FUMBLE band members – Sean Mayes

Sean Mayes 1973
Sean Mayes

Charles Thomas Sean Mayes was schooled in Bristol before winning a place at Trinity College, Cambridge, there to gain a degree in philosophy. At 7 years he started playing piano, eventually writing classically influenced pieces for school concerts.

At college his musical interests stayed along classical lines until a friend introduced him to artists like The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Little Richard. Jerry Lee Lewis' "Hi Heel Sneakers" made a special impression. He decided to join a group.

The only setback was, nobody really wanted to play that kind of music - "Hi Heel Sneakers" sure, but the real melodic goldies no.
Sean ended up forming an R& B group 'Wildie Beasties' with Barry (probably the originator of that name) Sean was playing organ, as there was no easy way to amplify a piano.
Sean and Barry then formed the 'Soulbenders' which lasted until Sean left university and joined Des and Mario. Now one step closer to what Sean wanted to play, they formed the 'Baloons'.

red ribbonSean Mayes died in May 1995 at the age of 49

"I knew him as a kindly, patient, exasperating and brilliant man - solid as a rock. His death at 49 from AIDS is a ludicrous waste and for once the cliche really is true - we shall not see his like again" - Tom Robinson -
Sean Mayes 1973Sean Mayes 1981Sean Mayes in Oh Boy

Sean Mayes

Sean collected many press articles and kept a diary. Always carrying his typewriter with him, Sean virtually chronicled every day on the road with Fumble. Most of the press articles on this website are from his collection, as well as a gig list of the first 20 years. You find both in the archive section.

We Can Be Heroes – Life on Tour with David Bowie

Sean Mayes – We Can Be HeroesSean wrote a book about life on tour with David Bowie. It describes the travelling from town to town with lots of memories and interesting stories from the time when he was in David Bowie's Band for the 1978 Heroes world tour. Kevin Cann finished the book which was published four years after his death in 1999.

Sean's work with other musicians

Work with ith Tom Robinson

In 1982 Sean joined Tom Robinson for 'War Baby', toured with him and played on the two albums 'North by Northwest' (1982) and 'Last Tango: Midnight at the Fringe' (1988).

Work with David Bowie

Sean played piano for David Bowie on the "Heroes" world tour in 1978. His notes and memories of the tour were later transformed into the book "We Can Be Heroes". Sean also played on David Bowie's albums 'Lodger' (1979 ) and 'Stage' (1978).

Bowie TV Sean Mayes
picture: Sean on the David Bowie
Special, Musik Laden , Germany 1978
screenshot © Radio Bremen

Sean Mayes 1993
Sean Mayes

Albums with other artists

David Bowie Lodger (1979) (Keyboard, Piano)
David Bowie Stage (1978) (backing vocals, Piano, Strings)
Tom Robinson North by Northwest (1982) (Percussion)
Tom Robinson Last Tango: Midnight at the fringe (1988) (Piano)


Kate Bush A Documentary Kate Bush - a visual documentary (Kevin Cann & Sean Mayes)
Omnibus Press (1988) ISBN 0-7119-1039-1
Joan Armatrading Biography Joan Armatrading - A Biography (Sean Mayes)
Weidenfeld and Nicolson (1990) ISBN 0-297-81058-8
We Can Be Heroes We Can Be Heroes - Life on tour with David Bowie (Sean Mayes)
Independent Music Press (1999) ISBN 1-89-7783-17-5