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Mayo Thompson

Mayo Thompson

Mayo Thompson


Mayo Thompson (born in 1944 in Houston, Texas) is an American musician and visual artist best known as the leader of the avant-garde rock band Red Crayola (Krayola). In 1966, Thompson formed the band Red Crayola with fellow art students Rick Barthelme (brother of novelist Donald Barthelme) and Steve Cunningham amid the burgeoning Houston psychedelic scene which also included bands such as the 13th Floor Elevators and Familiar Ugly. The original band broke up in 1967 after their second album Read more on Last.fm
Mayo Thompson (born in 1944 in Houston, Texas) is an American musician and visual artist best known as the leader of the avant-garde rock band Red Crayola (Krayola). In 1966, Thompson formed the band Red Crayola with fellow art students Rick Barthelme (brother of novelist Donald Barthelme) and Steve Cunningham amid the burgeoning Houston psychedelic scene which also included bands such as the 13th Floor Elevators and Familiar Ugly. The original band broke up in 1967 after their second album, Coconut Hotel was rejected by their record company for being too abstract and experimental. In the early 1970s, he lived in New York City, where he worked as a studio assistant for Robert Rauschenberg. After becoming disillusioned with the American art scene, he moved to London having joined the conceptual art group Art & Language, with whom he recorded two albums Corrected Slogans (1976) and Kangaroo (1981). While in London, he became involved with Geoff Travis's distribution business at Rough Trade Records. When the label decided to begin releasing records in 1978, Thompson was asked to produce many of them because Travis did not feel that he had enough experience in the studio.

Thompson is credited as producer on early records by The Fall, Stiff Little Fingers, The Raincoats, Cabaret Voltaire, Kleenex and many other seminal groups. Working at Rough Trade also led him to reform the Red Crayola with new members from the bands he was working with. The resulting line-up (1979 - 1983) included a number of important post-punk musicians: Gina Birch of The Raincoats, Lora Logic of X-Ray Spex and Essential Logic, Epic Soundtracks of the Swell Maps, and several of the members of Pere Ubu. The band continued it's association with Art & Language, who often contributed lyrics to songs such as A Portrait of V.I.

Lenin in the Style of Jackson Pollock which references their well-known painting. Their song Born in Flames was used for the soundtrack of Lizzie Borden's 1983 radical feminist film of the same name. During the 1980s, he worked as a member of Pere Ubu and returned to more experimental projects. While living in Germany in 1987, he began collaborating with the German painter Albert Oehlen, first on a soundtrack for the film The Last of England by Derek Jarman. The two would later reform the band again with an entirely new line-up. In the early 1990s, Thompson met the avant-garde guitarist David Grubbs who offered him a chance to release new music with Red Crayola on Drag City Records in Chicago.

Thompson accepted and the Red Crayola roster ballooned again, this time encompassing many of the important post-rock musicians of the time, including members of Gastr del Sol and Tortoise. The group has continued in a more or less similar configuration since 1994. In 1994, he accepted a teaching position at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He is active as an art critic and currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in California. Read more on Last.fm.

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