Item description for Tales of Times Square: Expanded Edition by Josh Alan Friedman...
“Friedman has drawn a vivid picture of the Times Square area and its denizens. He writes about the porn palaces with live sex shows, and the men and women who perform in them, prostitutes and their pimps, the runaways who will likely be the next decade's prostitutes, the clergymen who fight the smut merchants and the cops who feel impotent in the face of the judiciary.”—Publishers Weekly
This classic account of the ultra-sleazy, pre-Disneyfied era of Times Square is now the subject of a documentary film of the same name to be theatrically released this year. With this edition, Tales of Times Square returns to print with seven new chapters.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2007
Publisher Feral House
ISBN 1932595287 ISBN13 9781932595284
Availability 0 units.
More About Josh Alan Friedman
In 1987, writer-guitarist Josh Alan Friedman sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads (the Crossroads of the World--Broadway & 42nd Street) and moved to Texas. He'd just written TALES OF TIMES SQUARE, a cult classic. An Expanded Edition with new chapters was recently released, while the still-unfinished movie of TALES has played 35 film festivals. Josh's latest book is BLACK CRACKER, the story of his tumultuous childhood as the only white boy at Long Island's last segregated school. In 2008: TELL THE TRUTH UNTIL THEY BLEED: COMING CLEAN IN THE DIRTY WORLD OF BLUES AND ROCK 'N' ROLL. Before that: WHEN SEX WAS DIRTY; I, GOLDSTEIN: MY SCREWED LIFE (with Al Goldstein); NOW DIG THIS: THE UNSPEAKABLE WRITINGS OF TERRY SOUTHERN (co-editor). Josh also set off satirical fires and lawsuits as writer-half of the Friedman Bros, the most feared cartooning duo of the late '70s and '80s. Two anthologies remain in print, featuring the art of Josh's brother, Drew Friedman: WARTS AND ALL, and ANY SIMILARITY TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. On the music front, as "Josh Alan," he barnstormed the state of Texas for 20 years, rocking whole arenas with his Guild D-40. Copping three DALLAS OBSERVER Music Awards for Best Acoustic Act, he released four albums: FAMOUS & POOR, THE WORST!, BLACKS 'N' JEWS (the title of which became a documentary on Josh's life) and JOSH ALAN BAND.
Josh Alan Friedman currently resides in the state of Texas.
Reviews - What do customers think about Tales of Times Square: Expanded Edition?
An insider's look at a seedier New York Jun 13, 2008
When you watch a film like Taxi Driver, there's a certain scumminess and grit to New York that really doesn't exist anymore. Nowadays the place is a giant tourist wonderland and Times Square is full of theaters and chain restaurants. This is really about a time before New York was safe. This is Times Square when it was full of porn theaters and peep shows, and when subway cars were covered with graffiti. It's a lot less safe, and a lot less clean. And this isn't really just about the Square itself, but really the people behind the scum. Overall a good read.
Tales of Times SQ. by an old New Yorker Apr 20, 2008
The book was nice. It lightly covered the era, places & times. I think the expanded area about Al Goldstein was really to negative. Just my 2 Cents. But if your courious You should reed the book & More. It's only a limited partial view. Of a history & culture heard about & being lost. But very important to generations that only heard about it or might hear about it in years to come. Lenny Waller former operator Hell Fire Club NYC
way too judgemental Apr 19, 2008
I found this book to a slightly entertaining view of the 42nd street that I was very much a part of in the early 80's. What I found distrubing was his overt racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and all around demeaning view of the people he writes about. He choses adjectives to describe the people that haunt the streets that really show his distaste of his subjects. I find this very unsettling coming from someone who supposedly wrote for Screw magazine, one of the first widely "accepted" sex newspapers. In his book every African American is reduced to panhandler or scammer, every homosexual is a predatory faggot and all the Jews are scheming to make a buck or get laid. Kinda sad.
Oh what a glorious time it was! Mar 15, 2003
Aside from the covertly racist remarks, Tales of Times Square is a fun chronicle of the recent history of the classic red-light district that was as part of Americana as mom and apple pie. With stark detail, down to the exact addresses of various brothels, porn houses and other wild joints; it feels as if a walk down the old Forty Deuce and Eighth Avenue is taking place as the pages go by. A natural born writer, Friedman's eye for detail is amazing and he delivers the goods.
During its height of splendid glory it was a neighborhood that fostered more orgasms than any other making it somewhat depressing that this cultural relic known as Times Square has now been hijacked by Disney, the big developers and large corporations. Friedman does a quality job in touching on the underlying politico-economic realities responsible for the destruction of one of the last places that refused to be gentrified.
With a keen eye for the hilariously absurd and the interesting denizens populating the Square from roughly the mid 60s to the mid 80s, Friedman offers up funny and enthralling stories involving strippers, johns, swing clubbers, prostitutes, shoeshines, religious folks, kiosk workers, pornstars and others. One startling fact broached is that in the 1970s during a typical summer night it wasn't unusual to see a thousand old school style hookers plying their trade along Eighth Avenue. Today it's scarcely possible to imagine given the plethora of cops occupying America's cities.
Certainly the most indelible section of Tales of Times Square has to be the description of the famous -- or infamous depending on a person's predilections -- east coast swing club Plato's Retreat. The wild shenanigans documented are simply unbelievable. These chapters are worth the price of the book alone, although some may feel a shower's in order after reading some of this stuff.
The last bastion of a truly honky-tonk atmosphere is over. As Friedman points out it's time to make way for Mickey and Minnie Mouse. In an age of sterile corporate strip malls, Tales of Times Square is a reminder that in at least one neighborhood things used to be quite different.
The Forty Duece That Was Dec 10, 2002
This may very well be the best book on Times Square,so far ( compared to Samuel Delany's "Times Square Red, Times Square Blue" and Bill Landis & Michelle Clifford's "Sleazoid Express").Josh Alan Friedman reads like a cross between Damon Runyan, and Studs Terkel, with a big dose of Jimmy Breslin vocabulary. He definitely tells it like it was, from the early history of vaudeville, to burlesque, to porno grinders, Plato's Retreat, and live sex shows. And, he heralds its demise, even in the early 80's. His character sketches are priceless! It's funny, erotic, dirty, and, at times, downright repugnant, a veritable Dantesque tour of sleaze. Welcome to the Forty Duece,suckers!