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," Springsteen describes summertime on the Jersey shore, and tells us "the cops finally busted Madam Marie for telling fortunes better than they do."

In an interview in the Asbury Park Press, less than two months ago, Madam Marie remembered:

"Some kid named Springsteen used to come around a lot in those days. He'd sit on the railing across the boardwalk and play his guitar. He was 17.(( One time he came over and said 'All I've got is 50 cents,' she remembers. 'I told him, 'You don't have to give me your 50 cents.'( As the story goes, she told him he would be famous one day. She probably said that to all the boys, Springsteen once conceded. Still, he would immortalize her in song. He would make her the most famous fortuneteller ever to peer into a crystal ball. 'He always comes by to say hello,' she says now. 'He knows where he came from.'"

This performance is from March, 2008, and features the great Danny Federici on accordion. Federici also passed away this year.

Without these two, the boardwalk will never be the same.

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