Journalist Tracks Down a Radio World Version of Banksy

He lives right here in New York.

LeoBlaisSignsFew things give FishbowlNY more pleasure than being contacted out of the blue by the subject of an old post with news of exciting new developments. Such was the case this week.

In 2012, we wrote about Radio Survivor co-founder Jennifer Waits’ fascination with some hand-made 3D signs of radio station call letters, personalities and show names, which she had encountered while making her own rounds of that world. She figured out in 2013 who was responsible, but it is only today that she has officially identified the artist and posted the first of a two-part interview.

The artist’s name is Leo Blais. Now based in New York, musician Blais first started creating and sending out the white and grey cardboard signs in 2008. He tells Waits it was his way of saying thanks:

”The first signs were made around the time the “Slow Drivin” maxi-single was released in 2008. I started sending them out as a way to thank the stations for playing the records. Also the letters represented the actual artwork that went into each album. People would send me photos they found on the Internet with the signs being spotted in the background or on the stations walls.”

“It was really nice to know how happy it made the people who received them. The signs had this magic behind them. I remember my manager Steve Theo telling me he got a call from Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton at [NPR’s] All Songs Considered’asking about me and the project. It was wild. Suddenly these signs were opening doors of conversation with people I really never dreamed possible.

Read the rest of the interview here. And be sure to also check out Waits’ personal blog Spinning Indie.

[Photo via:]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.