TOMS RIVER – She was just looking for some sea glass on the beach of Bay Head but what Susan Fimiani found was a chance in a lifetime.
The Toms River resident had a rare double-rock star sighting of Freehold native Bruce Springsteen, who is often seen around Ocean and Monmouth counties, who was hanging out with midwestern music icon John Mellencamp.
She told JerseyShoreOnline.com that she couldn’t believe her eyes at first when she spotted them both on Bridge Avenue. She said hi to them both and got a photo with them.
“I had to be in Brick and after that I went to Point Pleasant to look for sea glass and I didn’t find any so I went to Bay Head. I didn’t end up finding any in Bay Head but you don’t know unless you go. I came off the beach and got in my car,” Fimiani said.
She added, “I went down East Avenue and turned right onto Bridge Avenue and I see this guy talking to another guy and I say, oh my God that is Bruce Springsteen.”
“I pull over and I knew he’d been spotted otherwise I wouldn’t have recognized him because you have this picture in your head as to what these people look like, so when they don’t look like that anymore and none of us look like we did in our 20s,” the 51-year-old businesswoman said.
She pulled over and The Boss is still talking to a third man on the street who it turns out she knew but that was a whole other story.
“I pulled over toward the other guy who has a full head of gray hair and looks a little like Jon Bon Jovi but he’s not, and I say to him, “hey it must be really interesting to walk down the street with…holy crap you’re John Mellencamp,” she remarked.
“It was really funny and he said, ‘yeah’ and at this point Bruce had walked over and I got out of the car and I talked with them a little bit. I told them I was a big fan and it was great to meet both of you and I can’t believe I’m meeting you on the side of a road in Bay Head and can I take a picture. We took the picture and they said thank you and that was pretty much it,” she said.
Fimiani said, “I wish I had said could I comb my hair really quick (before the photo was taken) but I didn’t want to intrude.”
She didn’t think to ask why the two singers happened to be together in Bay Head. “It is still mind boggling so I didn’t think to ask, ‘why are you guys hanging out?’ I heard a couple things; Bruce’s birthday was coming up and maybe they were there for that. Maybe they were collaborating. There was a rumor that they were going to possibly go on stage for the See Hear Now Festival. I don’t know.”
It could be that Mellencamp was returning the favor to Springsteen having visited him in Indiana earlier this year to record material for an upcoming Mellencamp record. Both singers are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Fimiani has met celebrities before when she and her parents moved to Florida in 1988. “Living there I met a hand full of celebrities. I met Dom DeLuise, Bert Reynolds, Paul Newman but they were celebrities coming into the restaurant I worked in and Dom DeLuise at the movies. It was known that celebrities came in so you kind of knew it.”
“When you live in New Jersey running into Bruce is almost a rite of passage. You have a really good chance of it happening but to meet him on the street with John Mellencamp that was absolutely crazy to me,” she added. Springsteen, who lives in Colts Neck, and Mellencamp, a native of Indiana, were walking toward the beach.