Dax Callner Merges The Porn Business With The Music Business.
By Dave McElfresh
FEBRUARY 15, 1999: LACKING THE NOOKIE part in your mix of sex, drugs and rock and roll? Well, a small southern California label has recently produced Porn To Rock, a collection of mostly dance songs sung by guys and girls known for rocking in the naked sense of the term.
"If there is any edgy business left, it's the adult film industry," says Dax Callner, the producer and labelhead behind this innovative project. "With the Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee and the Vince Neil/Janine Linedmuler videos, it seemed the connection between music and porn was becoming more and more apparent."
In fact, it's hard to imagine watching video nasties or paying for lap dances without some form of hardcore rhythm fueling the ass-shaking. On Porn To Rock, more than a dozen adult film stars pay tribute to the music styles that soundtrack their careers. And much of it conveys a nastiness at least as intriguing as what the stars do with their clothes off: Porn goddess Madison's mix of Middle Eastern vocal droning over a Neil Young-ish guitar groove is 100-percent libido, and Candye Kane's "The Meat Song" harks all the way back to Lil Johnson's and Lucille Bogan's double-entendre blues records from the '30s.
"All of these artists already had material recorded," says Callner, "so we listened and decided with them which tracks to use for the record. In the case of Ginger Lynn, there was only one song, so the decision was easy."
Ginger Lynn Allen, bless her, is gorgeous in the sense of that heartbreaker ahead of you in the checkout line, rather than the type found on the model walkway. She may be the most erotic adult film star ever, and definitely the figure most responsible for porn's early '80s move away from unobtainable, Playboy-glossy goddesses, in favor of the girl-next-door fantasizing now filling zillions of adult mags and videos in the $4-billion porn industry. It's a transition that even many hardcore feminists find worthy of approval. Lynn's "Fantasy World"--recorded in 1985, right in the middle of porn's transition period and years prior to everything else on the CD--stands out as the dance cut setting the precedent for nearly everything else on the release.
Allen, who allegedly made 69 adult films before retiring from the industry in the early '80s, occasionally interrupts her recollections of the recording to attend to her child, who has the flu:
"I had some people approach me and they asked me to record an album, and after six months of vocal lessons I flew to New Jersey, to Jon Bon Jovi's cousin's studio. It was probably the most frightening thing I've ever done in my life. We ended up only doing the 12-inch single because my executive producer was murdered, which put a damper on things."
Despite her music career having been snuffed, the blonde porn goddess remains passionate about the current music scene. "I just discovered Ani DiFranco. I was in the store with the headphones on, going through different music and bought one album, which led me to buy everything she's ever done. She has incredible range and her lyrics are gritty and they hit home a lot." Allen believes "there are a lot of great chick musicians out right now. Bonnie Raitt, especially."
Allen grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, the Stones and Elton John. But the backup music used on her tours of adult clubs falls somewhere between her teen idols and the synth-heavy songs filling Porn To Rock. "I'm really into AC/DC," she admits. "They're the best, and I've never found another band that comes anywhere near what they do. There's a difference between metal and classic rock. I wouldn't say that I dance to anything metal--apart from Metallica's 'Turn The Page.' "
Allen heard through the grapevine that Metallica, protégé of AC/DC, was looking for her to star in the video. After meeting with them regarding the story line, she agreed to appear. "I don't really care to be in a video where I'm the bimbo. But this is about a woman who has been a dancer for years and has a six year-old daughter that Child Protective Services is trying to take away because of her lifestyle." In the video, Allen's character brings home a john who beats and rapes her. "The story line is about a time in your life when you need to make changes. Since then, I've had people email me through my website (www.gingerlynn.com), thinking I'm really a hooker! God, it's just a video, this is not really my life."
Even her childhood rock idol turned out to be guilty of thinking that her porn star status meant she was a nymphomaniac.
"When I was growing up, I managed a Musicland store and once got Zeppelin tickets," she recalls, "then found out the concert was called off because Bonham OD'd. But I finally got the chance to meet Robert Plant about eight years ago. My heart was beating like crazy, I was so excited. I was backstage and he came over to me and we shook hands and he said, is that the hand you jerk cocks off with? My heart dropped to my feet, and I knew why I was invited backstage to begin with. It was so crushing to me because he was my childhood hero.
"And then he asked me out, to come back to his hotel room. Being the people-pleaser that I am, I said, 'Oh yeah,' but then I didn't show. Then the next day, a Thursday, I met my girlfriend for tea at the Four Seasons in Orange County, and he walks into the lobby. I'm thinking, oh my God, he's here, while he gives me the dirtiest look."
Lynn's next project involving fellow adult film stars will be an L.A.-based fundraiser to counter gang involvement. But her foes and fans should not mistake her musical and philanthropic interests as guilt-fueled moves away from her lusty past.
"I'm not ashamed of what I've done, and none of it means I'm not a good mother. I would make the same choices if I had to make them all over again. It will be 13 years this February 11 since I made an adult film! Back then it was so taboo, it wasn't hip. But the people who acted in them liked what they did. There wasn't a lot of money in it, and there was very little, if any, fame. In contemporary videos, the models are drop-dead beautiful, but they don't necessarily look like they're enjoying themselves. I recently watched an adult movie and saw a girl moan before she should have, and I thought, wait a minute, what's wrong with this picture?"
While producing Porn To Rock with Ginger Lynn and the rest of the cast, Callner found traces of that camaraderie still alive in the adult industry. "The most interesting thing about putting together this CD was discovering how nice the porn business people are. Certainly there are sleazy figures, but everyone we've dealt with has been totally cool. They're like a big family. Maybe it's because they are all fucking each other, I don't know."
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