Mayo Thompson (born February 26, 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 Frederick Barthelme (brother of novelist Donald Barthelme) and Steve Cunningham amid the burgeoning Houston psychedelic scene and gathered a „travelling entourage“ who improvised with them, known as The Familiar Ugly. Their intended 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.
In 1970, Thompson released his only solo album, titled Corky’s Debt To His Father, on the Texas Revolution label. It was recorded in Houston. It was re-released by Drag City in 2008.
After becoming disillusioned with the American art scene, he moved to London having joined the conceptual art group Art & Language, with whom he recorded five albums: Corrected Slogans (1976), Kangaroo (1981), Black Snakes (1983), Sighs trapped by liars (2007), Five American Portraits (2010).