1. What was growing up like?

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. I was raised Catholic, with very humble beginnings. My mother was a secretary and my father was a postal clerk. It was still very conservative, it was the late fifties, and it was a one-horse town culture.

2. How did you get involved in “plaster casting”?

Basically, it was a combination of the sixties and wanting to get laid by British rock stars! My art teacher said to plaster cast something solid…so….

3. Can you explain the process of "plaster casting"? What steps are involved? What supplies are needed?

The process? Well, you would need dental mold, plaster, and water. And you need a plater, that's cockney rhyming slang for fellatior. [The partner] is in the living room preparing the subject. I'm in the kitchen combining water and measuring powder. Then we have a code, usually a knock on the kitchen door, to let me know that the subject is hard. Then, to transfer the plaster, I'll stand next to [the subject] underneath the c*ck, and [the subject] will think hard thoughts for a minute with indirect stimulation from their partner. When it's hard, it leaves a negative impression, and the couple goes off to another address to finish what they started, and about an hour later I crack it out of the mold!

4. How did you meet Frank Zappa? I heard that Eric Clapton told him about you?

Frank Zappa? Yeah, I tried to talk Eric into posing with me. Eric had said to stop by his hotel room the following day. So, we went over to his hotel room, and no one was really interested in posing for me. Eric had a friend who knew Frank Zappa, so he was there, and he wanted to know what we were doing. He wanted to interview us for a pop and culture piece he was doing for “Life” magazine. He told us that he was into what we were doing, and the Plaster Casters of Chicago were born!

5. When you were living in Los Angeles your apartment was burglarized and your ‘precious babies’ were almost stolen. This led you to contact Frank Zappa's business manager, Herb Cohen, and he suggested you keep the casts in a vault he had in his house for safekeeping. But when you were moving back to Chicago he wouldn't give them back to you? Is that correct?

That's right, Christine. He, at the time, said, “Don't worry, we'll exhibit them someday,” but I never heard from him. I waited a long time, and it came the day I was moving back to Chicago. I asked him [Herb Cohen] for them back and he wouldn't give them back.

6. So you had to go to court?

Yeah, I got back the bronzes, not the originals. Three bronzes were missing. I got back all but three.

7. Your most famous work of art is your plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix. Can you explain how you approached him?

He [Jimi] was doing two shows in Chicago, and my friend and I followed his limousine in the street and in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel. We introduced ourselves and he said, "Oh yeah, I've heard about you through the cosmos," and we went up to his hotel room. His presence took up the entire room. I couldn't believe it!

8. But the mold cracked right?

Basically, the pubes weren't lubed, and we had to pull out each pube one by one because his pubes got stuck in the mold. While he was waiting he had sex with the mold! I was a bit eager to see the mold, so I opened the mold prematurely. So it kind of cracked, but I closed up the mold and let it sit for a few days and named it the Venus DeMilo because it looked like a piece of Greek art.

9. Gene Simmons was never plaster casted but he wrote the song “Plaster Caster” for you, right?

I wasn't into his music or a KISS fan. Later on I liked the music but I was afraid that people who listened to that song would think that I had plaster casted him and that wasn't true. I get mad when I don't do the choosing. I only cast people I want to cast, you know?

10. What was the incident that occurred in a hotel room with Led Zeppelin?

They were horrible. Some, not all. The fame went to their heads. Rather than embrace groupies, they raped and pillaged their way across America. Not all of the band, it was mostly John [Bonham], Robert [Plant], and their road manager Richard [Cole].

11. Did you cast Keith Moon?

I didn't know how to plaster cast. I couldn't use sand and water and I didn't yet know about dental mold. I didn't cast Keith [Moon], it was before I knew how to do it. I was going through a two-year experimental stage, nothing I was using was working. I tried to use wax on Keith. I laid it flat across the light bulb to melt; luckily for him it didn't melt! I had said I needed an apron, and he literally just reaches down and rips the pant leg off his bellbottoms! It was this 1940s drapery material, very flowery, and I never washed it! It still has alginates and plaster all over it and I pin it to my shirt whenever I plaster cast!

12. What do you wear when you plaster cast?

That apron, my father's postal shirt, it's always good to wear a great big man's shirt because it works great when you have a big mess to cover you up, maybe underwear, and no nail polish! I learned the hard way that the dental mold becomes your nail polish!

13. Can you describe meeting The Doors?

Yeah, this will be included in my autobiography but I met them briefly during a recording session when John [Densmore] and Robby [Krieger] were laying down tracks for "Tell All the People" from “The Soft Parade” album. I was living out in Los Angeles at the time and I knew the engineer who I later casted. He got a hold of me and invited me to the recording session. Jim [Morrison] wasn't looking too good; he was bearded, fat, in his own world. I didn't approach Jim. I was afraid to approach him because he seemed to be very intimidating. Ray [Manzarek] came over briefly. He used to live in Chicago. We talked about that. He was very nice.

14. How did you first meet Jessica Villines and where did the idea for the film “Plaster Caster” originate? What was your initial reaction when you first saw the film?

We met through the rock and roll grapevine, through the Chicago music scene. A friend of mine told me that Jessica [Villines] was interested in making a documentary about me and then we ran into each other again. I really liked the proposal and the combination of editor Brian Johnson and director of photography Jeff Economy made it a potent collaboration. We started filming about four or five years ago. I’m actually going out to Hollywood for the premiere in October. It’s going to be at the Langley Theatre on Sunset Boulevard! I really liked the film from the beginning. The excess footage that ended up on the cutting room floor wound up as outtakes on the DVD, which should be released towards the end of October.

15. “Plaster Caster” includes an interview with fellow groupie Pamela Des Barres. Can you describe your friendship?

I met her before I moved out to Los Angeles. Frank [Zappa] introduced us over the phone. Then we became pen pals, then she visited Chicago, and after that Frank asked me to move to Los Angeles because he wanted to exhibit my artwork. But we lost touch over time.

16. Did your losing touch have anything to do with Noel Redding?

We both liked Noel. We both f***ed Noel. It was a misunderstanding over Noel Redding. Pamela [Des Barres] and I made a deal before we went to the Whiskey A Go Go. We made a deal that she'd be with Mitch [Mitchell] and I'd be with Noel but she threw herself into Noel's arms. I was tripping on acid and I was so mad at her! So I moved back to Chicago and we just drifted apart. We were reunited while doing a cable TV show in Las Vegas. She's such a dear, dear friend. We've gone through such a unique thing, you know, that shaped our lives and our personalities. We are the original Banger sisters!

17. Your first gallery showing was at New York City's Thread Waxing space in summer 2000 and more recently at the brand new Artrock gallery in San Francisco. How did you feel that your art was received at each show?

Very well! Lots of people visited it, especially at the Artrock gallery in San Francisco. There was a line around the block! It was there for a few months. The Thread Waxing space, God, I got so sick of the paparazzi chasing me all the time, and it was the end of June, and it was so hot! But we had a pretty good turnout. I didn't expect such a good turnout, but they got it, just like they did in the sixties! I get a lot of fan mail from young people who have heard about me from their parents! The funny thing is that sometimes I'm older than their parents!

18. Can you tell me about the Cynthia Plaster Caster Foundation?

Sure, doll. It's a not for profit designed to help struggling artists, musicians, and filmmakers. I think the world needs more art, music, and love. Sadly, a lot of bands break up for lack of funds, and they're really talented! We're far from reaching our goal, but I want to try to help make more cutting edge art, music, and film!

19. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants to do an exhibit of your art. Is that something you are considering?

Yeah, they offered. If I made a donation they would be in the private archives, not in the public display, because it's a family museum. The normal viewing public wouldn’t be able to see it. The guy who called was so full of himself.

20. And you are currently working on an autobiography, right? When will it be published?

I haven't finished it yet, doll, but it should be completed within the year, and I'm just trying to find the time!

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