A face of the 80’s

Posted on 16th August 2020 in "Times Square"

UK poster advertising Robin Johnson as the star of TIMES SQUARE, using the artwork from the UK poster. Most of the Times Square posters have some identifying information on them — a copyright notice, the film’s local distributor, a code number — but not this one, so we have to go on what’s on it.

The logo and the artwork are from the UK movie poster, which was also (the artwork at least) used across Europe. The text is in English, and the AA is a now-replaced British Board of Film Censors rating. (Also, I got this item from a seller in England. Back in April. Current events kept me from doing anything with it until recently.) So I think I’m safe saying that what we have here is a piece of British Times Square promotion, probably produced by EMI Films, almost certainly in early 1981, basically pushing Robin Johnson’s status as Robert Stigwood’s “female Travolta.” As we’ve seen, starting from almost the second the film was released, the promotion tactics became focused ever more closely on its third-billed star, a situation that would continue around the world for the next two years. And in my opinion, an unfortunate victim of this strategy was Robin herself, as the unflichingly honest criticisms she gave of the movie in her interviews caused RSO to reappraise her value, ultimately deciding that her willingness to trash their product in public outweighed her talents as an actress in that product, causing RSO never to cast her in anything again, while simultaneously keeping her under contract so she couldn’t use her obvious abilities in the service of some other film company to compete against Robin-less RSO projects. Again, in my opinion.

So much for a face of the 80s. But even more to the point… that’s an illustration. It isn’t really her face. Obviously the illustration by poster artist Cummins was used so people would make the connection between this poster and the movie poster, but still… Maybe if I find the time I’ll doctor up a version of what I think this poster should have looked like.

If anyone cares, the image here isn’t really an accurate representation of what the actual physical object looks like, because I’ve cleaned it up so much. It is a good representation of what you’d see if you were looking at the poster, though.


Would you like to know more?

Times Square U.K. Movie Poster
Times Square Movie Poster, Belgium
Locandina Times Square (Movie Poster, Italy)
“Toda la Basca!” … a Times Square – Times Square movie poster, Spain



Robin Johnson – a face of the 80’s
poster, AAT ID: 300027221
30″ (H) x 40″ (W)
a face of the 80’s
starring in

1442 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 359 kb (image)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Mick Rock

Posted on 1st August 2020 in "Times Square"

On June 1, 2016, Mick Rock did a signing for the “unlimited” edition of his book, The Rise of David Bowie, at Taschen in New York City, and I went.

Of course I got an autographed book, but I also took the opportunity to ask him about the photos of Robin I’ve been theorizing he took at the same time as the back cover of the soundtrack album.

I showed him a page with the four photos printed on it, and there ensued a conversation that went more or less like this:

Q: Could I ask you a quick question?

A: Yeah. I don’t know that I can answer it…

Q: I know you took the first photo here. Did you take the other three as well? I know this is yours.

A: How do you know that? But it is mine.

Q: Because on the back of the album, it says, “Photo by Mick Rock.”

A: Oh, yeah, yeah, not many people now even know about the film Times Square.

Q: I’m the one.

A: No, I did take that one. Very good, I haven’t had it come up in years.

Q: Did you take these others?

A: No…

Q: Because these are the only ones where she’s got that guitar. And it is —

A: I could have… no, I shot them both together. That was a long time ago… They paid me a lot of money…

ASSISTANT: Just take the credit!

SECOND ASSISTANT: Take the credit for it!


A: [laughs] Anyway.

ASSISTANT: “Is it rubbish? It’s good? It’s mine!”

A: [laughs]

Q: Thank you very much.

So I guess we still don’t have a definitive answer, and won’t unless someone else manages to get one from him, or he finds and releases the originals from his archive. But he certainly seemed to be leaning in that direction, and so I feel more certain than ever that these shots, and any more that might possibly turn up, of Robin in her “Aggie Doon’s debut” outfit, and with that Kent guitar, and any shots that may surface of Trini in the poncho she wears during the final sequence that aren’t obviously shot during filming, were all shot by Mick Rock in a session that yielded the back cover of the soundtrack album, and for which he was paid a lot of money.

Me and Mick Rock

Your humble narrator with the man himself. If he had taken the photo, I might have looked cool too.


Would you like to know more?

From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE (songbook)
Times Square UK Press Kit (post 4 of 4)
Nicky Marotta in Limbo
Filmstar, Vol 1 No. 3, Thailand, August 1981


From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack TIMES SQUARE [detail, back cover]
564px (W) × 800px (H), 96dpi, 239 kb (image)
Photo by Mick Rock
©1980 Chappell & Co.

[TIMES SQUARE UK Press Kit photo a]
1080 px (H) x 864 px (W), 96 dpi, 154 kb (image)

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

inscription: [on reverse:] [handwritten in blue ink:] D+P. EAST 170 mm deep x 115 mm wide PA77
[handwritten in black ink:] ROBIN JOHNSON. 20

Filmstar Vol. 1 No. 3, 15 August 1981, back cover (magazine (periodical), AAT ID: 300215389)
25.9 x 18.9 cm. (work);
Filmstar Vol 1 No 3_back_cover_1080px.jpg
1080 px (H) x 777 px (W), 96 dpi, 679 kb


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


[THE RISE OF DAVID BOWIE, front cover], [Mick Rock’s autograph], photographed by Sean Rockoff, July 26, 2020
[Me and Mick Rock], photographed by one of Mick Rock’s assistants, possibly an employee at Taschen Store New York… now permanently closed… thank you for your service…