From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE (songbook)

Posted on 24th December 2015 in "Times Square"

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.

 

Forward Into The Past

Posted on 15th December 2015 in "Times Square"

Back issues of Screen International are surprisingly hard to come by. That’s why I’m posting this so far out of the chronological order I’ve been trying to adhere to… I didn’t have this until last week (as of this writing). And I don’t even have the entire issue; I just have the upper left corner of page 44, but that’s enough. This “People and Places” column comes from the 8-15 March 1980 issue, and so takes the place of the April 23 Aquarian article as the earliest published piece of Times Square publicity I know of (not counting the article from Radio and Records, for which I don’t know the actual date).

[EDIT, January 29, 2017: I now have a full copy of the issue, Screen International No. 231. Yay.]

Clipping from page 44 of Screen International, 8 March 1980, containing photo of Robin Johnson with caption.  Text:  ROBIN JOHNSON (left) makes her debut in producer Robert Stigwood’s new film “Times Square".  The 15-year-old New Yorker was literally discovered standing outside her school!

The photo is a cropped version of the one used in Photoplay’s “Last Word” column in May, although severely cropped. I find it interesting that the one fact used to try to generate interest in the film is not about the film itself, but is the earliest description of Robin’s “discovery” on the steps of Brooklyn Tech.

Robin would indeed be 15 for another month and a half after this article saw print.

A much more impressive piece of publicity from Screen International is the two-page center spread from the 21-28 June, 1980 issue, which I don’t have, but fortunately for all of us is in Karen Dean (DefeatedandGifted)’s collection and is on display at her Times Square Fandom blog:

Scan by Karen Dean - original file at https://defeatedandgifted.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/ts_rj_centrefold/

It was published squarely between the above-mentioned “Last Word” column and the Northeast Ohio Scene article, and as Karen notes, a full seven months before Times Square’s UK release.

This fully-realized piece of art, Nicky overlaid on a Times Square collage, was only ever used here and, nine months later, as the Australian movie poster. (That poster was reproduced on the inside insert of the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, and the image is on the cover of the current UK DVD release.)

The photo of Robin came from the same session that produced this shot and the shot on the back cover of the soundtrack album. The Kent guitar — a cheap replacement for the cheap guitar used in the movie — is a dead giveaway.

The album photo is one of the few that has a credit.

Mick Rock.

I think it’s safe to assume Mick Rock took all the “Kent” photos. It’s tantalizing to think that there may exist one or several rolls of photographs of Robin, in that outfit, against a black background, taken by Mick Rock.

 

 

“People and places,” Screen International, 8-15 March 1980, p. 44, 1980; article (AAT ID: ID: 300048715), 7 5/8 in (H) x 6 3/4 in (H) [portion of page] (work); 800 px (H) x 606 px (W), 96 dpi, 191 kb (image)
inscription:
ROBIN JOHNSON (left) makes her debut in producer Robert Stigwood’s new film “Times Square”.
The 15-year-old New Yorker was literally discovered standing outside her school!

 

ts_screeninternational_jun80_RJnet_shrunk_version.jpg (image): reduced-size version of ts_screeninternational_jun80.jpg (image), digital image of Screen International (London, UK, n. 246, pp 12-3) (work), from Dean, Karen. “Times Square / Robin Johnson Centrefold!” “Times Square” Fandom. N.p., 29 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

 

Nicky Marotta in Limbo

Posted on 8th December 2014 in "Times Square"

Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta, 1980 B&W publicity photograph

Black limbo, that is. This photo isn’t one of the “Kodak paper” series, but I’m going through these photos in the order they’d appear in the film (since I don’t know the order in which they were shot), and this one comes next. Except…

You know how I’ve been saying the pictures are from alternate takes that don’t actually appear in the film? This one doubles that. Triples. First, there’s no background. This is one of the very few shots taken only for publicity and not at a recognizable shooting location. Robin is wearing the Aggie Doon costume, so she’s dressed for the world premiere of “Damn Dog” at the Cleo Club, but she’s carrying her cheap Kent that she lost when she was arrested in the opening scene, and not the expensive Rickenbacker she plays with the Blondells. Also, her hair isn’t slicked back like Elvis like it is in the film. This is a glamor shot of Nicky, nothing more, nothing less.

This photo shoot produced at least four shots: this one; another which along with this one was published in Film Review in October 1980; the image that was used on the Australian movie poster and is currently on the UK DVD; and the picture on the back cover of the soundtrack album. (I’ll get to those in time.)

The back of this photo has crop measurement marks indicating the actual size of the picture. My guess is that was to help in laying out whatever page someone may have been planning to print it on, but I don’t really know.

Frame capture from "Times Square" (1980), brightened considerably to try to enhance detail in the guitar Nicky's playing

I’ve lightened all hell out of this dark alley to try to see the guitar better.


The most interesting thing to me about this picture is, that’s NOT Nicky’s guitar. In all the photos from this shoot, the Kent’s big K logo is plainly visible, it has one pickup in the lead position close to the bridge, and the fretboard has big rectangular inlays. The guitar she plays in the film, however, has no logo, has one pickup in the rhythm position closer to the neck, and the fretboard has little round dot inlays. The pickguard is also a vastly different shape, as is the body itself, and the tuning peg for the B string is missing. It’s a cheap beat-up guitar all right, but it might not even be a Kent. (If you can identify it, please chime in.)

 
 

“Nicky with Her Kent”
8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
862 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 338 kb (image)

1979/1980
inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten in blue ink:] D+P. EAST 170 mm deep x 115 mm wide PA77
[handwritten in black ink:] ROBIN JOHNSON. 20
[stamped in black:] DEREK AND PAT EAST COLLECTION

 
vlcsnap-2014-11-22-19h40m55s213-enhanced.jpg
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 343kb(image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured and enhanced 2014-11-22
 
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+