Jimi Hendrix played two shows on 25th February 1968, both at the Civic Opera House in Chicago, and it was during the break between sets that something particularly memorable happened: as Jimi and his band headed back to their hotel for a brief rest, they were approached by the Plaster Casters of Chicago, a soon-to-be famous trio of young women headed by 21-year-old artist and groupie Cynthia Albritton (now known to most as Cynthia Plaster Caster) whose aim was to make plaster casts of rock stars’ penises using dentistry alginate. At this point the method had only been tested on a few friends; Jimi, who was more than happy to take part, became the first big name. As would become routine, Cynthia later recorded the experience in her Plaster Caster Diary.
The Diary Entry
JIMI HENDRIX, FEBRUARY 25, 1968, CONRAD HILTON HOTEL, ROOM 1628DIANNE – PLATER1 CYNTHIA – MOLD and PLASTER MIXER MARILYN – CYNTHIA'S ASSISTANT (SHE COUNTED THE SCOOPS, KEPT TIME, CLEANED and FILLED CONTAINERS, ETC.)
WE NEEDED A RATIO OF 28:28 AND FOUND THIS JUST BARELY SUFFICIENT – HENDRIX HAS GOT JUST ABOUT THE BIGGEST RIG I’VE EVER SEEN! WE NEEDED TO PLUNGE HIM THROUGH THE ENTIRE DEPTH OF THE VASE. IN VIEW OF ALL THESE DODGY PRECEDENTS, WE GOT A BEAUTIFUL MOLD – HE EVEN KEPT HIS HARD FOR THE ENTIRE MINUTE. HE GOT STUCK, HOWEVER, FOR ABOUT FIFTEEN MINUTES (HIS HAIR DID), BUT HE WAS AN EXCELLENT SPORT – DIDN’T PANIC (EVEN NOEL AND MITCH2 DIDN’T POLITELY REFRAIN FROM GOING UP NEXT, AS ONE WOULD EXPECT); HE ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT AND BALLED THE IMPRESSION AFTER IT HAD SET – IN FACT, I BELIEVE THE REASON WE COULDN’T GET HIS RIG OUT WAS THAT IT WOULDN’T GET SOFT! WE RUBBED A LITTLE WARM WATER AROUND THE (TOP) OF HIS BALLS AND EVENTUALLY IT SLIPPED OUT. – A BEAUTIFUL (TO SAY THE LEAST) MOLD WITH PART OF A BALL AND SOME RANDOM EMBEDDED HAIRS. DIG THIS – THE PLASTER CAST WAS A FLOP – CYNTHIA GOT UPTIGHT AND DIDN’T MIX ENOUGH AND THEN AFTER SHE’D GOTTEN IT SET INTO THE MOLD, SHE GOT ANXIOUS TO GET THE FINISHED PRODUCT OUT BEFORE IT WAS FINISHED, AND SO IT ALL CRUMBLED. BUT IT WAS KEPT INTACT IN ITS CRUMBLED HEAP FOR A COUPLE DAYS, AND IT SUBSEQUENTLY DRIED TOGETHER AND WAS ONLY BROKEN INTO 3 DIVISIONS – HEAD, RIG AND BALL. A LITTLE ELMER’S GLUE AND WE HAD OUR PLASTER CAST – A LITTLE ON THE VENUS DE MILO3 SIDE BUT IT’S A REAL BEAUTY.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GEORGE!4
JIMI IS OF THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE…..LEAD GUITARIST…. AMERICAN
As far as I’m aware, Cynthia’s full diary has never been published. Because Jimi was the first star to be cast, and due to the fact that he’s Jimi Hendrix, parts of this particular entry have been quoted often in books. As for Cynthia, her website is now defunct, but thanks to the Wayback Machine it has been frozen in time and can be viewed here. On it, you’ll find a list of her willing participants, male and female (she later did breasts, too, but not very often), and a scrapbook. And if you’d like to see the results of her gang’s artistry, just Google “Cynthia Plaster Caster” and hold tight. Finally, in 2001, there was a documentary about Cynthia, and it was titled Plaster Caster.
Cynthia’s diary entry is reprinted here by kind permission of Chris Kellner.