Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! (1989) (part 2 of 12)

Eddie/Joe stalks out of the bar, and the next thing we know we’re in the middle of a driving montage under the title credits. It’s a little known website by-law that in order to qualify for the Agony Booth, your film must have at least one unnecessarily long travel sequence. Thrill! As Eddie Wilson… drives a dull gray sedan through customs! Chain-smokes on the New York State Thruway! Squints to read highway signs! It’s drama, I tell you, drama! (Meanwhile, I’m waiting for him to drive past the cough-syrup guy and his cue-impaired date.)

Caption contributed by Mark

It’s the K-7 Insta-Beard for that Beleaguered Soul look—new from Ronco!

It seems that Eddie/Joe (wasn’t that one of the girls on Petticoat Junction?) is so stirred up about this look-alike contest thing that he’s driving from Montreal to New York City, a nine-hour journey each way, just (as it turns out) to glare at everybody and then go back home. And to get there in time, he must have left straight from the bar, blowing off work, since it was already lunchtime and the event was scheduled for ten o’clock the same night.

Now let’s think about this. It’s clear that Eddie is upset about this new interest in his early career; he’s been living quietly as Joe West for years—in another country!—and presumably he wants things to stay that way. So what does he do to preserve his anonymity? He drives nine hours to attend an event that is entirely built around what Eddie Wilson looks like. This is a bit like if Louis XVI, when he was traveling incognito on the run for his life from the murderous revolutionaries after him, stopped at a haberdasher’s to try on king outfits. But then, what am I saying? Eddie has a disguise now! Surely no one could possibly be recognized after growing a flawless identity-concealing mustache!

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Mark "Scooter" Wilson

Mark is a history guy, a graphics guy, a guy for whom wryly cynical assessments of popular culture are the scallion cream cheese on the toasted everything bagel of life. He spends his time teaching modern history at Brooklyn College, pondering the ancient Romans at the CUNY Graduate Center, and conjuring maps and illustrations for ungrateful bankers at various Manhattan monoliths. Readers are welcome to guess at reasons why he's nicknamed Scooter, with the proviso that all such submissions are guaranteed to be rather more interesting than the truth. Mark lives in the Midwood section of Brooklyn with a happy-go-lucky, flop-eared dog named Chiyo who is probably, at this very moment, waiting patiently for her walkies.

Multi-Part Article: Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! (1989)

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