magine it's finals week. The books are cracked, the caffeine's flowing and the pizza's been ordered. For roommates Mike Fitzpatrick and Jon Leahy, juniors at William and Mary College in Virginia, it's not just a late-night study session - it's a recipe for inspiration.
Last year, after neither of them felt like taking out the trash, they decided to put all those leftover pizza boxes to good use. Two weeks later, they'd created a 7' x 7' sculpture of guitar great Jimi Hendrix's head made entirely out of pizza boxes (70, to be exact). "I had Hendrix on my mind 24 hours a day," says Leahy, who was learning to play "Red House" on his guitar at the time. "When you love music, you have to appreciate Jimi," adds Fitzpatrick.
They titled it "6' x 9'," which comes from the Hendrix song "If 6 Was 9." And like the best psychedelic rock, its symmetry is downright eerie, considering Leahy and Fitzpatrick worked on it independent of each other. "It's kinda freaky," Leahy admits. Not only that, but the sculpture gives off a certain, well, purple haze under the influence of black lights. "Some parts show up more than others," Fitzpatrick says. "The grease shows up real bright."
Upon completion, the guys offered their work to the Experience Music Project, a rock 'n' roll museum set to open in Seattle next summer. Much to their surprise, the museum accepted the donation. Chip Schubert, a spokesman for Chanello's pizza (the source for all those boxes), feels their creation is receiving due accolades. "It's pretty ingenious," Schubert says. "When I walked up to it, the first thing I thought was, man!' ''
So what's on tap for their next project? Well, they have a nice bottle-cap collection going. "We've had a few suggestions." Leahy says. "[But] we had no intention of doing anything with the boxes, so if anything happens [with the bottle caps], cool," Fitzpatrick adds. "If not, well, we'll have a ton of bottle caps."
By Chad Dryden, Ohio U./Photo courtesy of The Experience Music Project
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