Tales From the Road – Review

Tales From the Road: Crew Sluts

With Dino (from Fear Factory), various roadies, Jacqueline Lick, Deva Station, Randi Rage, Tia, Sophia Rio, Tommy Gunn, Billy Glide, and Jef Hickey
Shot and Edited by Greg Lewis, Still Shots by F. Hard
Directed by Tony Dammit (Notorious)
by Scott Hefflon

With much hesitation did I watch this video. As far as porno movies go, this is pretty well done. But that, as you know, doesn’t mean much. The target fetish of this fuck flick is backstage sluts and what they’ll do to meet their heroes. In this case, those heroes are band members (pun intended). Such sleazy transactions take place practically everywhere “famous people” congregate and the general public wishes to prostrate themselves before their idols. But let’s not get into that, shall we? Most band members, to be blunt, would be working in a shipping room somewhere deep in the bowels of a corporate warehouse were it not for their “luck of the draw” stardom. Obviously, some are either good musicians (or just play them on TV), musical innovators, or whatever. But sex symbols? Hardly. Imagine a Rock Star Ken Doll – take away the musical instrument, cover the tats with greasy cover-alls, tie the proudly ill-kept mane in a pony tail, place a filthy wrench in his permanently out-stretched hand, and what’ve you got? Unsellable merchandise.

Rock stars have amazing potential at their disposal, yet they tend to fall prey to the common man sensibility which urges them to simply exploit the mundane. And for this we glorify them. Boy do we wish we could be so irresponsible. We work and slave in the 9-to-5 grind while they cavort with porn stars. We turn green with envy. But that’s not what’s turning green on our heroes. Chat it up with an idol or twenty while getting to know your inner child in jail, in rehab, or in an S.T.D. clinic. But let’s not demystify our icons – we need to strive for something, even if it is an illusion.

The video begins with three minutes of credits. Vertigo-inducing swoops of the stars licking each other during an arty, grainy black and white photo shoot are interspersed with wavering-to-intentionally-out-of-focus credits printed in a wild, almost unreadable font. Both that and the pan-across-the-parking-lot intro are accompanied by smooth, high quality dance music I’d be thrilled to hear in a porno, had I not already heard it in Full Throttle Girls. As for the sloppy sampling of Frank Zappa’s “Crew Slut,” I can only guess the sound snippets were so short because they could only play a few bars at a time without having to get permission. For a video supposedly catering to musicians, the lack of musical crediting and patchwork sound-splicing is only a small step above porn’s ignorable limp jazz soundtrack standards. I’ve done better with a four-track and a Radio Shack sampler/keyboard.

The first of four “behind the scenes” peeks dramatizes an occurrence so common, it basically is life on the road. Tia is, or at least “acts” the part of, a groupie hag. Old, painted to the point of clownishness, and with faker implants than a low-budget sci-fi movie, Tia gains access to the bus to blow some big shot. I mean that figuratively, as Tommy Gunn later proves with his ooze. The only way this scene differs from reality is that she came alone (so to speak). Usually, these over-the-hill rock mamas drag with them a “troll crew” of battle-weary uglies you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. They all want smiling photos and autographs. You don’t even want to touch most of ’em with a shovel, much less your most prized possession. Tommy Gunn was a prick in every sense, thus playing his role properly. I don’t know if he’s a “rock star” or a “porn star,” but he’s got the dumb name, piggish persona, fading tats, and all-over body hair to be either.

Tia, war horse that she is, does her job well. An amusing moment came (well, just before, actually) when Tia proudly expresses how she got so good. Tommy briefly looks about him, willing to share the sharable with his buddies, but is distracted from doing his good deed by more immediate needs. “Fuck those guys,” he utters, missing his own irony.

The second scene shows yet another commonplace event: A female fan offering to do some sound engineer for a backstage pass. The only difference is, she’s amazingly cute, and he’s not fat, retro, or gross. She’s kinda shy (well, at first) and he’s almost apologetic (ditto). But once they get going, they play their roles naturally and gracefully. Billy Glide ends up giving Jacqui the better end of the deal, from the looks of it, but ends up screwing her out of the pass. (It’s so tempting to pun my way through porno. Please excuse my vocabular masturbation.)

The next little scenario is again commonplace. This time in the porn industry. Jef Hickey produced this video, and therefore wanted to be in it. If you ever wondered what makes porn “actors” different from regular guys, here’s your answer.

The last scene sums up this video perfectly. It’s sweaty, sexy, clumsy, voyeuristic, experimental, sleazy, yet looks like a lotta fun. It’s very rare to find a porno film that shows a room full of people watching “the main attraction” with this kind of honesty. They crack jokes, they hoot and holler when something hot is going on, they don’t bother to disguise the fact that there are a few cameras in the room, tripping over each other and the onlookers. The “actresses” really ham it up for the camera, without pretending it’s not a camera. The girls don’t let the guys in on their fun, but they look like they’re actually having fun. It’s a show and everyone knows it. If more porno movies, with or without band members, were to show the fun of fucking in such an enjoyable, open fashion, perhaps the porn industry could achieve a broader sense of the word entertainment.