CPR for “The Wire,” stat.

Ashley Morris is many things — accidental composer for pornographic films, tenured professor at a prestigious Midwestern university (and you right-wingers who visit, please don’t read anything into those two items in juxtaposition — the former is a hilarious story he can perhaps be coaxed to tell again, and the latter is entirely deserved. Besides, he teaches computer science, for the lovea pete), supporter of ground-breaking television.

It’s in the latter capacity that we praise him today. He’s set up Don’t Burn the Wire, to, ehh, encourage HBO executives to renew our favorite show for another season, preferably two. Go, follow instructions, tell all your friends, forward to TV writers for major newspapers, etc.

Posted at 9:38 am in Uncategorized |

3 responses to “CPR for “The Wire,” stat.”

  1. ashley said on December 27, 2004 at 8:58 pm

    How I became a “big man in porn”.

    Well, back in the late 80s/early 90s, the music business was not exactly like it is now. Nowadays, anybody can produce a CD. Back then, demo cassettes were king.

    I got tired of working with musicians, as most of them are as quirkier than a 72 Matador. So I decided to release a demo tape, with me playing every instrument. The advantage of this was that I didn’t have to deal with any other musicians; the disadvantage was that I was constrained by the limit of my ability on each instrument. I rationalized this out by telling myself “This is a demo—not a full blown album. I don’t need to create ‘Hotel California'”.

    So when it was done, I was happy enough with it. I had Warner/Elektra/Asylum produce a thousand cassettes for me, and I mailed out about 600 of them. Every single record company I could find. Many were returned unopened, with NO UNSOLICITED MATERIAL stamped on the front. Some responded with things like “We like it, but it fits no genre we have. How can we market it?” Some said “I love it, my friends love it, but there’s no market for it.”. Some said “This is the single worst thing I have ever heard”. In any case, nobody wanted to give me a big dollar record contract.

    Finally, after months of rejection, I got a positive response. A really positive response. Ashlyn Gere, porno queen, somehow got a copy of the tape. She claimed to like it, like it a lot. She wanted to use a couple of songs from the tape on her new feature: “Realities 2”. I guess it would answer all those questions left unresolved by Realities 1.

    At this point, after hearing nothing but rejection, I said why not. I asked if they wanted a DAT master, and they said no, they would just get the sound off of the cassette. At this point, I knew it wouldn’t be a real ‘quality’ production, but hey, why not.

    Ashlyn also told me that her contract meant that it would appear on Playboy. Huzzah! Playboy! This meant two things to me: 1) I would get paid. I wouldn’t get any money for the picture, but I would get some money from BMI when it was broadcast. It also meant that 2) I’d be a real songwriter.

    My next step was to talk to the people at BMI about the publishing rights. Well, it turns out that there are two types of music in films/TV. First is incidental music, which is simply music going on in the background. The other is choreographed music. The BMI/ASCAP definition of “choreographed” was something like “would the action on screen have been different with different music”. When I got the video, I felt that I could honestly tell them “Yes, the screen action would have been different”. By the way, “choreographed” music gets paid at a triple rate. Boy, was that a fun conversation.

    It was a good thing that my music was used for a masturbation scene—somehow if my songs made people want to have group anal sex, I wouldn’t have gotten a warm fuzzy.

    Originally, I thought that they would use the one instrumental on the tape. Oh no. They were going to use my sickeningly sweet love song. Yecchh. My voice would also be on there.

    I asked my buddy, writer Steven Schneck, if I should use my real name. He said “you’ll never work in this town again”. I told him that I wasn’t working there now. Besides, Ashlyn rejected my favorite name, “Miles Long”.

    Steven was also the guy that had a Spanish copy of Dianetics: Dianetica. I asked him if he read it in Spanish. He said “Since I’m not going to read it, I might as well not read it in Spanish”.

    So, for a couple of years I received Christmas cards from Ashlyn (signed “all my sex”), thank yous, and requests for more music.

    I did get one check from BMI. I thought about framing it, but by cashing it, I got to deduct absolutely everything musically related. Huzzah.

    So there ends my foray into pornography—as well as my foray into the music business. However, people occasionally look at my PADI Divemaster ID and say I look like Ron Jeremy. That can’t be a good thing, can it?

    Good thing I got that Ph.D., huh?

    Fun links for more backstory:





    And don’t forget: http://dontburnthewire.com

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  2. John said on December 28, 2004 at 7:56 am

    Great story….and you do look like Ron Jeremy, the nasty one, not the rehabilitated one from “The Surreal Life”…

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  3. ashley said on December 29, 2004 at 3:35 am

    I tell people I was Ron’s stunt double. Suddenly, that joke got new life when “Orgazmo” came out.

    BTW, the easy to remember link is SaveTheWire.com

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