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Mayes played in a rock and roll band called Fumble, which supported David Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972. He made three albums with Fumble, and featured in the original cast of Elvis! at the Astoria Theatre.
In 1978, Mayes played for Bowie on the Isolar II - The 1978 World Tour, recorded and released as Stage, and on Lodger, released in 1979. In 1983 he joined Tom Robinson for "War Baby" and further album tracks.
He wrote a biography of Joan Armatrading and co-wrote a visual documentary about Kate Bush with Kevin Cann. He also wrote the book Life on Tour with David Bowie: We Can Be Heroes, which was published in 1999, four years after his death.
- Kate Bush – a visual documentary (Kevin Cann & Sean Mayes) (1988) Omnibus Press ISBN 0-7119-1039-1
- Joan Armatrading – A Biography (1990) Weidenfeld and Nicolson ISBN 0-297-81058-8
- We Can Be Heroes – Life on Tour with David Bowie (1999) Independent Music Press ISBN 1-897783-17-7