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From the Archives: Grace Jones photo shoot for motor scooter commercial

1985: Grace Jones poses for Los Angeles Times staff photographer Larry Davis during a break in the shooting of a Honda motor scooter commercial.
1985: Grace Jones poses for Los Angeles Times staff photographer Larry Davis during a break in the shooting of a Honda motor scooter commercial.
(Larry Davis / Los Angeles Times)

Grace Jones was late for a Honda motor scooter photo shoot. The ad agency reps were nervous. In the May 19, 1985, Los Angeles Times, pop music critic Robert Hilburn reported:

Grace Jones was hours late for the shooting of a new Honda motor scooter commercial. Manager Bob Caviano was apologetic, blaming unexpected complications. Please be patient, he advised.

But the folks from the ad agency were nervous. They paced the huge Hollywood sound stage, huddling anxiously with the staff from the Honda home office. Millions were riding on this campaign to erase the old notion that these shiny new scooters were just for nerds. The new gospel: If someone as hip and exotic (and trend-setting) as Grace Jones can ride a scooter, you should ride one too.

The commercial is scheduled to air by June 1, coinciding with the release of "A View to a Kill," the new James Bond movie that will expose her to an entirely new public….

Finally: the moment of truth. Four hours after the shoot was to have begun, Jones swept into the room, wearing a black leather jacket (no blouse) and matching pants. Sitting atop a bright red scooter, she rehearsed her lines a couple of times, then read them for the camera.

The takes went marvelously and the crew, ad men and agency reps burst into applause….

Here’s one version of the Honda ad on YouTube.

This post was originally published on Sept. 13, 2011.

Below are two additional Grace Jones photos from the Los Angeles Times Archives.

Sept. 5, 1981, Grace Jones performing at a 3 a.m. party at Lion Country Safari. Grace Jones in conc
Sept. 5, 1981, Grace Jones performing at a 3 a.m. party at Lion Country Safari. George Rose / Los Angeles Times
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July 26, 2009:  Grace Jones in performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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