27 November 2009

The Cast of Jimi Hendrix

It's my favorite celebrity birthday: Jimi Hendrix!

Here's his birth chart, if you're interested in that sort of thing.
What was the story I promised you all for his birthday?

Ah, yes!

The following comes courtesy of Charles Cross and his Hendrix biography, Room Full of Mirrors. (Warning: Because of the subject matter, if you are prudish in any way, you should probably stop reading here.)

Once upon a time, in the land known as Chicago, a twenty-year-old named Cynthia Albritton wanted to get closer to the rock'n'roll/ groupie scene but she knew she needed a novel approach. She decided that making plaster casts of rock stars' genitalia would be her gimmick, and she recruited two female friends to assist and then printed up a bunch of T-shirts. Even though groupies from as far away as Los Angeles knew what she was up to, after awhile, Cynthia had yet to make even one mold.

All that changed on 25 February 1968 when the Jimi Hendrix Experience arrived in Chicago for two sold out shows (3 pm and 7 pm) at the Civic Opera House. As Jimi, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell rode in the limo to their hotel after the matinee performance, a car pulled up next to them and a young woman leaned out the window and pointed to her briefcase, which read, "Plaster Casters of Chicago." Jimi motioned the car to follow.

The Experience had no bodyguards so when the two vehicles arrived at the Chicago Hilton, three young women were able to run up to the band as they stood on the sidewalk.

"We are the Plaster Casters from Chicago and we want to plaster-cast your Hampton Wick!" (Cynthia wanted to make her Chicago accent seem more worldly so she decided on using the Cockney phrase "Hampton Wick.") Jimi, having heard of the crew from those aforementioned groupies in LA, invited them up to the room. Jimi agreed to go first and Noel said he'd be second while, as Cross put it," Mitch, in a rare moment of clarity, politely declined."

The following is the verbatim account from Charles Cross:

The women followed Jimi to his room. Cynthia retreated to the bathroom to begin the delicate process of mixing the dental plaster used in the castings while the other two women began working on Jimi. One woman took notes on a clipboard like a scientist, although never having seen a penis before, she could barely contain her surprise at the proportions of Jimi's member. "We were not prepared for the size of it," Cynthia wrote in her notes later. As Cynthia mixed the plaster, another girl began to orally stimulate Jimi. Once he was aroused, they stuck a vase filled with plaster around his penis, and he was told to stay still- and turned on- for one full minute while the plaster dried. Cynthia's notes read: "He has got just about the biggest rig I've ever seen! We needed to plunge him through the entire depth of the vase." The whole process, as Noel Redding would later say of his own casting, was "more clinical than erotic." The room was silent during the molding. "It wasn't very sexy, really," Cynthia recalled. "Jimi was one of the first molds we ever did, and we didn't lubricate his pubs [pubes] enough. A lot of his pubs [pubes] got stuck in the plaster, and there was only one way to remove them, which was pull them individually." To remove the hair took the better part of ten minutes. Jimi, no longer a cooperative model, began to use the now-hardened mold for self-stimulation. "He was bumping and grinding the mold, fucking it really, because being a mold it was the perfect size for him," said Cynthia. As Jimi ground against the mold, in a move that looked much like the way he handled his guitar onstage, tour manager Gerry Stickells opened the door to the room. It said much about the riotous nature of an Experience tour- and Jimi's lifestyle- that witnessing Jimi humping a vase filled with dental mold as a young woman with a clipboard took notes didn't even raise Stickell's eyebrows. "Just, uh, let me know when you're ready" was all the tour manager said before leaving.

The Casters next journeyed to Noel's room, though his casting didn't go as well. Noel wrote in his memoir," My offering was unusual- a corkscrewed rendition." Noel blamed the inferior cast on bad plaster and on Stickell's opening his door at the wrong moment. At one point Jimi inquired as to what Cynthia intended to do with the casts. "I told him I wanted to put them on display, and he was cool with that," she said. When she later exhibited the casts at an art gallery, one newspaper called the Hendrix cast "the Penis De Milo."

Jimi may have been the Penis De Milo, but he was also a very tired man in the middle of a long tour. At the after-concert party, most of the band and crew hooked up with groupies- Noel and Cynthia went off together- but the Penis De Milo lusted for nothing more than rest, and sat in the corner by himself. As the other members of the band partied away, Jimi fell asleep in a chair, his hat resting peacefully over his face.

Would that we all could have our genitalia celebrated after our deaths and have their dimensions be deemed pieces of art! Heh.

Happy birthday Jimi!

Jimi performing "Foxey Lady" (after the Experience broke up) at Rainbow Bridge in Maui in 1970. The clip showcases his signature guitar moves, as mentioned above.

And lastly, Cynthia Plaster Caster has her own website! At the site, you can hire her to teach you and your lover how to take plaster casts of each other, order the famous "Plaster Casters of Chicago" T-shirts (Noel Redding wore one on The Lulu Show on the BBC; the second link in this post has the video of that), view a list of her casting conquests, and check out her "Upcumming Events." Heh heh.

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