Les BonBons

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Stewart Home mentions Jerry Dreva‘s phantom glam rock band in the chapter he devotes to mail art (pp. 69-73) in his book The Assault on Culture (London: Aporia Press, 1988; Edinburgh: AK Press, 1991):

“Jerry Dreva is also well known for his manipulation of the mass media. One of his earliest media escapades was “Les Petites Bonbons In Hollywood”, created in collaboration with Bob Lambert, Chuck Bitz and others. The Bonbons went to all the right places and thus became a famous rock group without needing to bother about music. The Bonbons received coverage in People, Newsweek, Photographic Record and Record World, on the basis of wearing the right clothes and knowing the right people. Dreva became ‘so fascinated with the power of the media to create and define’ that he took a job on a Wisconsin paper to ‘research the entire phenomenon'”.

– In Max Benavidez‘s Gronk (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), Les BonBons are presented as “a conceptual drag rock group” (p. 51). Dreva himself described his band as “a conceptual rock-and-roll group” when he first met Gronk in 1972 (p. 51). Benavidez writes: “Although this group didn’t really play as a band, they were included in media stories and captured in photographs. By foregrounding the construction of stardom, they intended to expose and critique the media’s superficiality” (p. 52).

– According to this site, Dreva inspired the stamps that were included in Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes single (1980):

“Released in three different covers, the first 100,000 copies containing one of a series of four sheets of nine stamps, designed by Bowie. The idea came from American mail-art specialist, Jerry Dreva, once of the Bon Bons Hollywood glam-art group. Bowie acknowledged this by marking Bon Bon on each one of the stamps on the covers.”

– More on Dreva here.

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