From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE (songbook)

Posted on 24th December 2015 in "Times Square"
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Songbook containing the sheet music of the songs comprising the soundtrack to the movie "Times Square" Cover text: From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE A Robert Stigwood Production Featuring Music Of SUZI QUATRO, THE PRETENDERS, ROXY MUSIC, GARY NUMAN, MARCY LEVY & ROBIN GIBB, TALKING HEADS, JOE JACKSON, XTC, THE RAMONES, ROBIN JOHNSON & TRINI ALVARADO, THE RUTS, D.L. BYRON, LOU REED, DESMOND CHILD & ROUGE, GARLAND JEFFREYS, THE CURE, PATTI SMITH GROUP, DAVID JOHANSEN

 

… is exactly what it sounds like, a squarebound book collecting the sheet music for all the songs appearing on the Times Square soundtrack album. This of course excludes “Dangerous Type” by The Cars, which although heard for quite a bit longer in the film than some of the other songs (“Grinding Halt” and “Pretty Boys” spring to mind), wasn’t included on the record and so didn’t make it into the songbook.

 

The cover looks unfinished, somehow… it’s the album cover extended vertically, but in my opinion the Times Square logo should have been enlarged… there’s just too much empty space there in the middle. Most interestingly, though, it’s not just the album cover, it’s the UK album cover, without Nicky’s Johnny LaGuardia pin. This continues on the inside: the first few pages of the songbook are larger versions of the photos that appear on the inner gatefold of the record cover, and again, it’s the set as they appear on the UK edition. Tim Curry is nowhere to be seen, his photograph replaced with a group of sign-wielding Sleez Girls. The song listing also contains the same typo as the UK album cover. The no-prize for identifying it is still unclaimed.

 

The pictures in the songbook are cropped differently from the ones in the album, generally showing more at the top and bottom and less on the sides. This is most visible in the tv-dropping shot, and in the Sleez Girls shot, where the songbook version loses entirely the girls holding the “I’m a Monster” and “T.V. Sucks” signs. The exception is the Times Square Theater marquee shot, which shows more of all four sides in the songbook.

For your convenience, here’s the text that appears in near-unreadable blue type on pages 3 and 4:

[Page 2]

TIMES SQUARE a contemporary drama with music, stars the brightest new talents of
Tim Curry, British performer best known for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Trini
Alvarado, who scored a remarkable screen bow in Robert Altman’s “Rich Kids,” and
introduces Robin Johnson, a dynamic 16-year old Brooklyn actress and singer in her
film debut.

TIMES SQUARE depicts the misadventures of two rebellious teenage girls, one from
an affluent environment, the other a product of the streets. Together, they flee from
their room in a neurological hospital, commandeer an ambulance and begin a series of
wild and bizarre escapades with their behavior reported by an all-night disc jockey,
played by Tim Curry, who urges them on as their antics turn them into minor media
celebrities. Dubbed “The Sleez Sisters,” their flight from authority of any kind is
climaxed in a nerve-tingling dramatic conclusion atop the marquee of a Times Square
theater as hundreds of their teenage followers below cheer in tribute.

[Page 3]

The TIMES SQUARE soundtrack is one of the most exciting ever compiled. It presents
a unique anthology of original songs written expressly for the film plus rock classics by
major contemporary artists from both England and the United States. Featured artists
are Suzi Quatro, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, The Talking Heads, Joe
Jackson, Patti Smith, XTC, Garland Jeffreys, The Cure, Lou Reed, The Ramones, The
Ruts, Desmond Child and Rouge, Marcy Levy and Robin Gibb, D.L. Byron and David
Johansen. “Rock Hard,” “Help Me!,” “Pretty Boys,” “Take This Town,” “Damn Dog,”
“Flowers of the City,” and “Your Daughter Is One” are just some of the original titles
from the film.

Rock classics include “Walk On The Wild Side,” “Life During Wartime,” “I Wanna Be
Sedated,” and an amazing new rendition of the Supremes’ hit “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

The motion picture and the brilliantly compiled soundtrack recording portray the
colorful and restless segment of a young, contemporary generation and its music.

Unfortunately, the printing of the photos in the songbook isn’t all that great. The record cover versions of the photos can be seen in the US Soundtrack post; the Tim Curry-replacing Sleez Girls photo can be seen in the UK Soundtrack post.

 
If you’re hoping to see the sheet music here, sorry; there are some things that would almost certainly be an indefensible violation of copyright and which I will not post here, such as the actual soundtrack music, the entire film, and, yes, any song’s complete sheet music, let alone the entire songbook. I will post one page of it, just as an example. As I’ve noted before, the first page of the sheet music to “Damn Dog” is one of the few places that Norman Ross’ writing credit appears. The first four measures therefore are his riff.

 

Finally… one last longing look at the magnificent photo by Mick Rock that adorns the back cover of the album and songbook. As I noted last time, there are three other photos I know of where Robin is in that outfit, holding that particular Kent guitar. Mr. Rock has not as yet replied to my inquiry about them.

Photograph by Mick Rock of Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta from the back cover of the songbook containing the sheet music of the songs comprising the soundtrack to the movie "Times Square"

Merry Christmas!

 

 

From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE; songbook (AAT ID: 300026432), 9 in (W) x 12 in (H); 90 pp. (work); front and back covers, pp 1-9, 47 displayed

 

©1980 Chappell & Co.

 

“Damn Dog”

Posted on 24th December 2014 in "Times Square"
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8"x10" color print of Robin Johnson performing "Damn Dog" - shot not as it appears in the film

Left to right: Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, Artie Weinstein, Paul Sass. Just beyond the periphery: Billy Mernit


Back to the 8 x 10 Kodak prints… here’s another shot of Robin as Nicky dressed up as Aggie playing “Damn Dog” in the Cleo Club, and as always, there’s no frame in the film that matches up. The frame I’ve chosen is the only one where Robin has both hands on her guitar, is singing into the mic, and most importantly Artie has his hand up spinning his drum stick. But, not only is the shot framed entirely differently and from a different position, Robin isn’t even facing the same direction, and may not be singing the same word.Aggie Doon (Nicky Marotta [Robin Johnson]) perfoms "Damn Dog" - Frame capture from "Times Square" (1980)

 

“Aggie Doon.” In the commentary audio track on the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, Robin asks director Allan Moyle why they went with that name, and he doesn’t remember. I seem to remember hearing something about Nicky using a pseudonym because, after all, she’s wanted by the police, but I don’t remember where it was I came across that idea. That doesn’t really make sense, though, since Pammy is dancing under her own real name. The screenplay doesn’t explain it either.

 

"Times Square" Screenplay by Jacob Brackman, 1979, p. 77
 

Also on the commentary track, in the previous scene where Nicky reads her poem to Pammy, Moyle claims that Robin wrote part of it, and she’s gobsmacked because although she was writing and performing poetry at the time of the commentary’s recording, she has no recollection of contributing to “Damn Dog.” The reason for that is simple: she didn’t. The poem she recites in the film is almost word-for-word the poem Jacob Brackman wrote in the early draft of the screenplay, months before she was discovered; and unless she changed her name to Norman Ross, she didn’t contribute any of the changes made when it was turned into the song."Damn Dog, by Billy Mernit, Jacob Brackman, and Norman Ross"

What’s my point? I guess it’s that Allan Moyle, bless ‘im, is something of an unreliable narrator when it comes to the making of Times Square.

 

More importantly, though… if Robin isn’t Norman Ross, then who is?
 Norman Ross (left), co-writer of "Damn Dog" and "Your Daughter is One," playing guitar. Photo provided by Billy Mernit.


“Norman was one of my closest friends and was the backbone of my band for many years – a stellar guitarist. He was the soul of rock’n’roll incarnate. He died a number of years ago due to a lifetime of wretched excess.

“Specific to ‘Damn Dog,’ he’s responsible for the guitar phrasing of its signature lick – that ‘Dat-DAT-dut! Da-DAH-da-da-da…’ figure, which was in a sense Norman channeling Keith Richards. (The lyrics are Jacob’s with some revisions/additions of mine, and the melody and chord structure is me.)”

— Billy Mernit

 

If you’re here reading this odds are the chords that kick off “Damn Dog” are burned permanently into your brain. If you play guitar you’ve had a bash at them more than once. They mean something to you in a visceral way. Can you imagine “Damn Dog” without that lick? Can you imagine “Times Square” without a song featuring that lick? Norman Ross created this specific thing without which the effect and the affect of the movie would have been immeasurably diminished. There’d be something missing from your life and you’d never know it.
 

It’s a shame he’s not around so we could express our appreciation directly, but at least we can now keep his name alive whenever we hear “Damn Dog” start up.
 

I dedicate this to Norman Ross, and all the other dinosaurs that got kicked outta the band.

 

 

“Damn Dog, 60-6A”
color photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
866 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 491 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on back:] [handwritten:] 60-6A

 

vlcsnap-2014-12-07-13h01m02s187.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 737 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-12-07

 

TIMES SQUARE, p. 77
Screenplay by Jacob Brackman
1979

 

“TIMES SQUARE” Songbook, p. 47 (detail)
800 px (W) x 194 px (H) (image)

 

Norman Ross in Action
329 px (W) x 632 px (H), 72 dpi, 100 kb (image)
Photo courtesy Billy Mernit
provided 2014-12-15, edited 2014-12-21

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+