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Five Porn Stars Who Tried to Make the Leap from XXX to Recording Artist

Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights gets pulled out of the nightstand drawer this weekend as Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) gives it a 35-mm big-screen run this Friday through Sunday. Several of the film's funniest moments involve drug-addled cocksman Dirk Diggler's attempts to record "You Got The Touch" and "Feel My Heat," only to forfeit the master tapes when he's unable to pay off the studio.

Like much of Anderson's film, these cringe-inducing scenes resonate thanks to their basis in real-life events. Outside of cocaine addiction, there are two default pursuits for adult film actors chafing at the daily grind of pornography: roles in B movies and music. More specifically, dance music. Ever since XXX diva Andrea True struck porno chic gold with "More, More, More," countless hardcore stars have attempted to exchange one 12-inch for another, and -- with the notable exception of Throbbing Gristle's Cosey Fanni Tutti -- the results have remained embarrassingly flaccid.

Here are the five most notable forays into the medium. Although, if their performers had never had sex on screen, most of these songs would have sunk to the bottom of the musical hot tub ages ago.

5. Ron Jeremy

Despite being a competent musician with an apparent willingness to appear in any music video he's offered, retired porn icon Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy was a good 20 years into his career when he recorded his one and only record, the 1996 Miami Bass single "Freak of the Week" with DJ Polo. Ron actually delivers two whole verses. And if Miami Bass fans are being honest with themselves, he's not much worse than many of his non-porn contemporaries. The video for "Freak ..." is a veritable who's who of '90s D-list celebrities including Joey Buttafuoco, Corey Feldman and John Wayne Bobbitt (star of the Jeremy helmed XXX films John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut and Frankenpenis).

4. Marilyn Chambers

Former Ivory Snow model turned adult film star, Marilyn Chambers was a genuinely talented actor and singer who never managed to wash away the taint of the porn industry. Chambers recorded music for skin flicks like Up N' Coming and Insatiable and released the disco single "Benihana" in 1976 (after being suggested to producers by financier/Benihana restaurateur, Rocky Aoki). Radio airplay was largely nonexistent and "Benihana" quickly faded into cut-out bin obscurity. It resurfaced briefly on the soundtrack of David Cronenberg's film Rabid (1977), wherein Marilyn plays a woman who develops a blood sucking orifice in her armpit after an experimental skin graft goes horribly wrong.

 

3. Traci Lords

Legendary for a series of films now illegal in the U.S., former underage superstar Traci Lords kicked off her bid for mainstream acceptance with roles in low-budget trash like Shock 'Em Dead (1990), and with backing vocals on songs by Manic Street Preachers and The Ramones.

In 1995, Traci's first non-hardcore solo performance "Control" made it to No. 4 on the Billboard Dance charts, but the song is probably best known to Gen-Xers as Reptile's theme from the film version of Mortal Kombat. One of the most successful American crossovers, Lords has continued to act and record sporadically, most recently charting in 2012 with the single "He's My Bitch."

2. Jeff Stryker

A man who's musical talent is inversely proportional to the size of his genitals, Jeff Stryker's rendition of the title theme to the gay porno Bigger Than Life (1986) is easily the most Diggler-esque video on this list. Stryker recorded twice more in the '90s, releasing the justifiably obscure album Wild Buck and a country and Western single as Jeff Stryker & His Soggy Bottom Boys. The latter features the timeless classics "Pop You in the Pooper" and "What a Man Has To Do," both of which would kill on morning zoo/drive time radio -- if he didn't mean every word of it. Yes, there are dance remixes available.

1. Cicciolina/Ilona Staller

An international porn star/Italian politician notorious for her semi-topless public speaking, Ilona Staller briefly came to the attention of Americans post 9/11 for repeatedly offering to lay Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden in exchange for peace in the Middle East.

Since the late '70s, Staller (known as Cicciolina to her fans) has recorded two full-length LPs and numerous Italo Disco singles, including her ode to the penis, "Muscolo Rosso," which was released the same year she was elected to the Italian Parliament. Best known in the U.S. for marrying and then divorcing artist Jeff Koons, clips of her many bizarre European TV appearances are worth seeking out for anyone cruising for a quick and dirty eurotrash fix.

The Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) will screen a 35-mm print of Boogie Nights at 8 p.m. Friday, with additional screenings through Sunday. Get tickets here.

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Texas Theatre

231 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75208

214-948-1546

www.thetexastheatre.com


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