Tajms Skver – lobby card poster 1 of 3, Yugoslavia, 1981

Posted on 15th July 2019 in "Times Square"
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1981 Yugoslavian lobby card sheet for TIMES SQUARE (1980), 1 of 3

I originally thought that these were uncut sheets of lobby cards intended to be separated into individual items, but after digitally doing exactly that I’ve come to the conclusion that, no, they were intended to be displayed just as they are. First, there’s not enough interior border area to cut them apart evenly, unless you trim them all the way down to the image on all four sides. Second, these sheets are exactly the same size and printed on the same poster paper as the Yugoslavian lobby poster (which itself is made up of two lobby card images), although made to be shown in landscape orientation rather than portrait. And third, shortly after I acquired these I saw a second set of them, also in poster form, so I’m guessing that these Yugoslavian lobby cards were never cut apart.

This is the first time many of these particular images have been published here, but they’re not making their first appearances as Times Square publicity items. It may not be visible in the digitized images but a close examination of the posters shows quite clearly that they’ve been cut together from another set of lobby cards, with the Tajms Skver insets pasted in on top. This is why the overall printing job leaves something to be desired — these are essentially color photocopies of items originally distributed months before… but which so far are the very last Times Square publicity materials I’ve found. I’ll start posting those in a month or two, meanwhile here are the individual images from this lobby card poster, that I’d made before I realized they weren’t meant to be displayed individually.

 

 

[Tajms SkverTimes Square lobby card poster, 1 of 3]
poster, AAT ID: 300027221
Yugoslavia ; 46.6 x 34.5 cm. (work)
TAJMS_SKVER_lobby_card_sheet_Yugoslavia_1981_1_of_3_1080px.jpg
777 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 425 kb
TAJMS_SKVER_lobby_card_Yugoslavia_1981_1_of_12_1080px.jpg
758 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 453 kb
TAJMS_SKVER_lobby_card_Yugoslavia_1981_2_of_12_1080px.jpg
774 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 510 kb
TAJMS_SKVER_lobby_card_Yugoslavia_1981_3_of_12_1080px.jpg
767 px (H) x 765 px (W), 96 dpi, 460 kb
TAJMS_SKVER_lobby_card_Yugoslavia_1981_4_of_12_1080px.jpg
773 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 404 kb (images)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Tajms Skver – lobby poster, Yugoslavia, 1981

Posted on 2nd July 2019 in "Times Square"
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1981 Yugoslavian movie poster for TIMES SQUARE (1980)  Text:  AMERIČKI FILM   TAJMS SKVER   TIMES SQUARE REŽIJA: ALAN MOYLE   ULOGE: TIM CURRY  TRINI ALVARADO  ROBIN JOHNSON ZETA FILM ZF BUDVA
 

The main Yugoslavian poster used the art from the U.K. poster which was used throughout Europe. But Zeta Film also produced at least four more promotional pieces, which I believe to have been made for display in theater lobbies, based on their size and artwork.

This poster is smaller than a standard one-sheet, and reproduces photos previously used as U.K. lobby cards, top and bottom, although the reproduction leaves much to be desired.

I think it’s astounding that this much effort was put into promoting Times Square in Yugoslavia. I wonder if the film itself had been dubbed in Serbian or Bosnian.

AMERIČKI FILM
TAJMS SKVER
TIMES SQUARE
REŽIJA: ALAN MOYLE   ULOGE: TIM CURRY  TRINI ALVARADO  ROBIN JOHNSON
ZETA FILM
ZF
BUDVA

AMERICAN FILM
TAJMS SKVER
TIMES SQUARE
DIRECTION: ALAN MOYLE   STARRING: TIM CURRY   TRINI ALVARADO   ROBIN JOHNSON
ZETA FILM
ZF
BUDVA

 

Would you like to know more?
Tajms Skver – Times Square Movie Poster, Yugoslavia, 1981
Times Square U.K. Movie Poster
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 2 of 3)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 1 of 3)

 

 

Tajms SkverTimes Square lobby poster
poster, AAT ID: 300027221
Yugoslavia ; 46.6 x 34.5 cm. (work)
TAJMS_SKVER_Yugoslavia_movie_poster_1981_1080p.jpg
1080 px (H) x 765 px (W), 96 dpi, 415 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square movie poster, Australia, February 1981

Posted on 4th February 2019 in "Times Square"
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Photo by Mick Rock of Robin Johnson as Nicky overlaid on a city street collage  Text:  TIMES SQUARE  IS THE MUSIC OF THE STREETS  TIM CURRY  © 1980 Butterfly Valley N.V.  GD FILM DISTRIBUTORS EMI  ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents“TIMES SQUARE” Starring TIM CURRY • TRINI ALVARADO  And Introducing ROBIN JOHNSON  Also Starring PETER COFFIELD • HERBERT BERGHOF • DAVID MARGULIES • ANNA MARIA HORSFORD  Executive Producers KEVIN McCORMICK • JOHN NICOLELLA  Directed by ALAN MOYLE  Produced by ROBERT STIGWOOD and JACOB BRACKMAN  Screenplay by JACOB BRACKMAN  Story by ALAN MOYLE and LEANNE UNGER  Associate Producer BILL OAKES  An EMI-ITC Production  M  Soundtrack available on RSO Records and Tapes  Featuring the Music of Suzi Quatro • The Pretenders • Roxy Music • Gary Numan • Marcy Levy & Robin Gibb  Talking Heads • Joe Jackson • The Ramones • Lou Reed • Patti Smith Group ...  And More!  Robert Burton Printers Pty. Ltd.

 

 

 

The Australian movie poster featured the glorious Mick Rock photo of Robin that graced the earliest piece of Times Square advertising, which is possibly my favorite image used to promote the movie. Once I’d found this I was looking forward to having it framed, but unfortunately not only are the Australian posters printed on a non-glossy lighter paper stock than the rest of the world’s posters, this one’s color registration is way off. It doesn’t show so much in this reduced-size image, but on the full-size poster everything has a prominent green outline. Sorry, Robert Burton Printers, someone was half-assing the job one fateful day in 1981. I guess I’ll have to dig out my copy of the Australian daybill and have that framed. It’s much smaller, but I’m pretty sure the colors are properly aligned.

 

 

Would you like to know more?

Screen International No. 246, June 21-28, 1980
Times Square Australian Daybill

 

 

Times Square (is the music of the streets)
Australia : one-sheet poster : AAT ID: 300196848 : 40 x 26.75 in. : 1981 (work);
Times_Square_one-sheet_Australia_1981_1080px.jpg
1080 x 7717 px, 96 dpi, 416 kb (image)

 

©1980 Butterfly Valley, N.V.
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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October 1981: Times SquareGreat TV Entertainment…?

Posted on 27th December 2018 in "Times Square"
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Cover of October 1981 TV listings magazine for Showtime and The Movie Channel


 
 

 

According to the October 1981 issue of Great TV Entertainment, the official schedule for Showtime and The Movie Channel, Times Square was shown six times on The Movie Channel, on October 25, 27, and 31. I could have sworn it was shown many times more than that; the showings must have continued into November, or perhaps it was also shown on HBO like everybody, including me, remembers.

 

October 1981 TV listings for Showtime and The Movie Channel Relevant text: SHOWTIME THE MOVIE CHANNEL TIMES SQUARE Two misfit teenagers become runaway rebels roaming the streets of New York City. They find fame--and disaster-as the rock ’n’ rolling Sleaze Sisters. Trina Alvarado and Robin Johnson co-star. Language. (R-1:51) Oct.25,27,31-M

TIMES SQUARE
Two misfit teenagers become runaway rebels roaming the streets of New York City. They find fame–and disaster-as the rock ’n’ rolling Sleaze Sisters. Trina Alvarado and Robin Johnson co-star. Language. (R-1:51) Oct.25,27,31-M

 

 

Times Square got a photo and a little blurb, which was more than Let It Be got. Maybe that’s why Let It Be is one of the few movies that’s now harder to see than Times Square. (… Nah.)

The photo, typically, isn’t a frame from the movie. It’s a publicity still shot on set that is making its first appearance in this magazine. The AFD/EMI/RSO promotion people had been sitting on this gem for a year. No wonder the movie flopped.

October 1981 TV listings for Showtime and The Movie Channel, contents page detail

 

 

Great TV Entertainment, October 1981 (monthly (publication) (AAT ID: 300311879))
20.75 x 13.5 cm. (work);
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p1_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 69 px (W), 96 dpi, 552 kb
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p4_detail_800px.jpg
695 px (H) x 800 px (W), 96 dpi, 375 kb
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p3_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 693 px (W), 96 dpi, 422 kb
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p4_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 694 px (W), 96 dpi, 541 kb
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p11_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 700 px (W), 96 dpi, 540 kb
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p15_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 698 px (W), 96 dpi, 515 kb
Great TV Entertainment 1981-10 p2_detail_800px.jpg
302 px (H) x 800 px (W), 96 dpi, 126 kb
(images)
 
©1981 TVSM, INC.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Hits US Cable TV, October 1981

Posted on 15th December 2018 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson's head shot for TIMES SQUARE, in costume as Nicky Marotta, photographed by Yoram Kahana, printed in 1981 for the film's showings on The Movie Channel. Text: THE MOVIE CHANNEL ROBIN JOHNSON is an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in "Times Square." See it in October on THE MOVIE CHANNEL.

ROBIN JOHNSON is an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in “Times Square.” See it in October on THE MOVIE CHANNEL.

 

A year after its brief run in theaters, Times Square made it to HBO, and I watched it every single time it ran. This was before my family had a VCR, but my dad had access to a Sony Porta-Pak open-reel video recorder, and I recorded the movie across four reels, during four broadcasts, in glorious black-and-white, and watched it many times over the next few years, until I went off to college and the Porta-Pak went back to wherever it came from. I do still have the reels, but nothing to play them them on, assuming there’s still a signal on them. There’s a slim possibility that the American trailer is also on one of those reels: it was used to promote the movie on HBO, and I remember poring over the movie every time I saw it wondering how I kept missing the scene where Nicky and Pammy were splashing each other in the river.

The only thing inaccurate about the above is, although I and everybody else I’ve spoken to who also watched those cable screenings remember vividly that it was on HBO, the only evidence I’ve ever found indicates that it was actually The Movie Channel. And so far, I’m also the only one willing to admit that my memory may be faulty on that one detail. Times Square fans can be obstinate.

This photo is TS-57-26/1 from the US Press Material folder, with The Movie Channel’s logo replacing AFD’s on the now slightly expanded white border. The caption is edited from the one supplied with that photo, over a year before. After all the variants and previously unseen promotional photos that came out as Times Square was released around the world, its television debut was promoted with one of the first shots ever released.

 

 

[TS-57-26 Movie Channel variant]
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
US, 1981 ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
1981-10 Head shot Movie Channel variant_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 345 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Filmstar, Vol. 1 No. 6, Thailand, October 1981

Posted on 3rd December 2018 in "Times Square"
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Cover of a movie magazine from Thailand containing article on Robin Johnson  Text:  Fortnightly Friend of the Film Buff  FILMSTAR Volume 1 No. 6 / October 1, 1981  Special A new Bond girl FOR YOUR EYES ONLY  Free Color Poster  12.

 

 

 

 

I would think that by October of 1981, a year after its initial release in New York, and two or three months after its Thai release, Times Square would have long since closed in Thailand and become a distant memory. But that didn’t stop Filmstar magazine from running an article promoting Robin herself, very much like the interviews with Robin published during her publicity tour nine months previous.

ROBIN JOHNSON
A quick-witted likeable young lady

Do you still remember Nicky, a quick witted rebelliously likable young girl from Times Square? If you are also someone who fell in love with that Nicky, here is a tiny reminiscence that she is happy to share. Even though it is not going to be as exciting as in the film, I bet you wouldn’t mind learning from her.

Nicky is Robin Johnson, 17 year old teenager from Brooklyn. Her accent is clearly a unique and gravelly Brooklynese when she speaks. When we met her, Robin Johnson’s hair was still chopped in a shaggy cut. “It would be too expensive to go to a beauty shop and have it stripped out.” she says, “And it would take hours. I’ll just wait till it grows back in the real way.”

Robin still remembers the role of Nicky so well even though a year has passed by. She and Trini Alvarado are friends on and off screen. Trini wants to be a song-writer. Robin, a rock singer — finally, she does give a street concert in Times Square.

“I love rock.” Robin says. “Van Halen. Led Zeppelin. Music makes you feel good — and sometimes sad. I remember the song called Damn Dog so well. It’s not punk. I hate punk music, the real punk that comes from England—The Clash. Sex Pistols. They’re maniacs: they want to die. I don’t mind New Wave so much. It has the same kind of roots, but it’s mellower.”

Robin starts to giggle when she thinks about one scene in the movie. “I’m really very wild-looking. I wear a mask like the Lone Ranger and a blue turtleneck sweater with blue glitter tights and a plastic-garbage-bag belt!”

Acting in the film was the first job Robin ever had. “That matures you. learning how to work and deal with people. Being street-smart helps in making a movie. There are certain rules you pick up— when to keep your mouth shut, when to do certain things. It’s like being in a different neighborhood — some people might give you a hassle, but if they do. you should keep your mouth shut, even if you get mad, and just walk the other way and get out of there. I learned responsibility. You become more considerate. I liked everybody I worked with except two out of a hundred. One woman really gave me a fit — she was such a big complainer. she must have gotten a B.A. in complaining! After a while. I just avoided her except when I absolutely had to work with her. ‘What am I going to get upset for?’ I asked myself. ‘I’m the one you see on the screen.’”

Robin goes to Brooklyn Tech high school. “I never get along with my teachers,” she says. “I’m rebellious. I don’t like people in authority.”

Robin remembered a casting scout, who arranged for Robin to go to an audition in Manhattan. That audition feels like it wrecks her brains. Back then, in her head she thought “I just wanted to go home to sleep but my friend Cindi was with me, and she says. ‘No. no. no. you’ve got to go. “I had to fill out a sheet with height, weight, eye color, hair color—stuff like that. Then, they’re putting me on tape, inside the studio room I was sitting there like a dummy and read the script. I don’t know why they have chosen me but I got a part in Times Square.”

“It’s a nice feeling to be picked out of so many.” Robin says. “People call me a natural talent, but what I say to that is that the character I play is very close to me so that my actions are natural. It’s easy to play someone like yourself.”

Around her neck, she wears a couple of gold chains. One has her birth sign. Gemini, dangling from it; the other, a tiny round gold circle, contains a diamond chip. “Trini and I were given diamonds by the crew at a party when the movie was finished,” Robin explains, her eyes wide. “When I saw the Tiffany bag it came in. I said. ‘My God!’ I put it on, and I haven’t taken it off since.”

I managed to have this article translated professionally by Joy Busai (whose website, www.thaienglishhq.com, unfortunately seems to be down at the moment), and she noticed that it seemed itself to be an almost word-for-word translation into Thai of Robin’s interview in Seventeen Magazine from October 1980. While it got me a discount on the translation, it was something of a disappointment to find that one of the last contemporary Times Square articles contained absolutely nothing new.

Photo roundup: Page 40 is cropped from the image used most prominently for a UK lobby card.

Bottom left on p. 41 is the shot published in Playboy, Vol. 28 No. 1, January 1981. Top to bottom at right: a shot of the final concert previously used on the UK soundtrack sampler; Nicky cutting Pammy’s hand, with a boom microphone front and center, as seen in the Japanese souvenir program book; a previously-unpublished, as far as I know, full frame from the film showing the extra empty space at the top; and a shot of Robin as Nicky that accompanied her October 1980 interview in Seventeen, which itself was translated into Thai in the issue of Filmstar three months before this one.

Page 41, top left, is the Yoram Kahana shot that first appeared, again as far as I know, in Movie 81 No. 2. Directly below is UK publicity still 21. Below that, captioned “ROBIN”, is TS-69-34A/4. To its right is a shot taken within seconds of the UK lobby card but itself seems to be making its first appearance here. To the right is TS-82-30/4, and finally at the bottom right is another frame from the film with extra space at the top and bottom.

See also:

U.K. Lobby Cards (post 1 of 3)
UK Promo Photos 4, 13, and 21, 1980-81
Times Square Press Material folder (post 4 of 5)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 3 of 3)
Times Square Press Material folder (post 5 of 5)

 

 

Times Square (article, AAT ID: 300048715)
Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 6, 1 October 1981, pp. 40-42 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
25.9 x 18.9 cm. (work);
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 01_layers_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 795 px (W), 96 dpi, 490 kb
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 40_layers_1080px.jpg
235 px (H) x 776 px (W), 96 dpi, 458 kb
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 41_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 782 px (W), 96 dpi, 515 kb
Filmstar_v1_n6_19811001_p 42_1080px.jpg
688 px (H) x 774 px (W), 96 dpi, 479 kb
(images)
 

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square movie poster, Thailand, 1981

Posted on 21st November 2018 in "Times Square"
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TIMES SQUARE movie poster from Thailand, 1981. Possibly unauthorized.  Text (translated from Thai):  ONE GIRL GROWS TOUGH, ANOTHER BECOMES COURAGEOUS THESE TWO JOIN TOGETHER TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THEIR REBELLIOUS LIVES         Presented by  Oriental Artist Treasury of Entertainment  ROBIN JOHNSON TRINI ALVARADO TIM CURRY  TIMES SQUARE ‘TWO’  NOW BEING SHOWN AT                                      ON  (Flyer inserts in the newspaper today) Printed in Thailand by The Siam Offset Co., Ltd. Tel 2860359 By Surat Pukkavesh, Printer/Advertiser               2864074

 

 

 

Movie posters in Thailand are an art form unto themselves. Google “Thai movie posters” and you will go down a rabbit hole you may take days to emerge from. Thai film distributors discard the authorized promotional materials and commission original painted montages in glorious colors. Some of the pages I looked at seemed to say that this practice ended in the 1990s… if so, we are all the poorer for it. But luckily for us, Times Square got the Thai treatment in 1981. The artist went a little heavy on Nicky’s eye shadow, but I can forgive this since the overall poster is so spectacular.

 

 

Unlike the Japanese materials I posted earlier, I hired a translator for the Thai items: Joy Busai at Thai English Headquarters — I can’t recommend her highly enough. (Although, her website seems to be down now, and my attempts to contact her to translate the article in my previous post went unanswered.) Here’s what the poster says in English:

 

ONE GIRL GROWS TOUGH, ANOTHER BECOMES COURAGEOUS
THESE TWO JOIN TOGETHER TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THEIR REBELLIOUS LIVES

Presented by
Oriental Artist
Treasury of Entertainment

ROBIN JOHNSON
TRINI ALVARADO
TIM CURRY

TIMES SQUARE
‘TWO’

NOW SHOWING AT _____ ON _____

(Flyer inserts in the newspaper today)
Printed in Thailand by The Siam Offset Co., Ltd. Tel 2860359
By Surat Pukkavesh, Printer/Advertiser 2864074

The only thing missing is the artist’s name. I think that’s a signature there in the lower right, but I’m not sure.

As in Mexico, Robin again gets top billing, and Tim Curry third. The Thai promoters may have been the first to have the insight that led them to give Times Square the secondary title, “Two”.

 

 

Times Square : “Two”
Thailand : poster : AAT ID: 300027221 : 77.9 x 55.7 cm : 1981 (work);
Times_Square_movie_poster_Thailand_1981_1080px.jpg
773 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 555 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Filmstar, Vol 1 No. 3, Thailand, August 1981

Posted on 9th November 2018 in "Times Square"
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Cover of movie magazine from Thailand with article about TIMES SQUARE (1980)

 

 

 

By August 1981, Robin might already have figured out that neither she nor Andy Gibb were going to get a call telling them when to report to the Grease 2 set. Most of the world had already forgotten about Times Square. But it wasn’t quite over yet.

 

Thailand’s Filmstar magazine devoted four pages and the back cover to the upcoming release of Times Square. I tried and failed to get a professional translation of the article. Google Translate makes nearly as bad a hash of Thai as it does Japanese, but from what I can make out, this is a purely promotional article summarizing the plot, like the articles in Sonido No. 56 and Film Review Vol. 31 No. 2.

 

The caption and drawing on page 63, the first page of the article, are from the European movie poster, and the photo of Pammy and Nicky is TS-72-8A/14, the most-used photo of the girls together.

The image from the poster also appears on page 64, above UK Press Kit photo #4 of Tim Curry. The large photo of Robin, as far as I know, made its first appearance here. As she’s looking directly into the camera, I suspect it was taken at the same time as this pre-take shot, but since the background is cut out there’s just as good a chance it was taken at Pier 56.

The large image of Trini on page 65 looks to be from the same origin as that photo of Robin. Based on what I can make out of the lighting, I tend to think it’s from the outside location. It’s the only photo I’ve seen of Trini in that costume where she isn’t holding the boom box. The inset of the cops pushing Nicky into the back seat is another previously, and as far as I know, otherwise unpublished publicity still. The only matching shots in the film are from the opposite side of the car, and the film camera’s setup from this reverse angle is several feet to the left.

The shot of Robin as Nicky as Aggie Doone singing “Damn Dog” in the Cleo Club is yet another photo making its first appearance. But not its last… there’s a slightly better version yet to come.

So, amazingly, the Times Square publicity campaign was nearing its end, yet the places it was being published were being furnished with new material, despite it being highly unlikely that the local audiences would have seen any of the already-used photos. Unless, perhaps, the EMI/AFD publicity departments had decided that what they’d been doing was failing, and if they could only find the right photos, they could turn Times Square into a hit in the next country…

The back cover of Filmstar was a reproduction of the collage first published in Screen International No. 246 in June 1980 and used in February 1981 as the Australian movie poster, with the addition of Robin’s name in English. If there’s one thing all the local contemporary film publicity outlets agreed on, it’s that Robin herself was the most marketable aspect of the movie.
 

TIMES SQUARE Robin Johnson poster on the back cover of a movie magazine from Thailand

Posts mentioned above but not linked to:

Times Square Press Material folder (post 4 of 5)
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 2 of 4)
On Location
Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 20-24 (post 4 of 5)
Times Square Australian Daybill

 

 

Times Square (article, AAT ID: 300048715)
Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 3, 15 August 1981, pp. 63-66 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
25.9 x 18.9 cm. (work);
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_front_cover_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 789 px (W), 96 dpi, 553 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_p63_1080px_2.jpg
235 px (H) x 787 px (W), 96 dpi, 474 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_p64_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 774 px (W), 96 dpi, 428 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_p66_1080px.jpg
688 px (H) x 771 px (W), 96 dpi, 514 kb
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_back_cover_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 777 px (W), 96 dpi, 679 kb
(images)
 

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

More stills from the UK series

Posted on 28th October 2018 in "Times Square"
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TIMES SQUARE (1980) publicity still, black and white 8"x10", #41 from the UK series  Text:  [on front:] 41  [on back:] [stamp:]  TIMES SQUARE  [in Hebrew and English] STILLER FILM LTD. L.A. [illegible] PHONES [illegible] TEL-AVIV  [handwritten]  [Times Square) [in Hebrew]  41  (41?) [in Hebrew?]

 

I nearly passed over this lot of five black and white stills, except it had one photo I’d never seen. Rather than try to haggle for just the one photo, I bought the lot, and I’m glad I did, because they’re all from the UK series, three of them were new numbers, and the others are slightly different again from the previous copies I have.

 

This shot is number 41, and the highest number I’ve yet found. (I have 18 of them.) It’s the one I thought I’d never seen, but I was wrong: it was published on the back of the “Times Square Trailer” UK soundtrack sampler record sleeve.

 

The other four are numbers 20, 23, 34, and 40.

 

 

All five have borders, where most of the series are printed full-bleed, all the way to the edges. Number 20 is the third copy and the third variant I’ve found. The first had the number printed to the right, against the grey background. The second was cropped more generously at the bottom, and had the number against the black of Nicky’s coat, but cut off at the bottom.. This one is cropped like that second version, and has the number in almost the same place, but up a few millimeters so it can be seen clearly. It also looks like it’s the exact same number stuck on the print – the handwriting looks identical in all three. I suppose this is obvious to anyone who works in movie promotion, but I am not one of those people — it would seem that whenever they needed more copies of an image, they dug out the negative, stuck on the number, and ran off a few prints, and every run ended up slightly different from every other.

 

Number 23 is TS-82-30/4, but cropped more generously at the top and bottom and more narrowly on the left and right. Number 34 is a second copy of the first photo I ever found from this series, but it’s printed much lighter, washing out Pammy’s face, and the number has moved from just to the left of the neon “Q” in “TIMES SQUARE” to inside the curve at the right. And number 40 is TS-42-11A/2, printed lighter with higher contrast, and cropped more generously at the left and bottom. Although it seems obvious now, seeing this is the first time I’ve realized that this shot, along with this one and this one, were taken as Robin was kneeling on top of the theater marquee, and the blurred lights behind her are the street below.

TIMES SQUARE (1980) publicity still, black and white 8"x10", from the UK series  Text:  [on front:] 23  [on back:] [stamp:]  TIMES SQUARE  [in Hebrew and English] STILLER FILM LTD. L.A. [illegible] PHONES [illegible] TEL-AVIV  [handwritten]  [Times Square) [in Hebrew]  (photo number?)

 

These prints were distributed in Israel by Stiller Film Ltd., whose partially visible stamp on their backs indicates that they had a local office in Tel Aviv. The prints also have the TIMES SQUARE stamp found on the backs of many, but not all, of the UK series, and what I believe is Times Square in handwritten Hebrew.

 

Pages referred to but not linked directly above:

Times Square Press Material folder (post 5 of 5)
Blast from the Past
Times Square Blue
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 4 of 4)
UK Promo Photo #29

 

 

20
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 20_1080px.jpg
863 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 362 kb (image)

23
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 23_1080px.jpg
867 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 353 kb (image)

UK still 23 back b_1080px.jpg
860 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 169 kb (image)

34
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 34_1080px.jpg
865 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 374 kb (image)

40
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 10″ x 8″ (work)
UK still 40_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 864 px (W), 96 dpi, 309 kb (image)

41
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 8″ x 10″ (work)
UK still 41_1080px.jpg
868 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 331 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

JUKE, No. 302, February 7, 1981

Posted on 16th October 2018 in "Times Square"
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Cover of an Australian music newspaper weekly containing several stories relating to TIMES SQUARE (1980)  Text:  JUKE  FEBRUARY 7, 1981  Issue No. 302  70 CENTS  "Registered for posting as Publication Category B"  TIMES SQUARE TO  CITY SQUARE  PLUS ROXY MUSIC SPECIALS  WILLIE NELSON  XTC TAYLOR/MANNING  SURFING  RUTS WILLIE NILE  IN CONCERT  Australian Crawl, Flowers, Midnight Oil, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Mondo Rock

The soundtrack album cover image on the cover of Australia’s Juke no. 302 is the only Robin content in the issue, but it’s still a remarkable piece of Times Square history. In Melbourne at least, PolyGram Records promoted the heck out of the film’s premiere for an entire weekend, and the magazine gave away posters and copies of the soundtrack. If there’s anybody reading this who remembers any of this happening, I’d be very interested in hearing about it.

 
Photo of Tim Curry in an Australian music newspaper weekly containing several stories relating to TIMES SQUARE (1980).  Caption:  In the “Times Square” movie, Tim Curry plays an all night disc jockey who gives his listeners a  running account of the two runaway girls’ progress.

BIG PUSH ON ‘TIMES SQUARE’
By Brian Jones

To promote the opening of the Times Square movie in Melbourne this week, PolyGram Records have come up with a unique idea.

To take Time Square to the city square. Over the weekend they hired out the huge video screen at the Melbourne city square where excerpts of the movie were flashed with lots of plugs for the double soundtrack LP and other PolyGram product. If you caught the screening, you’d have noticed that JUKE Magazine got its whack of plugging as well.

To celebrate the release of the movie, not to mention Roxy Music coming into Melbourne (certainly a big plus in their promotion as Roxy are featured on the soundtrack as well!) JUKE is this week giving away 12 copies of the soundtrack LP. Write to “Times Square” competition, care of this magazine, and tell us three of the artists on the LP, with your name and address on the back of the envelope.

And for Melbourne readers, the first 20 to waltz up to the Juke offices during business hours and ask for it gets a special colour poster.

The movie, which premiers on Feb 5, is about two runaways who end up at Times Square in New York, and is produced by Robert Stigwood.

In the “Times Square” movie, Tim Curry plays an all night disc jockey who gives his listeners a running account of the two runaway girls’ progress.

Pages 6, 7, and 13 contained articles on three of the bands with songs on the soundtrack, one of whom (Roxy Music) was playing in Melbourne that week — although the interview with Phil Manzanera had been conducted a week previous, while the band was still in England. The articles are all branded with a big Times Square logo (unique to this magazine), but make absolutely no references to the movie. I’m reproducing the text below because they’re a bit of a window into the world the movie was being released into, but they have nothing to do with Times Square, and even less to do with Robin Johnson.

And note that one of the articles in the magazine was written by “Betty Page,” and another by “Brian Jones.” I don’t know what to make of that.

TIMES SQUARE
XTC in NEW YORK
Betty Page finds them slaving for the Yankee dollar

Once big in trousers, now big in the States? Five minutes into New York and the taxi driver (always good for copy, dese guys) wants to know in his best Brooklynese “are dey like da Beatles?”

Funny he should say that! Here’s the city mourning not only a death but the fact that any Beatles reunion of any sort is over, and you have XTC who have similar characters — Terry Chambers like Ringo (whacky/moody), Colin Moulding is a Paul (pretty bassist), Andy Patridge is a John with pebble specs and aggressive humour and Dave Gregory is George, the strong silent type with a schoolboy’s face.

Four individuals, churning out pop song after commercial pop song, yet experiencing the ultimate frustration of being denied enormous popular acclaim, after so much hard grafting.

Due to some particular warped business logic, XTC have been touring constantly for 20 weeks (although Andy reckons they haven’t stopped since 1977!) the last half of which has been spent in the USA. This tour’s had its peaks and troughs but, with the backing of the big guns at RSO, Black Sea has launched into the Top 100 and a prestigious support for the Cars at Madison Square Gardens.

I arrived to find the boys a bit ruffled (they’d just seen the sleeve of their next single ‘‘Sgt. Rock” botched by the art department into a variation of Corporal Clot) and homesick for home in Swindon. They’d just been to New Orleans and recounted the constant sun, desert and cacti of Arizona, “we’d only seen them drawn in the Beano (a British comic book — ed) and I made up some cactus jokes especially. What’s the difference between a Scotsman and a cactus? At least you can get a drink out of a cactus!”

The show on Long Island was lacklustre. Their superb soundman Steve Warren had quit after an argument with their manager, and it showed. So too did tour exhaustion. There was so much cussing that even the groupies held back! Groupies haven’t been a XTC forte but, for a band that virtually celebrates its ase-xuality, they now attract a particular brand of predatory females.

Andy: “It’s getting worse. Some of them are real elephant dogs! Others just want to show you their portfolios. I’d rather take to my bed with my plastic tanks”.

XTC are clearly very tired. Despite that, they had to fly back to Britain in a few days to start another tour, and they angrily knocked back offers to do a visit to Scandinavia.

“It’s just piled up since ’77” Andy explained. “I refuse to do anything for at least a couple of months. I want to work on some singles, concentrate on that before the next album.”

The next day was concentrated on doing interviews — and the American press still seem preoccupied with Barry Andrews, who left two years ago, and refer to Dave Gregory as “the newcomer”.

Dave takes it all in good humour. He talks about his dreams and nightmare. His nightmare is to come out on stage on day, plug in and “sound like Ted Nugent”. The dream is to own as many perfectly formed guitars as possible — maybe form his own guitar harem with all of them wearing veils! He tells of the time when they did a tour with Police, and manager Copeland ticked off XTC for not giving everything onstage. The talk made them think; now they gyrate onstage.

Andy was lambasted for “not wearing a decent shirt”. Couldn’t he afford one?

“To be frank, no!”

Not even Sting’s cast-offs?

“No! (recoils in horror) I’m living in that man’s shadow. Been in a bloody coach with him for eight weeks. He nicked all my ideas in the first place. All three of the Police used to come down the Fulham Greyhound (pub) and watch us. He said his favourite song was ‘All Along The Watchtower’ so you can see where they’re coming from!”

The Police spectre looms large. When Police travel the world and play exotic places like Bombay and Cairo, they’re huge. When XTC play the same places then they’re just working hard. Could XTC have such a superhero? Men in backrooms have toyed with the idea of making a sex symbol out of Colin Mulding, trundling him forward more often and pinching some limelight from Andy.

But isn’t Colin too passive, isn’t it too late for a change of image into some sort of double-fronted Cheap Trick style combo?

According to Andy, it’s already started to happen. “I think he’s got a lot more teen appeal than I’ll ever have. I always thought I looked like a tortoise who’d just had his shell ripped off! He comes forward already; he sings the singles, it’s him on Top Of The Pops, not me. I think people associate Colin with singing the singles. A lot of people think he’s our lead singer, those that know our singles. There’s a split identity.”

XTC are having a series of hit singles including “General And Majors”, “Living Through Another Cuba” and “Towers Of London” continually increasing their hit records. In England they have a passionate following but really no image except for Patridge’s cynical persona. In America, they can be easily manipulated; in fact, because all five have such strong personalities, a TV series of films could catapault them into the big time. As yet, America hasn’t decided if they’re clever, banal or intriguing; so they just love them!

First night at Madison Square Gardens. Patridge is nervous and limits his onstage patter. But they go down well. “The next band on is the Cars — don’t be too hard on them”. After a record company guy comes over and ticks them off, in case the Cars feel insulted. Wha-a-t! Come on, oh well, tough shit.

So the struggle goes on. They’re confident that they’ll break through, it takes a bit of time. But at the moment they’re all very tired and very homesick.

Andy: “I just want to re-evaluate our whole position. It may turn out that we may never tour again, hahaha, what a scoop! We’ve been whoring our arses up and down the world too much, it’s obviously, not the way to do it.

“We want to try and be a little bit more exclusive. We were rather lukewarmly received at home last time. We’ll be even more knackered this time. We do need to recharge our batteries, new ideas, new approaches, this really is the end-of-a-long-piece-of-knotted-string tour, the frayed end …”

I’VE GOT ROXY IN MY HEAD
TIMES SQUARE
Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera Speaks to Vince Lovegrove

“If it weren’t for the Beatles I wouldn’t be playing music”, Phil Manzanera told me by phone one week before Roxy Music arrived in Australia.

“They were a great influence on all of us. You know, when you’re a certain age you really get excited by certain groups. But it’s a bummer about Lennon. A great tragedy. We’ve started doing a tribute to him. Sometimes we do “Jealous Guy”.

Manzanera had just rushed back to his hotel after a sellout concert in Manchester, England. The reason for the rush from the concert hall wasn’t to take my pre-arranged phone call, but to order some food before the hotel kitchen closed.

“It’s the typical rock scenario. Most hotel kitchens close early and then you can only order sandwiches. We have to get back from the gig in a hurry so that we can have a decent meal.

“New York’s different, of course. It’s a twenty four hour city. It’s a bit dangerous, but exciting and stimulating-for a short time”.

Phil Manzanera is an articulate, quietly spoken man … on a Manchester to Sydney telephone call, at least. Although I’m not a diehard Roxyite, I quite like the band, and found myself locked into Manzanera. In fact, as Bert Newton once said to Mohommad Ali, “I like the boy!”

I found his casual thoughts on rock’n’roll and life in general very honest and realistic. Not at all like rock’n’rollers whose conversations begins and ends with the ‘virtues’ of rock music.

In fact, from his early 1970 experimental days in Quiet Sun to his 1976 ‘one off’ album band 801, Manzanera has always seemed to me to be the one who has taken Roxy Music into the provocative areas of rock music. Obviously, Brian Eno added his eccentricity, but he has never really stayed within the confines of Roxy Music like Manzanera.

And it was Manzanera’s honesty that first told us about dissatisfaction within the group after their fourth album, Country Life.

And while it was Ferry who announced in 1976, that Roxy Music were about to enjoy a trial separation, it was Phil Manzanera who immediately rushed headlong into producing 801, ensuring that the genius of Brian Eno would finally be recognised outside the confines of Roxy Music.

“Actually, that was an incredible period. It made me realise just how much the business side of rock’n’roll can ruin the very essence of the music itself.

“It was the business side of it that stopped Roxy moving for three years.

“You get caught on this incredible momentum, that just doesn’t stop. You have to deliver an album, then go on tour to promote it, and by the time you’ve finished you’ve go to deliver another album. Consequently, you don’t get time to write any material.

“You get locked into a cocoon, getting transported around in an unreal world and just don’t get time to develop as a human being.

“We just had to stop the merry-go-round, get off and become human beings again”.

It was during that re-kindling period that Johnny Rotten spearheaded the movement that saved rock’n’roll from a pathetic, self indulgent, financially bloated, slow agonising death. And one of its staunchest supporters was Phil Manzanera.

“I think Johnny Rotten is a very interesting character. He has a great sense of humour. I admire him greatly.

“The entire punk movement was fantastic. It gave rock music a much needed kick in the arse. It provided heaps of enthusiasm, inspired amateurs and showed that anyone could start a group”.

In total contrast, it was the pure jazz/classical influences of English contemporary band Sky that smashed the snob inspired anti rock music feeling that once existed amongst highly trained, technical musicians.

“Rock isn’t about technical prowess, it’s about feel, “Manzanera enthused.

“Sky are great musos, and they smashed that anti rock snobbery”.

Did he know two members of Sky, Kevin Peak and John Williams were Australian?

“No, I didn’t”.

Roxy Music, during their ‘rest periods’ are quite a sporting bunch of fellas, and super whizz kid guitarist Phil Manzanera is no exception. He plays a lot of golf, tennis, and water skis when he can. That is, when he’s not spending time with his two dogs, two cats, several horses, or simply lounging around home with his pregnant wife listening to music.

And what sort of music would Phil Manzanera listen to?

“Well, I love UB40’s. They have great feel, fantastic lyrics, and memorable melodies. Then there’s Steely Dan — I love their new album. Bowie I like, Dire Straits, a band called Black Uhuru, and of course Talking Heads.

“But I think their latest album is more of an Eno album that a Heads set. They seem to have lost some of themselves, and given way to more of Brian”.

Well, I don’t know who’s going to pay for this bloody phone call. Maybe I should finish off.

After all, the group will be in Australia by the time I get off my backside and get it into Juke. And you can bet your last pair of safety pins that Roxy’s record company won’t pay for it. And I just KNOW the promoter won’t pay for it. I better finish. I’ll probably end up footing the bill again.

One last question, Phil. Is there anything special in Roxy Music’s staging this time around?

“As a matter of fact, there is. We have a very interesting stage set… not like anything else around at the moment. It’s electric in a mechanial sort of way. I won’t give it away, let me say that I still like looking at it after six months”.

LONDON CALLING
with Jillian Hughes
TIMES SQUARE
NO RUTS ABOUT IT

Very few bands are willing to carry on when their focal point leaves. When that person dies suddenly in an accident — or a heroin overdose as in the case of Malcolm Owen the lead singer of the Ruts — then it takes awhile to get over the shock.

But the Ruts, one of the original punk bands, came up trumps. Renaming themselves Ruts DC (DC stands for Da Capo which is Latin for “a new beginning”) they went back to their original audiences, tore them apart, and are now off to America to try their luck there. Meantime there’s also a new LP of old material called Grin and Bear It.

“Last summer was probably the worst time for us” says bassist Vince Segs, who has stepped in as their main vocalist. ‘‘We’ve always known that Malcolm was doing heroin. He also had problems with his throat, which just went on him. It was very frustrating for us, because we couldn’t work a lot of the time, and it was very frustrating for Malcolm, which is probably why he went back on the hard stuff again.

“The pressure was on us — everyone was aware that the kids out there wanted to hear us, but we were being held up. We started to drift apart.”

Right after Owen died, the Ruts came up with one of their best singles yet, ‘‘West One (Shine On Me)”. But partly because it was such a change from their rock-reggae, and partly because they made no appearances to promote it, the disc died. Then the Damned stepped in and took the three — the other two are drummer Dave Ruffy and guitarist Paul Fox — on tour with them, just to give them a helping hand. The Ruts re-discovered their audience, and found enough confidence to write new songs.

Grin and Bear It is seen by some as a shoddy cashing in on Malcolm’s death by their record company Virgin, well known for Sid Vicious/-Pistols re-issues.

“It is an album we put together for Malcolm’s memory, that’s all. We wanted it out, not the record company. We didn’t have enough studio material with Malcolm to make up an LP so we put in some live things. Some people say it’s a con because Ruts fans would have all the tracks.

“That’s not so. Fans wouldn’t have the live version of ‘Babylon’s Burning’ or the John Peel (radio) session recording of ‘Demolition Dancing’ — the LP’s not intended to tear about the charts, it’s just there for anyone who wants it. The album we aim for the charts is the one we start work on soon. If anything, we wanted to bring ‘Love in Vein’ back — it was hidden on the b-side of ‘Staring at the Rude Boys’ the first time.”

Ruts DC are touring and recording with a sessions sax/keyboards player called Garry Barnacle who was on their first LP The Crack as well as Grin and Bear It.

 

 

Juke No. 302, February 7, 1981 (weekly (publication) (AAT ID: 300312030))
44 x 28 cm.;
Brian Jones, Big push on ‘Times Square’; p. 5
Betty Page, XTC in New York; p. 6
Vince Lovegrove, I’ve got Roxy in my head; p. 7
Jillian Hughes, No Ruts about it; p. 13 (works);
Juke No 302 p1_1080px.jpg
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(images)
 
©1981 Newspress Pty. Ltd.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+