“A Season in Hell”, a spiritual and confessional autobiography. Arthur Rimbaud was a genius, his writings were a quest. A search for perfection, an attempt to find total freedom. At the age of nineteen, Arthur Rimbaud commited suicide, not of the flesh, but of the mind and the soul. It means he never wrote another word, and disappeared off the face of the earth. He was not seen nor heard from again for nearly twenty years, until he reappeared in a hospital within Marseille on his deathbed.
The innocence of the 50s was over and so was rock and roll as we knew it. We were entering a new age, an age of confusion, an age of passion, of commitment. Eddie Wilson saw it coming. “Season in Hell” is the total innovation for its time. It was a signal a greatness yet to come. Eddie Wilson was a step ahead of us and I don’t think we’ve caught up with him yet. Eddie’s been dead for almost 18 years, but his music is as alive today as the day he recorded it. For me and for everyone who listens to music, Eddie Wilson lives and always will.
The 1983 film Eddie and the Cruisers referenced Rimbaud’s inner turmoil in a story about a musician that was trying to complete the perfect album and disappeared when the record company rejected it.
Eddie Wilson, the lead character in the story, is introduced to Rimbaud by a young man who joins his band. In an argument among the band about a song that Eddie doesn’t think sounds quite right and can’t exactly explain why, the young man quotes the English translation of Rimbaud’s long form poem, demonstrating an example of a Cesure, or meaningful silence, which puts into words the explanation that Eddie cannot.
The album that is rejected by the record label, which Eddie was inspired to make after being impressed by Rimbaud’s work, is called “A Season In Hell.” After a fight with a record label executive, Eddie tears out of the studio angrily, ends up driving his car over a bridge guardrail and is presumed to be dead.
This leads to rumors that he faked his death, effectively shunning his art as Rimbaud did.