Our beloved Jo-Jo Baby, who works as a doll maker, club kid, artist, stylist and drag queen went onto eBay to look for mannequins. He found a guy who lives in his neighborhood who was selling three full-sized vintage African-American female mannequins- Jo-Jo just had to have them and made an appointment to view them.
Although Jo-Jo was expected, there was no one to greet him at the back door upon his arrival so he entered into what was the kitchen. On the stove sat a large boiling pot. Always the curious sort, Jo-Jo spied into the cauldron and to his surprise he saw an actual human skull rolling about with some flesh still on it! Yes, a human skull.
At that point, the owner of the mannequins came into the room and saw Jo-Jo looking nervous and tried to calm him down by saying “It’s okay, it’s from Tibet.”
What would you do in this situation?
We would have run away, but Jo-Jo REALLY wanted those three mannequins, so he followed the man into his basement to retrieve the dummies. He is that committed to his art that he’d have risked his own head by following a strange man who had a head in a pot boiling on his stove to get what he needed to do what he does. Wow. When Divine shouted “Who wants to die for art?” in John Water’s film Female Trouble, Jo-Jo certainly would have been the first to jump up and be shot by the gun-wielding trampoline-bouncing drag queen.
Jo-Jo survived the encounter and his friends, who could barely believe his story, convinced him to go to the police. Afterwards, Jo-Jo spent the entire next day talking to news reporters and camera crews from his studio in Wicker Park in Chicago. We were lucky to chat him at the end of a long day.
Join us as Marc Felion and me, Fausto Fernós travel to the Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago to talk with Jo-Jo in his studio about this incredible story. His friends from the band Black Box Fever were over at the studio as well. Check them out and we might play their music real soon. We’re also counting down the days until Law and Order turns this story into one of their “shows ripped from the headlines.”
How will this affect his costumes? Will he sleep at night? Is Jo-Jo going to be all-right? Find out on today’s Feast of Fun podcast.
There’s no bones about it- it’s the Feast of Fun!
Click here for photos of Jo-Jo’s Wicker Park studio and his infamous mannequins.
Click here for the CBS Chicago news article and be sure to see the picture of his blurred out tshirt.
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[Originally posted on 05.03.07]