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 The inset of the cops pushing Nicky into the back seat is another previously, and as far as I know, otherwise unpublished publicity still.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);
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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);
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©1981 Newspress Pty. Ltd.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square UK Pressbook, 1980-81, pages 6-7

Posted on 4th October 2018 in "Times Square"
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UK Press Book for TIMES SQUARE, pages 6-7: photo montage center spread.  Text:  TIMES SQUARE

This is the center spread of the glossy UK pressbook for Times Square. Of the seven images circling the European logo, four are cropped from photos used on UK lobby cards (clockwise from top left, that would be One, Two, Five, and Seven). Of the three remaining: Four is a more complete version of a shot that would later be printed in Joepie No. 365, March 15, 1981; and Six may be making its first appearance here. It looks like it was taken a fraction of a second after UK black-and-white publicity still #34. That shot looks to me like she’s jumping up, and this looks like she’s coming down. I’m fairly certain this color shot was used elsewhere later on, but as I’ve complained abut other items recently… I can’t seem to find it.
 

That leaves image Three, which I thought was the gorgeously lit shot from the center of the Japanese souvenir program book but with the microphone cropped out, until a second look made it obvious that it’s from a completely different angle. I think it may be making its only appearance here, unless, as above, I’ve just mislaid it. It does seem to be from the same vantage point as US publicity still TS-109-16/12 from the AFD Press Material folder.

 

If we’re keeping score of appearances, in the collage above the film’s stars rank: Robin Johnson 6, Trini Alvarado 3, Tim Curry 1.

 

Pages referred to but not linked directly above:

U.K. Lobby Cards (post 1 of 3)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 2 of 3)
U.K. Lobby Cards (post 3 of 3)
Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 12-13 (post 5 of 5)
“34”

 

 

Times Square pressbook, pp. 6-7
UK : pressbook (theatre manual) : AAT ID: 300213184 : 35.7 x 27.8 cm. : 1980 (work);
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Times Square©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square UK Pressbook, 1980-81, pages 8-12

Posted on 22nd September 2018 in "Times Square"
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UK Press Book for TIMES SQUARE, p. 8, with additional articles on the cast, part 1.  Text:  TIM CURRY ACTING RARITY -- SKILLED IN MODERN AND CLASSIC      The performances of Tim Curry have displayed a remarkable range and dazzling versatility. A cult hero for his portrayal of the outrageous rock star in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show", Curry is'a classically trained actor with an impressive list of stage and screen credits.     Curry now is starred in a contemporary role, playing an opportunistic, hyper-kinetic Mew York disc jockey who gives his all-night listeners a running account of the adventures of two runaways, in “Times Square”.     Bom in Cheshire, England, Curry studied classical drama at Birmingham University before winning his first professional job to sing and dance in the original London cast of “Hair”. Shortly thereafter, he appeared in three Royal Shakespeare Company productions - “Titus Andronicus”, David Mercer’s “After Haggerty”, and as Puck in Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In 1976, Curry was featured on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning “Travesties”.     Tim Curry’s film roles also include Jerzy Skolimowski’s “The Shout”, which won the 1978 Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and was featured that year in the New York Film Festival.      For the BBC-TV, Curry played the title role in a six-part series, “The Life of Shakespeare", and appeared in "Three Men in a Boat", Stoppard's adaptation of a Victorian comedy classic.      Curry is an accomplished singer and songwriter with two successful rock albums, “Read My Lips" and “Fearless”, to his credit His third album is to be released later this year.   “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, 15-year-old Robin Johnson was discovered by an (unknown) casting scout on the lookout for possible candidates for the leading role 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 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 centres, punk rock clubs, and placed ads in papers such as the Village Voice, Soho News, and Aquarian.      “We are looking for someone who WAS Nicky", Moyle admits. “Robin is definitely not that doomed child. Luckily for the film, Robin brought a lot more humour to the character than what I had originally envisioned. Her youthful innocence and energy boost 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 programme 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, 12-year-old Trini Alvarado. Both exhibited an almost non-stop flow of dedication, energy, high spirits and raucous good humour.      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-conformity, 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   TRINI ALVARADO-SHOW BUSINESS “PRO” AT 13       Most 13-year-old girls spend their waking hours contemplating that cute boy in school, the newest Andy Gibb record or when they’ll wear their first pair of high heels. But not Trini Alvarado, who has been deep into the psyche of runaway Pamela Pearl, the girl she portrays in "Times Square”, an October release from AFD (Associated Film Distribution).      Sitting on an abandoned Manhattan waterfront pier -- one of the many diverse “Times Square” locations -- Trini concentrated on her scenes for one of the most challenging roles she will experience in her still-young screen career.      Following a sensational film debut in Robert Altman’s “Rich Kids", Trini was cast as a teenage runaway in “Times Square". Her character, Pamela Pearl, is the only child of a widower-father whose career as a rising young politician makes him insensitive to his daughter’s growing pains. Pamela is withdrawn, inhibited, convinced that she is awkward, ugly and unable to express herself verbally. The role is beautifully realised, but the actress herself is hardly the image of that withdrawn, rebellious teenager.      Trini was a “show biz” baby. Her father, who came to this country from Spain, is a classical singer and guitarist, and her mother is a flamenco dancer. Trini’s earliest memories include performing songs and dancing in nightclubs with the entire family. “It was always like a party”, she recalls.      Trini first appeared on Broadway in the Tony-nominated musical “Runaways", and then in the film “Rich Kids”, for which she also sang the theme song. Now, in “Times Square", Trini encores her singing and dancing.      “She’s so good”, one of the film’s creative personnel observed, “that we held to work hard to make Trini look a little awkward. After all, her character of Pamela is at that stage where she feels disconnected with her body. We had to disguise the fact that Trini’s a trained dancer."      An added bonus for Trini on “Times Square” was the friendship she formed with co-star Robin Johnson.      “Casting is a risky business", commented director Alan Moyle, "and we certainly looked everywhere before going with Trini and Robin. But you can’t predict how two people will relate on the screen, until you see it. The chemistry that we have up there is larger-than-life, but truly a reflection of how well the two girls got along during

 

 

The second half of the US pressbook was entirely made up of variations of the movie poster for different sized newspaper ads. The UK version relegates the available promotional materials to the last three pages, and devotes pages 8, 9, and 10 to reprinting biographical articles from the US Press Material folder. It’s strange how some of this material was rewritten for the UK press kit, but those versions weren’t used for the UK pressbook. Perhaps the pressbook was prepared well in advance of the press kit. Although, the pressbook uses the finished art for the UK movie poster. So, it’s a mystery.

 

Another tantalizing mystery is exactly what may have been included in the sets of 50 black and white stills, 8 8×10″ color stills, and 16 11×14″ color stills. Is 50 the total number of shots from the series I’ve found about 16 of so far? There were 8 8×10″ color lobby cards… I haven’t come across any 11×14″ stills. And what transparencies were available? Are they the slides that turn up so rarely? And what were the “blow-ups, any size available”?

 

 

On page 10, the photo of Robin is TS-57-26/1, UK number 36, the photo by Yoram Kahana used for the North American movie poster and the soundtrack album cover. The photo of Tim Curry comes from the shooting of the twenty second scene where Johnny is informed that “the Zombie Girl is the daughter of the boy wonder at the mayor’s office, and she’s missing,” and may be making its only appearance here. The unusually sultry photo of Trini Alvarado is making its first appearance here, as far as I know, but was later printed in the February 1981 Film Review.

You can read the text of “‘Times Square’ Star Robin Johnson Is A Natural In Screen Bow” here. If anyone is desperate to read the read of the articles, let me know and I’ll post the text.

 

 

Times Square pressbook, pp. 8-12
UK : pressbook (theatre manual) : AAT ID: 300213184 : 35.7 x 27.8 cm. : 1980 (work);
TIMES_SQUARE_UK_Pressbook_p08_1080px.jpg
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Times Square©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

SONIDO – la revista musical, No. 56, June 1981

Posted on 12th July 2018 in "Times Square"
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Mexican pop music magazine featuring article on TIMES SQUARE.  Text:  NUMERO 56  $30 00  SONIDO 'a musical  ROD STEWART THREE SOULS BEATLES DANGEROUS RHYTHM  ¡¡¡LA NUEVA EXPLOSION DEL ROCK PESADO¡¡¡

 

 

 

 

The June 1981 issue of the Mexican pop music magazine Sonido contained on pages 38 and 39 an article credited to “Vicco,” but which seems to be exactly the same kind of AFD/RSO-written publicity published in English in similar magazines a year before.

The article calls the film Times Square. It wasn’t released under that title in Mexico, though, as we shall see.

The accompanying photos are the ubiquitous TS-72-8A/14, TS-66-28/9, and TS-82-30[/4], all three of which were part of the US Press Material pack.

POR: vicco

TIMES SQUARE es un drama contemporáneo,con música estelarizada por los talentos de Tim Curry, cantante y actor británico que se dio a conocer con El show de terror de Rocky; Trini Alvarado, quien tuvo un importante papel en la película de Robert Altman Rich kids, y Robin Johnson, una actriz proveniente de Brooklin, muy dinámica y que canta también en su debut cinematográfico.

La película fue filmada en diversas locaciones de Nueva York, incluyendo el infame Deuce y es resaltada por veinte canciones originales ejemplificando algo de lo mejor del rock contemporáneo interpretadas por los más importantes artistas del momento, así como por las dos estrellas de la cinta, Robin Johnson y Trini Alvarado.

Times square retrata las desventuras de dos chiquillas rebeldonas, una proveniente de un ambiente sofisticado y, la otra, producto de las calles. Juntas desde el cuarto de un hospital neurológico comienzan una serie de bizarras escapadas y su comportamiento es reportado por un disc-jockey que trabaja toda la noche en una estación de radio y que las anima a seguir con sus trucos y logra convertirlas en celebridades menores de los medios. Ellas pasan sobre todas las autoridades llegando al climax en una escena sobre la marquesina del teatro Times Square con cientos de seguidores rindiendo su tributo.

Dicha cinta es una presentación de Robert Stigwood y fue producida por Stigwood y Jacob Brackman, dirigida por Alan Moyle, basada en una historia de Moyle y Leanne Unger. Kevin McCormick y John Nicollela son los productores ejecutivos y Bill Oakes es productor asociado.

LA MUSICA
En un momento en que la música de películas se encuentra entre los discos más populares y cuando ha sido entendida como un vehículo muy importante para la aceptación de una cinta, aparece un nuevo álbum doble en discos RSO con la música de la película Times square, uno de los más excitantes que han sido lanzados, pues no sólo captura el espíritu de la película, sino que es además una antología única de canciones interpretadas por los mejores artistas de rock del momento, tanto de Inglaterra como de Estados Unidos, incluyendo a Suzi Qautro, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, The Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, The Patti Smith Group, XTC, The Cure, Lou Reed,The Ramones, The Ruts, David Johansen y muchos otros. ¡Es un álbum espectacular!

v

BY: vicco

TIMES SQUARE is a contemporary drama, with music, starring the talents of Tim Curry, singer and British actor who became known in The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Trini Alvarado, who had an important role in Robert Altman’s movie Rich Kids, and Robin Johnson, an actress from Brooklyn, very dynamic and who also sings in her film début.

The movie was filmed in diverse locations of New York, including the infamous Deuce, and it is highlighted by twenty original songs exemplifying some of the best contemporary rock performed by today’s most important artists, as well as by both stars of the film, Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado.

Times Square portrays the misfortunes of two little girl rebels, one from a sophisticated environment and, the other one, a product of the streets. Together from the room of a neurological hospital they begin a series of bizarre escapades and their behavior is reported by a disc-jockey who works the overnight on a radio station and who encourages them to continue with their tricks and manages to turn them into minor media celebrities. They get past all the authorities, arriving at the climax in a scene on the marquee of the Times Square theatre with hundreds of followers paying tribute.

This film is a Robert Stigwood presentation and it was produced by Stigwood and Jacob Brackman, directed by Alan Moyle, based on a story by Moyle and Leanne Unger. Kevin McCormick and John Nicollela are the executive producers and Bill Oakes is the associate producer.

THE MUSIC

At a time when movie soundtracks are among the most popular records and when they have been understood as a very important vehicle for the acceptance of a film, a new double album appears on RSO Records with the music of the movie Times Square, one of the most exciting to be released, since it not only captures the spirit of the movie, but it is also a unique collection of songs performed by today’s greatest rock artists, from both England and the United States, including Suzi Qautro, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, The Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, The Patti Smith Group, XTC, The Cure, Lou Reed, The Ramones, The Ruts, David Johansen and many others. It is a spectacular album!

v

 

 

vicco, “Cine-rock : Times Square” (article), AAT ID: 300048715)
SONIDO la revista musical, No. 56, June 1981, pp. 38-39 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
20.2 (W) x 27.8 cm. (H), 64 pp (work);
Sonido, La Revista Musical Ano 1 Numero 56 Junio 1981 – 0001_1080px.jpg (cover)
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SONIDO la revista musical ©1981 Corporación Editorial, S.A.

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Film Review Vol. 31 No. 2, February 1981

Posted on 30th June 2018 in "Times Square"
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Cover (p. 1) of Film Review Vol 31 No 2 February 1981

Contents entry from Film Review Vol 31 No 2 February 1981, contents page (p. 3)  text:  47 TIMES SQUARE Adventures of two teenage girls (Robin Johnson and Trini Alvarado) and all-night disc jockey Tim Curry who gives a boost to their dream of rock stardom.

Times Square probably hadn’t had its January 15th opening yet when the February issue of Film Review came out. Unlike the article in the previous month’s issue, this isn’t a review at all, but a promotional summary of the film, with the exception of the backhanded compliment that most of the movie’s appeal is in the casting of Robin and Trini.

Film Review Vol 31 No 2 February 1981, p. 47  text:  HARD TIMES  Times Square is a movie about youth. New York and rebellion — with a prominent soundtrack of New Wave music. Two girls, from totally opposite backgrounds, find themselves thrown together in the same private ward undergoing psychiatric tests. In spite of their initial incongruity, the girls find a common link in that they have both been misunderstood for most of their young lives. In retaliation they escape their remedial surroundings and disappear into the heart of the Big Apple.  Nicky Marotta, the stronger, older and more street-wise of the two girls, instils a rebelliousness into the weaker, 12-year-old Pamela Pearl, and together they form a united attack against everything Pamela's father, and the bourgeois in general, stand for. Not before long the daring duo earn a certain infamy following a series of amusing and some rather more destructive pranks, including pilfering on the one hand and the levering of television sets off the top of New York apartment blocks on the other. With the assistance of a sympathetic DJ, the girls also gain air time and a wider notoriety, and are even allowed to sing their protest songs over the radio.  If it hadn't been for the casting of 15-year-old newcomer Robin Johnson as Nicky and Trini Alvarado (who played the lead in Robert Altman's Rich Kids) as Pamela, the film might well have lost a lot of the appeal it has. Tim Curry completes the billing as the DJ up against more than he can handle, with Peter Coffield as Pamela's short-sighted father.  Times Square is an EMI release and was directed by Alan Moyle, with songs by The Pretenders, Lou Reed, Suzi Quatro, Robin Johnson, and many others.  Times Square can also lay claim to being the first major release to present a look at New Wave music.  Tim Curry as the late-night DJ Robin Johnson as the rebellious Nicky Trini Alvarado as the introverted Pamela

HARD TIMES

Times Square is a movie about youth. New York and rebellion — with a prominent soundtrack of New Wave music. Two girls, from totally opposite backgrounds, find themselves thrown together in the same private ward undergoing psychiatric tests. In spite of their initial incongruity, the girls find a common link in that they have both been misunderstood for most of their young lives. In retaliation they escape their remedial surroundings and disappear into the heart of the Big Apple.

Nicky Marotta, the stronger, older and more street-wise of the two girls, instils a rebelliousness into the weaker, 12-year-old Pamela Pearl, and together they form a united attack against everything Pamela’s father, and the bourgeois in general, stand for. Not before long the daring duo earn a certain infamy following a series of amusing and some rather more destructive pranks, including pilfering on the one hand and the levering of television sets off the top of New York apartment blocks on the other. With the assistance of a sympathetic DJ, the girls also gain air time and a wider notoriety, and are even allowed to sing their protest songs over the radio.

If it hadn’t been for the casting of 15-year-old newcomer Robin Johnson as Nicky and Trini Alvarado (who played the lead in Robert Altman’s Rich Kids) as Pamela, the film might well have lost a lot of the appeal it has. Tim Curry completes the billing as the DJ up against more than he can handle, with Peter Coffield as Pamela’s short-sighted father.

Times Square is an EMI release and was directed by Alan Moyle, with songs by The Pretenders, Lou Reed, Suzi Quatro, Robin Johnson, and many others.

Times Square can also lay claim to being the first major release to present a look at New Wave music.

Tim Curry’s photo is UK Press Kit photo #4, which had been previously published in Mediascene Prevue Vol. 2 No. 2, Sept.-Oct. 1980, and The Aquarian, April 23-April 30 1980. Robin’s is TS-57-26/1 from the US Press Material folder, which was used for both the soundtrack album cover and the North American movie posters, and published, oh, lots of places previously. Seriously, I’m sure I’ve already listed them somewhere. Maybe next time it turns up I’ll do another reassessment, but not today.

The unusually sultry photo of Trini, however, hasn’t appeared anywhere else, as far as I know.

 

Why did I say earlier that the movie hadn’t opened yet? Because there was an ad announcing its opening on page 10.

TIMES SQUARE movie advertisement, from Film Review Vol 31 No 2 February 1981, p. 10

This is the exact same ad I posted on December 7, 2016. Yes, we now know that someone cut up a copy of this magazine and sold the pieces, and yep, I bought one. It’s a shame that these artifacts tend to be worth more sold by the half-page, but here we are.

 

(Yeah, this post should have gone up over a year ago, probably between Films Illustrated, Vol. 10 No. 113 and Movie 81 No. 2. I had everything ready to go, and somehow accidentally passed over it. Well, here it is now.)

 

The previous posts mentioned above (except for the many soundtrack and poster variants):

Film Review, Vol. 31 No. 1, January 1981
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 2 of 4)
Times Square isn’t a punk picture”
“The Trend Settles in New York”
Times Square Press Material folder (post 1 of 5)
UK Movie Ad
Films Illustrated, Vol. 10 No. 113
Movie 81 No. 2

 

 

Hard times (article, AAT ID: 300048715)
Film Review Vol. 31 No. 2, February 1981, p. 47 (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
29.6 x 21.2 cm. (work);
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Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

15 or 16 UK Promo Photos

Posted on 6th June 2018 in "Times Square"
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As promised, here are all I have so far from the series of 8×10 black and white publicity stills from the UK, whose only true common denominator is that they have a small one- or two-digit number on a tiny inset square as part of the print. The typical still from the US has a handwritten string of letters and numbers. Some of these have captions pasted to their backs, some have “TIMES SQUARE” stamped on their backs, the ones that came with the UK Press Kit matched up with numbers on an enclosed caption sheet, although I don’t think my copy of that Press Kit was complete.

I’m not sure if I have fifteen or sixteen of these because there are two #4s. The highest number I have is 36, implying that there are twenty or twenty-one more out there somewhere.

In preparing this post, I noticed something. I have two copies of number 20, and they’re not identical.

The second copy is darker and cropped differently. I thought perhaps it was something I might have done when digitizing them, but the number is in a different place. It’s possible I made one look a little darker than the other, but I’m sure I didn’t crop away that much of the first one, and, well, the number is part of the print. It seems there may have been multiple printings of these stills. Perhaps the #4 of Pammy and her father is a reprint of a photo that’s supposed to have a different number, and whoever stuck the number on and printed it made a mistake.

The photos above previously appeared in these posts, except for the second copy of #20:

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 2 of 4)
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 3 of 4)
“6”
UK Promo Photos 4, 13, and 21, 1980-81
UK Promo Photos 20 and 26, 1980-81
UK Promo Photo #29
“34”
Nicky Marotta, 1980

 

 

Times Square publicity stills 1, 3, 4, 4 [2nd version], 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 20, 20 [2nd version], 21, 26, 29, 34, 36
black-and-white photographs, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 20.3 x 25.4 cm. (works)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

UK Promo Photos 20 and 26, 1980-81

Posted on 13th May 2018 in "Times Square"
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Times Square 8 x 10″ publicity stills from this series continue to turn up. The first ones I found, I didn’t realize where they had come from, but the UK Press Kit’s caption sheet that matched up with some of the numbers on the photos solved the mystery. Their distinguishing characteristic is a small handwritten identification number in a tiny inset square along the bottom edge. Some have “TIMES SQUARE” stamped on the back. These have captions typed on a strip of paper pasted to their backs.

Photo 20 is the most-used publicity still from the movie, with the exceptions of the headshots of Trini and Robin that were used for the North American movie poster and the soundtrack album cover. I listed its various appearances when it showed up in Film Review Vol. 31 No. 1. Not in that list is photoplay Vol. 32 No. 4, where it also appeared, three months later. This specific version, numbered 20, was used as half of one of the two-photos-on-one-print 8×10’s that had Robert Stigwood’s name misspelled. It would make sense if the other three of those images were part of this series, especially since the caption for this one is identical on both versions, but I can’t see any numbers on the others.

Photo 26 is making its first and only (as far as I know at the moment) appearance here. It was part of the UK series of stills, but not used in any other country, and never published in any magazine or newspaper. (That I’ve yet found, at least.) It was evidently taken at the same time as the shot of Johnny and Pammy used on the Italian lobby poster, which will also later be a German lobby card.

The captions pasted to the photo backs both include the text “A scene from “TIMES SQUARE” distributed by COLUMBIA/EMI/WARNER Film Distributors”, Columbia/EMI/Warner being the film’s distributor in the UK.

The highest number photo in this series I’ve yet found is 36. I have thirteen of them. If I get an even 15 I’ll put up a gallery of just them. Till then, you can see them in these posts:

Times Square UK Press Kit (post 2 of 4)
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 3 of 4)
“6”
the page you’re reading right now
UK Promo Photo #29
“34”
Nicky Marotta, 1980

 

[In the two months that elapsed between my writing this page and my writing this note, shortly before this post is scheduled to be published, I did indeed acquire two more pictures from this series, plus one more that looks like it belongs but has the same number as another photo… so they will go up as soon as I can get them ready, followed by a post showing them all at once.]

 

 

Times Square publicity still 20
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 20.3 x 25.4 cm. (work)
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Times Square publicity still 26
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 20.3 x 25.4 cm. (work)
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865 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 332 kb (image)
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855 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 108 kb (image)

 

Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 20-24 (post 4 of 5)

Posted on 26th March 2018 in "Times Square"
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“Let’s get together at … Hippy Power” (?)

1981 Japanese program book for TIMES SQUARE (1980), p. 21

 

 

 

Here at the end of the Japanese program book, we get the movie’s credits, an ad for the soundtrack album, and… the Times Square Top Ten? I can only imagine what’s being said, in relation to the film, about Make-Up, Music, Fashion, Life Style, Play, Foods, Dream, Sports, Sex, and Friendship. Okay, Music and Friendship I get, but Sports?

 

Page 21, bearing a “Hippy Power” button and the unfinished caption, “Let’s get together at,” features two shots that are neither frames from the film, nor are publicity stills I’ve yet come across. The shot atop the marquee bears a strong resemblance to this color still, and is probably another still shot at that same time, and the shot of the girls entering the abandoned pier is from an entirely different angle than the scene in the film. Also, neither Nicky nor especially Pammy smiles during that sequence in the film. The point being, this is the only place these pictures appear, as far I know.

 

 

I don’t know if the street photo that is the background of page 20 has anything to do the film, other than being New York City. The inset photo of Nicky is from the shot used on one of the Italian lobby posters. Accompanying the credits on page 22, the shot of Pammy and Nicky erupting onto the street after the chase through the Adonis Theater is I believe making its first appearance here; it will later be a press photo distributed in Germany. The other two photos are frames from the film but with more image visible at the tops and bottoms, which as I mentioned last time lead me to believe that these were taken from a full-frame exposure that was matted for release, and may still exist as a TV print.

Page 23 features the soundtrack album cover, the Japanese “Same Old Scene” single picture sleeve, and, clockwise from top right: a shot of Robin and Trini between takes that had previously appeared in Movie 81 No. 2; the image from the cover of the “Same Old Scene” single, which had also appeared in the soundtrack gatefold, the songbook, and the aforementioned Movie 81 No. 2; a shot of Johnny that had been a UK lobby card and an illustration in Movie 81 No.2; and guess where the shot of Robin had appeared previously? Of course! It was in Film Review Vol. 31 No. 1.

And that perfect image on the back cover is a detail from another publicity still that will appear later as a German lobby card.

 

 

Times Square program book, pp. 20-24
Japan : souvenir program : AAT ID: 300253341 : 29.4 x 20.5 cm. : 1981 (work);

Press Book Japan 1981_20_1080px.jpg
Press Book Japan 1981_21_1080px.jpg
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96 dpi (images)

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

 

Times Square Program Book, Japan, June 1981, pages 14-19 (post 3 of 5)

Posted on 14th March 2018 in "Times Square"
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As before, I have no clue as to the text, but the image on page 14 of the Japanese souvenir program for Times Square is another frame from the movie. The photo of Pammy and Nicky on page 15 is the promotional shot which was used for the cover of the Italian “Help Me!” single, and as the illustrations on the soundtrack album’s paper sleeves. The color shot of Johnny and Pammy on page 15, accompanied for some reason by a button featuring black and white hands cradling a dove, looks like a frame from the film, but isn’t. It will turn up later as a lobby card in Germany. For some reason, it’s reversed.

Both photos on page 17 are frames from the film. The photo of the Sleez Girls on page 18, featuring coulda-been-Nicky Zoe Lund, is a frame from the film, but the shot of Nicky just below is a promotional photo that previously appeared in Joepie No. 365. And Pammy and Nicky dancing at each other in the Cleo Club on page 19 is a shot that had been used as a UK lobby card. Whether they were really “honoring America” is a question only they, and perhaps the Japanese, could answer.

Look again at the photo on page 14, and compare it to the frame capture below. There’s a bit more at the bottom, and lot more at the top, of the photo in the program book. This is the first evidence I’ve seen that Times Square was shot “full-frame;” the entire frame of the 35mm film was exposed with a normal lens, and its widescreen aspect ratio achieved by matting the top and bottom when the prints were made. If it was shot so the extra space was clean of production detritus, a film shot that way could be shown on television using that full frame instead of making a pan-and-scan version and losing the sides of the image. It’s been decades since I’ve seen a television-formatted version of Times Square. Does anyone know if the TV/video print was full frame or pan-and-scan? Because if it was full frame, that would be worthy of preservation in its own right.

Closest frame from <strong>Times Square</strong> to the photo on page 16 of the Japanese program book.

Closest frame from Times Square to the photo on page 16 of the Japanese program book.

 

 

Times Square program book, pp. 14-19
Japan : souvenir program : AAT ID: 300253341 : 29.4 x 20.5 cm. : 1981 (work);

Press Book Japan 1981_14_1080px.jpg
Press Book Japan 1981_15_1080px.jpg
Press Book Japan 1981_16_1080px.jpg
Press Book Japan 1981_17_1080px.jpg
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Press Book Japan 1981_19_1080px.jpg
96 dpi (images)

©1980 Butterfly Valley N. V.
 
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608 x 1080px, 96dpi (contrast-adjusted frame captures from Times Square (1980))

 

Times Square©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+