Rembert Explains the ’80s: Eddie and The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives

Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the ’80s. Every so often, we’ll e-mail 25-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn’t seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching the video, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment was selected by Grantland reader/Sports Guy mailbagger James Perez: the “Running Through the Fire” scene from Eddie and The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’80s, e-mail us at hollywood@grantland.com.

0:07 Oh yeah, we’re starting with a back-turned song-countdown finger snap. I appreciate very few things more than this move.

0:09 LET’S DO THIS, BOYS.

If I have a son, he will grow up to be a shirtless drummer with big hair. I have little to no investment in whether or not he can read. Counting down a song with the drumsticks and not wearing a shirt and being the coolest person ever is my only concern.

0:15 No words have been articulated, but this song is already fantastic. Also, who are Eddie and The Cruisers? I know this is the sequel, with the title being Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives. What happened to Eddie for us to think he was dead? Is this a documentary? So many questions.

0:17 One of these two has to be Eddie.

Please be the one in the black shirt. Please say he’s about to do a swim move on this orange-sleeveless-shirted dude and take the mic. PLEASE.

0:23 Yes.

Let’s do this, now-alive Eddie.

0:28 I’m hoping this was picked in honor of Movember. Look at that thing:

Important.

0:30 A guy in the band just broke out a tambourine. This is that blurry man.

He is now the most important figure of this video. Sorry, mustached Eddie. That is, unless MR. TAMBOURINE MAN IS EDDIE? Continue to thicken, plot.

0:34 Oh my, what is this?

OK, this has to be Eddie. Not sure if it’s a man, but either way, it’s an Eddie, I’m almost certain.

0:46 OK, now I’m just totally thrown off.

Scratch everything I’ve said before. Obviously the keyboardist isn’t Eddie, but that little statue with the ascot and the glamour girl glasses must be Eddie. Maybe they lost the statue, and then found it right before the performance, which is why it’s on such beautiful display. EDDIE LIVES. Glad I finally understand the plot of this sequel now.

0:55 Starting to question myself again.

Those chops scream “I’m the Eddie in this band.” OK, he’s Eddie. Also, worth noting, he’s the lead singer and, unfairly, that usually warrants the pre–”and The …” part of the band name. Poor tambourine guy. Poor statue. So much promise, but it was never going to happen for them.

1:08 This is an incredible band. A guy with a sax just sang supporting vocals. Where are they? Who are they? Can you make an announcement or something, Eddie?

1:23 Oh wow.

SAX MAN = TAMBOURINE MAN. Just wow.

1:25 This crowd is huge. Also, she’s there:

Eddie’s love interest? Probably.

1:29 She yells “Come on” at the stage. Intense. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d yell that at a stage during a performance. That’s like what your mom yells at you when you miss two free throws and then hang your head. Very confused. Intrigued, but confused.

1:41 Have established this is taking place at a bar, by the neon beer signs.

I’d love to go to this bar, seeing as it can seemingly hold 1,500 people in one room.

1:43 I’ve not been talking about the music much, but know that this song is amazing. Not quite “I Still Believe” from The Lost Boys, but as I learned a few weeks ago, nothing is.

1:57 Lead singer “Eddie” just did this pelvic thrust thing ever so slightly about five times. He looked very uneasy as he did it. I hope he never does it again.

2:09 Ladies love Eddie, but then again, can you name an Eddie that the ladies didn’t love?

I can’t.

2:21 JUST LOOK AT THEM.

2:29 Where’s our lady protagonist? I’m tired of seeing all these Eddie groupies. I want more from the woman for whom Eddie would gladly drop everything (the Eddie fame, the Eddie sex, the Eddie money).

2:32 SAX SOLO. How does the bar respond?

Like maniacs, duh, because that’s what you do when an American hero launches into a sax solo in the middle of a bar the size of Wembley Stadium.

2:43 KEEP GOING, SAX.

2:45 Hi, future son.

I think Eddie might be the least interesting part of this band.

2:57 SAX MAN just hit a perfect high note. The crowd is at a point of no return. It’s a shame this band isn’t called SAX MAN/TAMBOURINE MAN and The Cruisers.

3:06 Eddie’s back …

3:27 I miss SAX MAN.

3:37 Everyone’s living their best life right now.

And by “Everyone,” I obviously mean SAX MAN.

3:39 Song: over.

So mad that Eddie is getting any credit for this tour de force. It’s like me applauding myself for my own birth. All I did was lie there while mom (this analogy’s SAX MAN) did all the work and then at the end I’m the one who gets all the balloons and the name. So unfair. Sorry, mom.

3:46 Also worth noting, I think SAX MAN is the only black guy in a 30-mile radius of this bar.

Stay strong, SAX MAN.

3:51 Oh hey, girl.

That smile best be directed at SAX MAN. BEST BE.

3:58 Yes, Eddie’s about to introduce the band, YES.

4:10 So far, none of them are named Eddie, but, in classic Eddie fashion, he’s coming to himself last.

4:12 Eddie: “I’m Joe West.”

WHAT.

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

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