Book Review: The Forty Deuce (The Times Square Photographs Of Bill Butterworth 1983-1984)

October 24, 2012 1 min read



Ever wanted to jump in a time machine and teleport to New York City Times Square circa the mid 80s? I know I have. Between the stories I have heard and glimpses I got from movies, it all sounds very chaotic, exciting, bizarre, and a host of other adjectives. Unfortunately, technology has failed us…there is unlikely to be any time traveling in our near futures.

Photographer Bill Butterworth has our next best option. His book, The Forty Deuce, is a collection of his photos taken in Times Square circa 1983-1984. There’s B-boys, hustlers, players, what I assume to be strippers, actors, Taimak of The Last Dragon, straw furniture, rotary phones, bodega owners, arcades, burger chefs, fur coats, stuffed animal lions, kangols, boom boxes, a giant Beat Streetposter, umbrellas as fashion pieces, questionable fashion choices…even for the 80s, stylish fashion, white gloves, socks to the kneecaps, awkward poses, a skin tight Prince shirt, mesh shirts, earmuffs and panties…together, nudity/near nudity, samurai swords, spiked belts and Vincent Gallo in his Prince Vince guise…

Yes, this is a time when you could find “Anything you want” in Times Square. Prepared to be entertained, shocked, bewildered, amused and possibly offended, if you are of a squeamish nature...

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