She’s said to have read the palm of Judy Garland, and told the fortunes of everyone from the Rolling Stones and Elton John to Gorilla Monsoon and Diane Keaton.
But Madam Marie Castello is perhaps best known for something that never actually happened, thanks to Bruce Springsteen.
“Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for telling fortunes better than they do?” Springsteen sang in “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” on 1973’s “The Wild, the Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.”
“That was just the Boss,” then-Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Jim Bruno told the Asbury Park Press in 2008. “She was never arrested. But Springsteen turned her into an icon.”
Castello’s famed Temple of Knowledge, 1150 Ocean Ave., opened for business in 1932. Marie herself passed away in 2008 at the age of 93, but the fortune-telling business continues thanks to her family.
“She loved doing readings,” said granddaughter Sabrina Castello, who took over the business nearly 36 years ago. “She loved entertaining, the idea of doing readings, helping, advising, guiding, directing, (giving) some advice for people who may have felt (it was) just for entertainment, or maybe really and truly people who needed some advice and guidance in their lives.”
Among the countless folks who visited Madam Marie was Springsteen, then a young singer and guitar player from Freehold who spent plenty of time on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.
“The old story goes Bruce was here (at the Boardwalk) as a young boy, sitting on the rails actually, right across from grandma’s shop, that’s how they met,” Sabrina Castello said.
Madam Marie recounted her mid-1960s meeting with a 17-year-old Springsteen to the Asbury Park Press in 2008. “One time he came over and said, ‘All I've got is 50 cents,’ ” she remembered. "I told him, ‘You don't have to give me your 50 cents.’ ’’
“Madam Marie advised him that he should continue with the love of music and continue to do what he loves to do, and that he will be famous at one point,” Sabrina said. “And that’s how it all started.”
Go: Madam Marie's Temple of Knowledge, 1150 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park; 732-775-5327.
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This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Madam Marie: Fortune teller who predicted Springsteen's fame