“6”

Posted on 24th March 2017 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta during the filming of TIMES SQUARE (1980). The number and the stamp on the back imply that it was part of the UK Press Kit. The caption for photo 6 in the Press Kit reads:   15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".

6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ’s patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the “new wave”.

 

 

This, I believe, is one of the photos missing from my copy of the UK Press Kit. The photo caption sheet in the press kit lists photos 6, 7, and 8 as pictures of Robin all with the same caption, and my copy only has a 7 and 8. This photo has a tiny “6” inset on the front, and the back has the same black “TIMES SQUARE” stamp as the Press Kit photos. Add in the fact that this came from a memorabilia dealer in England, and I’m satisfied that it was originally part of the Press Kit package.

 

It’s the same image as TS-69-34A/4 from the US Press Material folder, printed with higher contrast and thus losing some detail, but cropped differently so it shows a little more of the area around Robin. We can now see Trini’s arm, the bottom of the guitar, and not quite enough more of the headstock to be sure whether this was before or after the “Rickenbacker” nameplate was removed. The same image was also used by ITC to promote the film, that one being cropped even closer.

 

 

[Times Square UK Press Kit photo 6]
black and white photographic print, 25.3 x 20.2 cm. (work);
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 334 kb (image)

1980
inscription: [front] 6
[back:] [stamped, black:] TIMES SQUARE
[handwritten:] Robin Johnson | 96 | 429

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 3 of 4)

Posted on 9th August 2016 in "Times Square"
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First, some pictures.

Tim Curry as Johnny LaGuardia on the roof outside the WJAD studio, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 5.  This photo was taken a second before or after the photo numbered TS-79-28/8 in the US press kit.  The text from the press kit's photo captions page:  5. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.

5. TIM CURRY stars as an all-night disc jockey, who, perched in his studio high above Times Square follows and encourages the progress of the runaway girls, who thanks to his efforts become minor media celebrities.

 

 

UK Press Kit photo #5 is another headshot of Tim Curry, this time as Johnny appears at the end of the film as he’s watching the concert though his telescope on the deck outside WJAD. The most interesting thing about this photo is, at first glance it looks like TS-79-28/8 from the US press kit, but it isn’t. It’s not just cropped differently; Tim’s head is tilted up slightly and he hasn’t got the beginnings of a smile he sports in the US photo. It’s a different photo, taken just before or just after.

Photos 6, 7, and 8 are pictures of Robin. Unfortunately I don’t have Photo 6, and none of the photos without the little number are of Robin alone.

Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta atop the Times Square Theater marquee, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 7. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".

6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ’s patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the “new wave”.


In Photo 7, Nicky kneels at the edge of the Times Square Theater marquee, deciding if she wants to perform or not. She never looks up in the film like she’s doing here, though, not without turning to look at Pammy or the Blondells. Perhaps she’s waiting here for a cue from Allan Moyle.
Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta in the Cleo Club, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 8. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ's patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the "new wave".

6/7/8. 15-year-old screen newcomer ROBIN JOHNSON stars as Nicky Marotta, a street-wise young runaway who, thanks to a radio DJ’s patronage, is able to fulfil her fantasies of becoming a star of the “new wave”.

 

Photo 8 has Nicky scoping out the Cleo Club for Pammy, before revealing her attempt at poetry to her. This one is really close to the shot as it appears in the film, but it isn’t. The POV is slightly to the left of the movie camera, and although Robin is doing the same nervous finger-pulling, her hands are never in that exact position. This is the same almost-but-not-quite situation we saw with the shots of Trini from the later scene in the club where Mr. Pearl confronts Pammy.

I don’t have any photos numbered 9 or 10, and the caption sheet has no entries for them.

Trini Alvarado as Pamela Pearl, in the UK press kit photograph numbered 11. The text from the press kit's photo captions page: 11. TRINI ALVARADO, 12-year-old star of Robert Altman's RICH KIDS, is Pamela Pearl, daughter of a well-to-do New York family who runs away to find a new and exciting life in the city’s streets.

11. TRINI ALVARADO, 12-year-old star of Robert Altman’s RICH KIDS, is Pamela Pearl, daughter of a well-to-do New York family who runs away to find a new and exciting life in the city’s streets.

 

 

Photo 11 is a shot of Trini from the end of the same scene in the Cleo Club as Photo 8. In the film she never looks in thIS direction while smiling. Also, this photo has been lit in such a way as to make the background disappear entirely. The photographer took the opportunity to make this a true glamor portrait, not just an on-set publicity still. The glass on the table by her elbow shows that it was taken on the set, though.

Most of the photos in the UK Press Kit are very grainy and dusty compared to the US photos, as if they were printed from copies themselves. I’ve cleaned up the dust and scratches that were on the physical copy of the prints, but I’ve left most of the ones that were in the print itself, except the ones that were so huge I couldn’t stand to leave them.

There are two sets of text pages, and two profiles of Robin in each. The longer profile is almost the same as the one from the US press kit. Almost… but not quite. Aside from the slight rewording of nearly every sentence, this UK version spells Allan Moyle’s name correctly, where the US press kit and the film itself spell it “Alan”. The UK version describes Robin’s “discovery” on the steps of Brooklyn Tech in 1979 when she was 15 (which is accurate), and the US version has it happening in 1980 and gives her age as 16. I’m starting to wonder if the UK Press Kit wasn’t made up first, and the US version derived from it. (The photo captions also state Robin’s age as 15, which she was during the making of the film; she was 16 during its marketing.)

The only difference between the two sets in the UK Press Kit is that the text on the pages without the Times Square letterhead contain American spellings of words, and the pages with Times Square letterhead contain British spellings (“centers”/”centres”, etc.).

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL

One day Brooklyn’s Technological High School’s front steps may be legendary as the spot where a star was “born”, a ’79 equivalent to Hollywood’s Schwab’s Drug Store, On those steps, smoking a cigarette while waiting for classes to begin, 15 —year—old ROBIN JOHNSON was discovered by a casting scout on the lookout for possible candidates for the lead in TIMES SQUARE.

“He gave me this card and said to call this number if I was interested in being in a movie,” Robin recalls in her inimitible Brooklyn-accented speech. “I thought ‘Oh! Another wise guy’, but gave it a try.”

What Robin didn’t know at the time was that director Allan Moyle, who had written the original story for TIMES SQUARE with Leanne Unger, was determined to cast only the young actress who would be precisely right for the crucial central role of Nicky Marotta, a gusty teenager, loose and without adult super- vision and determined to be a rock star.

The talent search had already bypassed many of the traditional avenues and gone to youth centres, punk clubs, and placed ads in papers like the Village Voice, Soho News, Aquarian. “We were looking for someone who WAS Nicky,” Moyle admits. “Robin’s definitely not that doomed child. Luckily for the picture, Robin’s brought a lot more humour to the character than I had originally envisioned.”

Without any previous experience – “I had sung in a choir when I was 12” – Robin won the role over literally thousands of other candidates. After being cast, she entered an intensive programme of coaching in singing and dance/movement. Making the film meant that the novice was quickly transformed into a seasoned professional. Robin worked seven days a week for three months, for as a minor, the new star had to continue her studies with a tutor on the set and more lessons on Saturday. On Sunday, recording or dancing demands would take up the day. The veteran members of the New York crew were impressed with the professionalism of both Robin and her even younger co-star, 13-year-old TRINI ALVARADO. Both exhibited an almost non-stop flow of dedication, energy, high spirits and raucous good humour.

Robin lives with her older sister Cindy and her mother, in- Brooklyn. Born on May 29th, 1964, Robin never gave any thought to becoming an actress until TIMES SQUARE.

Her inclination previously ran toward sketching (I’m not into landscapes; give me cartoons with some people in there “) and, whenever the opportunity arose, banging on drums. And although she first started dating when she was 11, she’s not worried about permanent relationships at this point in her life. “I’m closest with my sister Cindy, who’s a year older. We’re both Geminis and I like to argue, especially in a friendly way.”

Like many young women her age, Robin can identify with Nicky’s rebelliousness and non-conformity, traits which land Nicky in trouble with the law and into the arms of Rosie (ANNA MARIE HORSFORD), a concerned social worker. “Nicky can’t put things over on Rosie like she does with others,” Robin figures, “and that’s the reason she admires her. I have trouble with authority figures, too, which means anybody with the upper hand – like my mother or my teachers.” But for director Allan Moyle, who might be considered the supreme authority figure, Robin has only praise: “We’re alike in certain ways and that made it easier to relate. Allan’s absolutely brilliant for inspiration, for giving you energy for a scene. When he wants you to do a scene better, he gets you to think, not bullying or intimidating, I want to work with him again.”

Robin sees Nicky as a teenager who masks what she really feels and tried to make her real, “She was bitter about being abandoned. Her Dad’s a loser. All she can do is pity him, not be mad at him now. Nicky has a lot of gutsiness that I really admired. Her philosophy always was, ‘When you’re mad, show it’.”

Gutsiness is a trait Robin and Nicky have in common. Robin, besides being bright, witty and talented, is seemingly fearless, whether performing atop a 42nd Street theatre marquee or being dunked into the icy December water of the polluted Hudson River. “Nerves don’t get you anywhere,” she says.

Robin was coached for TIMES SQUARE by veteran Sue Seaton, who has worked with Katharine Hepburn and Gilda Radner, But that throaty timbre is unmistakably her own, perhaps a result of the ”Kool” cigarettes she smokes incessantly.

The closest Robin had ever been to a movie set before TIMES SQUARE was when a scene for “The Wanderers” was shot in her neighbourhood. Now, the world of movies is opening for her.

“Let me tell you about this movie business,” she says seriously. “There’s no right for anyone to get an attitude just because so many people are aware of your job. What I say is, it’s entertainment and it’s a job. I hope TIMES SQUARE does well, but it’s not the answer to my life. Most, I loved meeting and working with so many wonderful people.”

There is one confession she’ll make when prodded about the rigors of working in the realm of make-believe: “Oh yeah,” she says with a grimace, “chewing roses was pretty disgusting. I’d never tasted flowers before.”

Two things of interest, both in the credits as listed in the letterhead: first, the order of the cast. The film’s credits are “Starring TIM CURRY, TRINI ALVARADO, and introducing ROBIN JOHNSON as Nicky.” This letterhead’s credits read “Starring ROBIN JOHNSON, TRINI ALVARADO and TIM CURRY.” So, for a brief moment, Robin had top billing.

Second, I just noticed… all the promotional materials, as well as the film itself, misspell Leanne Ungar’s name “Unger”. Of course, in Moyle’s earlier film The Rubber Gun (1977), she had a music engineering credit that spelled her name “Lianne Ungen,” so I suppose this was a step up.

 

 

TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_5
1080 px (W) x 864 px (H), 96 dpi, 263 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_7
1080 px (W) x 864 px (H), 96 dpi, 260 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_8
1080 px (W) x 865 px (H), 96 dpi, 282 kb (image)
TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo_11
1080 px (W) x 865 px (H), 96 dpi, 245 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [on photos] 5; 7; 8; 11;
[on reverse] TIMES SQUARE

 

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL, pp. 1-4
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 238 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 200 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 233 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 832 px (W), 96 dpi, 115 kb (image)

 

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL, pp. 1-3
8.27 in (W) x 11.69 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 283 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 262 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 755 px (W), 96 dpi, 254 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Soundtrack Promotional Video

Posted on 22nd January 2016 in "Times Square"
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Apparently, in 1980, RSO sent this videotape to record retailers to play in-store to promote the soundtrack to Times Square. It features the two songs performed in the film, “Your Daughter Is One” and “Damn Dog.” The fact that the lyrics to “Your Daughter Is One” consist primarily of curse words and racial slurs guaranteed that it would never be played in any store for more than thirty seconds. The fact that nobody at RSO, from the tape’s conception to its distribution, realized that would happen, boggles the mind.
 

 

The middle portion of the tape is an edit of the dance the girls do along 42nd Street to “Life During Wartime” by Talking Heads. Much of this sequence is made up of shots that do not actually appear in the film; unfortunately here they’re only four or five frames long. Even more unfortunately, this digitization is at such low resolution that individual frames turn into pretty smears of color.
 

This video was originally digitized and uploaded on February 24 2012 by “PsychoticNorman”. I’ve offered to buy or borrow the tape to make a higher quality transfer, but have not received a reply. I have fixed the aspect ratio and brightened and sharpened the image a little. You can see PsychoticNorman’s original upload here. My file is technically at a higher resolution, but that’s an artifact of my editing software refusing to save at the small resolution of the original file. I’ve tried to make it easier to look at, but there isn’t really any more detail.

 

 

 

TIMES SQUARE soundtrack promotional video (trailer (motion picture) AAT ID: 300263866), videotape promoting the film and soundtrack for use in record stores, 5:29 (work); H264 – MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (avc 1), 480 px (W) x 386 px (H), 19.4 MB (video); MPEG AAC (mp4a) stereo 48000 Hz (audio)
(video modified 25 December 2015 from the file digitized by PsychoticNorman at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38UzHtkmeA)

 

RSO Promo Video Image4.png, RSO Promo Video Image5.png, RSO Promo Video Image15.png, RSO Promo Video Image17.png, RSO Promo Video Image21.png, RSO Promo Video Image22.png: frame captures from “TIMES SQUARE soundtrack promotional video”, 655 px (W) x 486 px (H), 72 dpi (images)

 

Forward Into The Past

Posted on 15th December 2015 in "Times Square"
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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.

 

Soundtrack Promotional Poster OP-200

Posted on 8th September 2015 in "Times Square"
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"Times Square" soundtrack promotional poster, 32" (H) x 48" (W), 1980 Text: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack A Robert Stigwood Production TIMES SQUARE ™ A 2-RECORD SET Featuring Music Of: SUZI QUATRO, THE PRETENDERS ROXY MUSIC, GARY NUMAN TALKING HEADS, JOE JACKSON MARCY LEVY & ROBIN GIBB XTC, THE RAMONES GARLAND JEFFREYS, THE CURE LOU REED, DESMOND CHILD & ROUGE THE RUTS, D.L. BYRON ROBIN JOHNSON & TRINI ALVARADO PATTI SMITH GROUP, DAVID JOHANSEN RSO Records, Inc. ® © 1980 RSO Records, Inc. OP-200

 

“O” is for “oversized,” I assume. This image is the same size as the image of the last poster, but trust me, the actual poster is double the size — just as tall and twice as wide. At four feet wide, it may be the largest poster in my collection; the UK “Quad” movie poster may be larger… we’ll see when we get there.

You can see for yourself how the elements from the previous poster, themselves rearranged from the album cover (as seen on the promotional slick), have been rearranged here. The very background is still yellow, but it’s been overlaid with a blue rectangle. Nicky and Pammy have been moved into the upper right corner, and the RSO cow removed from Nicky’s Johnny LaGuardia button. The title has been enlarged and moved into the upper left. The bottom half is the pixellated photo of the final concert, just like in the last poster, but nearly all of it is visible here. The red paint streak here stretches all across the bottom, and serves as a background to highlight the artist names.

The biggest difference here, though… no mention of the movie’s opening date. This double-sized poster promotes the record and the record only.

I never saw this poster in its natural habitat (on the wall of a record store), but I find it more visually pleasing than most of the other posters, except for the poster-side of the 2-sided poster. I guess my eye just likes the red and the blue better than the yellow. I sincerely doubt I’ll ever live somewhere with enough wall space to hang it up, though.

 

 

“Times Square” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack promotional poster OP-200
poster, AAT ID: 300027221; color, 32 in (H) x 48 in (W) (work);
1080 px (H) x 715 px (W), 96 dpi, 622 kb (image)

1980
inscription:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
A Robert Stigwood Production
TIMES SQUARE ™
A 2-RECORD SET
Featuring Music Of:
SUZI QUATRO, THE PRETENDERS
ROXY MUSIC, GARY NUMAN
TALKING HEADS, JOE JACKSON
MARCY LEVY & ROBIN GIBB
XTC, THE RAMONES
GARLAND JEFFREYS, THE CURE
LOU REED, DESMOND CHILD & ROUGE
THE RUTS, D.L. BYRON
ROBIN JOHNSON & TRINI ALVARADO
PATTI SMITH GROUP, DAVID JOHANSEN
RSO Records, Inc. ®
© 1980 RSO Records, Inc.
OP-200

 

 

Soundtrack Promotional Poster P-201

Posted on 30th August 2015 in "Times Square"
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Poster intended for record stores, promoting the soundtrack to and impending release of the movie "Times Square" (1980).  Text:  The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack A Robert Stigwood Production TIMES SQUARE Coming to a Theatre Near You Oct. 17th A 2-RECORD SET  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 PRINTED IN USA P-201 © 1980 RSO Records Inc RSO Records, Inc.
 

The top of this poster uses the elements of the album cover art. The text strips have been moved, and the title has been enlarged, tilted to the right rather than the left, and has had most of its color removed, all to take advantage of the larger space and to be more legible from a distance. Pammy and Nicky have also been tilted sightly to the right. Where we expect to see Tim Curry’s face, we have the RSO cow on a yellow blob, itself atop a red circle. The bottom of the poster is the purple pixellated art from the inside of the album gatefold. The text strips listing the bands have been spaced out, and the punctuation at their ends removed.

This poster is promoting “A 2-Record Set.” Almost offhandedly it mentions that Times Square is “Coming to a Theatre Near You Oct. 17th.”

You know, I may have talked one of these off the wall of the upstairs record store at the Quakerbridge Mall, but I can’t remember for sure anymore.

 

 

“Times Square” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack promotional poster p-201
color, 36″ (H) x 24″ (W) (work); 1080 px (H) x 718 px (W), 96 dpi, 571 kb (image)

1980
inscription:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
A Robert Stigwood Production
TIMES SQUARE™
RSO® Records, Inc.
Coming to a Theatre Near You Oct. 17th
A 2-RECORD SET
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
PRINTED IN USA P-201
RSO® Records, Inc.

 

 

The Mystery of the Double-Sided Poster, Side Two

Posted on 28th June 2015 in "Times Square"
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Designed to be opened one fold at a time, the blue side is a promotional presentation for "Times Square" and its soundtrack, and the red side is a full poster. This is the red side.  Text:  TIMES SQUARE Can you feel my fever? Can you hear me howl? I'm just a Damn Dog. Tune into me because I am tuned into you. STICK IT IN YOUR EAR. NO SENSE MAKES SENSE They tell me I'm crazy. But the truth is I just know bullshit when I see it.Fully opening the two-sided poster reveals my favorite version of the image most associated with Times Square.

As I mentioned last time, I find the red background more visually pleasing than the yellow used on the movie poster and soundtrack album cover. There are several other differences in this version, as well. The Seiniger designers have collaged the black and white photos of Robin and Trini, but here they’re of equal height; the future versions will make Trini seem significantly shorter than Robin. Also, this is the only time we get to see Robin’s right shoulder; the movie poster and album cover cut her out at the lapel.

This side doesn’t use the DYMO label-style typeface, but it does use Nicky’s pins as a design element, floating quotes from the film and Tim Curry’s image in badges. The Tim Curry button will later find its way to Nicky’s left lapel, which for now plays host to a button with the RSO cow. The buttons-scattered-across-the-poster idea will later be used by the Japanese promotion artists, although their choices of what constitute statements of rebellion will face a bit of a language barrier.

The artists do a masterful job of colorizing the black and white photographs, but either they had no color reference photos or they made an artistic decision for reasons of their own, because they made Robin’s eyes blue. Robin’s eyes are green with a trace of brown. Trini’s eyes here are pretty much the color of Robin’s eyes in real life. I don’t know what color Trini’s eyes really are.

There are color photos that were taken at the same time as the black and white shot of Nicky so I also don’t know why they felt the need to slather eye shadow on Nicky that she certainly wasn’t wearing. I’ve never once had the feeling that Nicky was an eye shadow kind of girl. The closest thing we ever see to her applying make-up is to paint a mask across the entire top half of her face. Even though the poster designers had finally gotten a very good handle on what the film was trying to get across, they didn’t quite understand the character of Nicky. It’s another attempt to make her just a little more girly, like the Press Folder’s misspelling her name as “Nikki.”

 

 

[“Times Square” double-sided promotional poster, inside]
color, 39 in (H) x 25.75 in (W) (work);
712 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 510 kb (image)
1980, Seiniger & Associates

inscription:
TIMES SQUARE
Can you feel my fever? Can you hear me howl? I’m just a Damn Dog.
Tune into me because I am tuned into you.
STICK IT IN YOUR EAR.
NO SENSE MAKES SENSE
They tell me I’m crazy. But the truth is I just know bullshit when I see it.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Press Material folder (post 5 of 5)

Posted on 1st June 2015 in "Times Square"
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Publicity still of Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-82-30
Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado are New York teenagers whose runaway antics and revolt against authority make them the talk of The Big Apple through the radio reports of an all-night disc jockey in “Times Square.”

 

 

The last photos from the press kit. To the left, Pammy and Nicky on the roof from which they toss their first television set, although here Nicky appears to be translating a radio broadcast for Pammy. Nothing like this occurs in the film; this photo, however, will be turned into a line drawing and used to advertise the movie’s opening in Germany. Its full code number is nearly impossible to see, as it’s written in white against the white background in the lower right corner. The first three segments (TS-82-30) are on the caption sheet. I think the last segment is “/4.”

 

 

 

 

Publicity still of Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado atop the Times Square Theater marquee, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: TS-28-28/7 TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-28-28
Robin Johnson, as self-styled “Sleaze Sister,” takes a final rebellious stand against authority atop a Times Square theater marquee, as Trini Alvarado, her fellow runaway and Sleaze Sister, watches in the nerve-tingling climactic scene of “Times Square.”

 

 

 

 

 

To the right is the photo from which the last image on my post of stuff I found on the Web was edited, as Sarah from Vintage Salt informed me shortly after that post went up. I even had a version of that same picture as my Facebook cover image at the time, and somehow I just never made the connection. It’s another of the many photos taken of the concert.

 

 

 

Publicity still of Tim Curry from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: (on image) TS-79-28/8 (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-79-28
Tim Curry, British actor-singer best known for his rock star role in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” is starred as Johnny LaGuardia, all-night disc jockey in New York, whose encouragement on the air to two runaway teenage girls turns them into minor media celebrities in “Times Square.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heeeeere’s Johnny! A glamour shot of Tim Curry as Johnny LaGuardia, in costume for his reporting on the final concert, standing on the balcony of the Candler Building overlooking the Times Square Theater. His telescope is visible there at the right.

 

 

 

Black & white publicity still of Robin Johnson in costume as Nicky Marotta from the last scene of the film, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: TS-104-17A/2 AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution TIMES SQUARE

TS-42-11A
Robin Johnson effects a garish costume and make-up as she and her fellow teenage runaway flaunt authority as the “Sleaze Sisters” on their wild dash through the back streets of New York City in “Times Square.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

And finally, Robin. This must have been taken at the same time as this slide, but this is the shot they went with. I’d love to see it in color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To wrap things up, here is the press kit’s biography of Robin. It’s four pages. Trini gets two pages. Robert Stigwood gets three. Tim Curry only rates one page. Someone certainly realized which side their promotion was buttered on.

It features a second, longer telling of her “discovery,” as well as her view of the production as a job, and not one she was necessarily even considering continuing.

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL IN SCREEN BOW

At some time in the future Brooklyn’s Technological High School steps may become legendary as the spot where a star was “born,” the 1980 equivalent to Hollywood’s Schwab’s Drugstore. On those steps and waiting for classes to begin, 16-year-old Robin Johnson was discovered by an (unknown) casting scout on the lookout for possible candidates for the leading role in “Times Square,” an October release from AFD (Associated Film Distribution).

“He gave me this card and said to call this number if I was interested in being in a movie,” Robin recalls in her inimitable Brooklyn-accented speech. “I thought: Wow! Another wise guy. But I gave it a shot.”

What Robin didn’t know at the time was that the film’s director, Alan Moyle, who had written the original story for “Times Square” with Leanne Unger, was determined to cast only the young actress who would be precisely right for the crucial central role of Nicky Marotta, a spunky teenager loose and without adult supervision, determined to become a rock star. The talent search already had bypassed many of the traditional avenues and scoured youth centers, punk rock clubs, and placed ads in papers such as the Village Voice, Soho News, and Aquarian.

“We were looking for someone who WAS Nicky,” Moyle admits. “Robin is definitely not that doomed child. Luckily for the film, Robin brought a lot more humor to the character than what I had originally envisioned. Her youthful innocence and energy buoy up what might have been played as too much of a downer.”

Without any previous experience (“I had sung in a choir when I was 12”), Robin won the role over literally hundreds of other candidates. Upon winning the role, she entered an intensive program of singing lessons and a dance and movement regimen. Making this film meant that the novice had to be transformed quickly into a seasoned professional. Robin worked seven days straight for 12 weeks. As a minor, the new “star” had to continue her studies with a tutor on the set and more learning sessions on Saturdays. On Sundays, recording or dancing demands took up the day. Veteran members of the New York film crew were dazzled by the professionalism of both Robin and her even younger co-star, 13-year-old Trini Alvarado. Both exhibited an almost non-stop flow of dedication, energy, high spirits and raucous good humor.

Robin Johnson lives with her older sister Cindy and their mother in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, New York. Born May 29, 1964, Robin never gave any thought to becoming an actress until “Times Square.” Her inclination previously ran to sketching (“I’m not into landscapes; give me cartoons with some people in there.”) and, whenever the opportunity arose, banging on drums. And although she first started “dating” when she was 11, she’s not worried about permanent relationships at this point in her life. “I’m closest with my sister Cindy, who’s a year older. We’re both Geminis and I like to argue, especially in a friendly way.”

As do many young women her age, Robin can identify with Nicky’s rebelliousness and non-confirmity, traits which land Nicky in trouble with the law and into the arms of a concerned social worker. “Nicky can’t put things over on her like she does with others,” Robin figures, “and that’s the reason she admires her. I have trouble with authority figures, too, which means anybody with the upper hand—my principal, my mother, my teachers.”

Of director Alan Moyle, who might be considered the supreme authority figure, Robin has only praise. “We’re alike in certain ways and that made it easier to relate. Alan’s absolutely brilliant for inspiration, for giving you energy for a scene. When he believes you can do a scene better, he gets you to think, but not with bullying or intimidation I really want to work with him again.”

Robin perceives Nicky as a teenager, masking what she really feels and tried to “make her real.” “She was bitter about being abandoned. Her dad’s a loser. All she can do is pity him, not be mad at him now. Nicky has a lot of gutsiness that I really admired. Her philosophy always was: ‘When you’re mad, show it.'”

Gutsiness is a trait Robin and Nicky have in common. Robin, as well as being bright, witty and talented, is seemingly fearless, whether performing atop a 42nd Street theater marquee or being dunked into the icy December brine of the polluted Hudson River. “Nerves don’t get you anywhere,” she says, simply enough.

Robin was coached for “Times Square” by veteran Sue Seaton, who has worked with the spectrum from Katharine Hepburn to Gilda Radner. But that throaty timbre is unmistakably Robin’s own, perhaps a result of her ever-present Kool cigarettes (“Kools are cool”).

The closest Robin had ever been to a movie set before “Times Square” was when “The Wanderers” shot a scene down the block in her neighborhood. Now, the world of movies is opening for her. “Let me tell you about this movie business,” she says seriously. “There’s no right for anyone to get an attitude just because so many people are aware of your job. What I say is, it’s entertainment and it’s a job. I hope ‘Times Square’ does well, but it’s not the answer to my life. Most, I loved meeting and working with so many wonderful people.”

There is one confession she’ll make when prodded about the rigors of working in the realm of make-believe: “Oh yeah,” she says with a grimace, “chewing the roses was pretty disgusting. I’d never tasted flowers before.”

“Times Square,” starring Robin with Tim Curry and Trini Alvarado, is a Robert Stigwood Presentation, directed by Alan Moyle from Jacob Brackman’s screenplay. The new film was co-produced by Stigwood and Brackman, with Kevin McCormick and John Nicolella as Executive Producers and Bill Oakes the Associate Producer.

 

 

TS-82-30[/4]
1080 px (H) x 857 px (W), 96 dpi, 330 kb (image)
TS-28-28/7
1080 px (H) x 865 px (W), 96 dpi, 305 kb (image)
TS-79-28/8
1080 px (W) x 855 px (H), 96 dpi, 226 kb (image)
TS-42-11A/2
1080 px (H) x 855 px (W), 96 dpi, 276 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [on photos] TS-82-30[/4?]; TS-28-28/7; TS-79-28/8; TS-42-11A/2;
(on borders) TIMES SQUARE
AFD
©1980 Associated
Film Distribution

 

“TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL IN SCREEN BOW, pp. 1-4
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 840 px (W), 96 dpi, 293 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 836 px (W), 96 dpi, 300 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 293 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 78.9 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Press Material folder (post 4 of 5)

Posted on 23rd May 2015 in "Times Square"
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Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta, holding her Rickenbacker guitar in the WJAD studio.  Publicity still from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.  Text:  (on image) TS-69-34A/4  (on border)TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-69-34A
Robin Johnson is a runaway teenage product of the streets who dreams of becoming a rock music star and lets nothing get in her way to make it to the top in “Times Square.”

Publicity still of Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnsonperforming "Your Daughter Is One" in the WJAD studio, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.   Text:  TS-72-8A/14 TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-72-8A
Robin Johnson (right) is determined to become a rock music star, Trini Alvarado is her fellow teenage runaway and their wild, bizarre escapades in New York make them minor media celebrities when reported by an all-night radio disc jockey in “Times Square.”

 

On the left is the same photo as this one, cropped differently and of course without the autograph.

On the right is the photo that may be the one used the most to promote the film. We’ll have a better idea about that once I’m done with all this stuff. Until just now, I always thought it was a cropped version of this photo (that version of which I’ve only seen on the Web and believe to have been cut from a UK lobby card), but now I realize they were taken a second or two apart. Look at their arms.

Publicity still of Trini Alvarado in the Cleo Club, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: (on image) TS-113-4A/6 (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-113-4A
Trini Alvarado is co-starred as the troubled teenage daughter of a New York politician whose lack of attention turns the girl into a teenage runaway and a try at becoming a dancing attraction in a sleazy nitery in “Times Square.”

Publicity still of Peter Coffield and Tim Curry in the WJAD studio from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: (on image) TS-78-2/16 (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

TS-78-2
Peter Coffield (left), ambitious New York politician and widower, confronts disc jockey Tim Curry when the all-night performer encourages Coffield’s runaway daughter to continue her rebellion against authority in “Times Square.”

 

 

As always, there is no shot in the film that matches up either of these two photos. Mr. Pearl does throw Johnny into the table as at left, but the shot cuts from a close-up of Pearl grabbing Johnny and pushing him to a close-up of Johnny landing; there is no shot of the two of them. Also, Johnny’s hand never touches the mic stand as it does in the photograph. There is nothing even close enough to bother with a frame grab.

We see Pammy looking in the mirror fairly clearly in the film, but just like these photos, in the film we see it from her father’s perspective, and she’s not quite in the same pose as in the photo. Here’s the closest frame from the film:

Pammy Pearl experiments with her look in the Cleo Club - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)

 

 

TS-69-34A/4
1080 px (H) x 862 px (W), 96 dpi, 297 kb (image)
TS-72-8A/14
1080 px (H) x 856 px (W), 96 dpi, 311 kb (image)
TS-78-2/16
1080 px (W) x 856 px (H), 96 dpi, 289 kb (image)
TS-113-4A/6
1080 px (H) x 862 px (W), 96 dpi, 257 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

1980
inscriptions: [on photos] TS-69-34A/4; TS-72-8A/14; TS-78-2/16; TS-113-4A/6;
(on borders) TIMES SQUARE
AFD
©1980 Associated
Film Distribution

 

vlcsnap-2015-04-12-11h40m58s217.png
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 872 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-04-12

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Press Material folder (post 1 of 5)

Posted on 26th April 2015 in "Times Square"
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The US Press Kit for "Times Square" (1980); outside front cover of the folder  Text:  TIMES  SQUARE PRESS MATERIAL
Generally referred to as The Press Kit, this is the big-ass promotional package AFD released in North America. Since they didn’t have a table of contents, I can’t be sure what all was in it, not without examining all of them… which is impossible because I’m afraid most of them have been taken apart, the text pages tossed, and the photos sold off individually, because, hey, more money that way. But I have seen four of them, and although two are missing items the others have, the most complete ones contain:

  • 1 8″ x 10″ sheet of “PHOTO CAPTIONS GENERAL INFORMATION”
  • 16 8″ x 10″ black and white photos with accompanying caption sheets affixed to their back and folded over their fronts
  • 8 information packets, totaling 37 8.5″ x 11″ pages:
    • SYNOPSIS (5 pp.)
    • ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents “TIMES SQUARE” (8 pp.)
    • PRODUCTION INFORMATION (8 pp.)
    • ROBERT STIGWOOD BIOGRAPHY (3 pp.)
    • BRITISHER TIM CURRY ACTING RARITY–SKILLED IN MODERN AND CLASSIC (1 p.)
    • “TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL IN SCREEN BOW (4 pp.)
    • TRINI ALVARADO–SHOW BUSINESS ‘PRO’ AT 13 (2 pp.)
    • FILM DIRECTOR MOYLE KEEPS HIS COOL ON FIRST MAJOR FILM (3 pp.)
    • MUSIC FROM ‘TIMES SQUARE’ NOW TWO-RECORD SOUNDTRACK ON RSO RECORDS (3 pp.)

I also don’t know for sure what order the items originally went in. Except for today, I’m going to post the images in the order the scenes they represent appear in the film, and not with their caption sheets, although I will include the text from them in their captions (as you can see below). I don’t have unlimited server space, so two copies of each picture is kind of out of the question at the moment. I’m also only going to post the texts that mention Robin, unless, say, I get several dozen requests clamoring for the biography of Robert Stigwood.

So, to start with, here’s the U.S. Press Kit version of the picture we saw here, with and without the caption sheet.

This version is more tightly cropped than the previous one, but it’s lower contrast, so we can read her “I Am Anonymous – Help Me” button. The other version has a tiny number “36” on it, which is cropped out of this version and replaced by the longer number consistent with the rest of the AFD publicity stills.

By this time they’ve settled on the trademarked logo for the film title. The caption sheets all omit the last digit of the number printed onto the photographs: this photo is TS-57-26/1, but the caption sheet identifies it as TS-57-26. As I said before, I also don’t know what the numbers signify. “TS” is obviously “Times Square,” but the rest… scene-shot/take, maybe? This particular photo is just a publicity glamor shot, as well. So, I’m waiting for someone who knows more about it to tell me.

The bottom of the caption sheets, which are on the backs of the photos the way they’re folded, are all identical:

"Times Square," a contemporary drama with music starring Tim Curry,  Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado,  is a Robert Stigwood Presentation,  produced by Stigwood and Jacob Brackman and directed by Alan Moyle from  Brackman's screenplay, based on a story by Moyle and Leanne Unger, with  Kevin McCormick and John Nicollela the executive producers and Bill Oakes  the associate producer. The EMI Films motion picture will be released on Friday,  October 17  in the U.S.  and Canada by AFD   (Associated Film Distribution). * Publicity Department, AFD,  12711 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA.  91604 AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

And, just for kicks, here are the pages from the credits packet that have Robin’s name on them.

Funny, I never noticed before, even in 1980 David Johansen’s publishing company was called Buster Poindexter, Inc.

 

 

TIMES SQUARE PRESS MATERIAL
folder: 9 in (W) x 12 in (H) (work);
1080 px (H) x 888 px (W), 96 dpi, 386 kb (image);
left pocket contains: 1 8 in (W) x 10 in (H) sheet: “PHOTO CAPTIONS GENERAL INFORMATION”, 16 8 in x 10 in black and white photos with accompanying caption sheets affixed to their back and folded over their fronts;
right pocket contains 8 information packets, totalling 37 8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) pages: SYNOPSIS (5 pp.), ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents “TIMES SQUARE” (8 pp.), PRODUCTION INFORMATION (8 pp.), ROBERT STIGWOOD BIOGRAPHY (3 pp.), BRITISHER TIM CURRY ACTING RARITY–SKILLED IN MODERN AND CLASSIC (1 p.), “TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL IN SCREEN BOW (4 pp.), TRINI ALVARADO–SHOW BUSINESS ‘PRO’ AT 13 (2 pp.), FILM DIRECTOR MOYLE KEEPS HIS COOL ON FIRST MAJOR FILM (3 pp.), MUSIC FROM ‘TIMES SQUARE’ NOW TWO-RECORD SOUNDTRACK ON RSO RECORDS (3 pp.);

1980

 

TS-57-26 [with caption sheet]
black and white photographic print, 8 in (W) x 10 in (H) (work)
1080 px (H) x 857 px (W);
96 dpi, 279 kb (image)

1980
inscription: [on caption sheet:] TS-57-26
“TIMES SQUARE”
Robin Johnson, 16-year-old Brooklyn miss, makes her feature film singing and acting debut as Nicky Marotta, an uninhibited product of the streets who sets New York City on edge as a wild runaway from authority in “Times Square.”
Publicity Department, AFD, 12711 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA. 91604
AFD
©1980 Associated Film Distribution

 

TS-57-26/1
black and white photographic print, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (work);
1080 px (H) x 861 px (W), 96 dpi, 306 kb (image)

1980
inscription: [on photo] TS-57-26/1
[on border] TIMES SQUARE
AFD
©1980 Associated Film Distribution

 

[Back of US press kit caption sheets]
[full caption sheet, not pictured:] 7 in (W) x 6 in (H) (work);
858 px (W) x 364 px (H), 96 dpi, 104 kb (image)

 

ROBERT STIGWOOD Presents “TIMES SQUARE”, pp. 1, 2, 7
8.5 in (W) x 11 in (H) (works);
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 128 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 835 px (W), 96 dpi, 196 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 836 px (W), 96 dpi, 244 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+