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Friday, July 4, 2008

They're missing

One of my Independence Day weekend rituals is to listen to "4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)," one of Bruce Springsteen's early-'70s classics. This was one that my buddies and I heard him sing live before we even owned one of his records. Every line is straight out of my own teenage years.

This year my enjoyment of that tune will be tempered, however, by the recent losses of two of its key characters. Longtime Bruce pal Danny Federici, whose accordion stylings contributed so much to the song, passed away in April. And Madam Marie, a real Asbury boardwalk psychic whose powers were stronger than those of the police, left us on Friday.

Marie was 92; Danny was 58.

Springsteen was recently inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, where he said a bunch of nice things, including this:

You get a little older and when one of those crisp fall days come along in September and October, my friends and I slip into the cool water of the Atlantic Ocean. We take note that there are a few less of us as each year passes. But the thing about being in one place your whole life is that they're all still around you in the water.
Amen, my friend.

Comments (2)

Are you familiar with Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations? Amazing show, and the only reason I'll schedule anything around television. He did an entire episode on unheralded New Jersey eating holes... he also stopped by Madam Marie's and mentioned the Springsteen connection.

Being that you and Bourdain once grew up in Jersey, I think you'd really appreciate how the show comes across. I'm sure it's available at the library or through Netflix.

Bruce's comment on the passing of Madame Marie from brucespringsteen.net:

"Back in the day when I was a fixture on the Asbury Park boardwalk, I'd often stop and talk to Madam Marie as she sat on her folding chair outside the Temple of Knowledge.

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. She always told me mine looked pretty good - she was right. The world has lost enough mystery as it is - we need our fortunetellers. We send our condolences out to her family who've carried on her tradition. Over here on E Street, we will miss her."

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