Costello - then, D.P. MacManus - joined Mayes' band Rusty on New Year's Day 1972, and while for the next twelve months they played dozens of gigs, from almost deserted clubs to one of Liverpool's most beautiful Victorian recital halls and even ventured into the unknown lands, near Widnes, they never made it to the recording studio.
The Resurrection of Rust comprises newly recorded renditions of six songs drawn from Rusty's 1972 set lists.
The mini-album produced by Elvis Costello and Sebastian Krys
and featuring Costello and Mayes backed by Costello's band the Imposters,
will be for sale on CD at Costello's concerts at Brighton Dome
, on Sunday 5th June.
It will be available on CD and digitally in the UK on June 10th , to be followed by vinyl release later this summer.
"In 2021, my pal and singing partner in the Liverpool clubs, Allan Mayes wrote to me from his home in Austin, Texas.
"He wanted to remind me that it would soon be fifty years since I joined his band, "Rusty", just after our first meeting at a party on New Year"s Eve, 1971.
"The group was then a quartet, with Allan"s school friend, Alan Brown ‐ who would play bass until he left for university later that year ‐ and there was also another vocalist called "Dave", whose main credentials as a singer were the ownership of a microphone and tambourine.
"A month later, after a couple of pretty ragged gigs, Allan and I became the only vocalists and there was not a tambourine in sight.
"Show business is a cruel game.
"We would rehearse in my bedroom in West Derby or at Allan's house in the shadow of Walton Gaol, where his father was a medical officer, working our way through two pretty similar stacks of mostly American albums, looking for songs to sing.
"Our repertoire did include a few of our own compositions ‐ lyrics written in various shades of purple ‐ but they were often put in the shade by the songs of Neil Young, Van Morrison and two Bob Dylan tunes; one made famous by The Byrds and the other co‐written, by Rick Danko of The Band.
"We played tunes by Randy Newman, John Martyn and the psychedelic band, Help Yourself.
"One of our early duets was David Crosby's epic, "Wooden Ships" before which Allan would jokingly ask if I had my lucky rabbit's foot about me, as I was about to venture into an unsteady guitar solo on my amplified Harmony Sovereign.
"Our secret weapon was certainly a stack of Nick Lowe's songs written for Brinsley Schwarz, which were not so very well‐known then.
"I think some casual listeners might have actually imagined we'd written them and I can't say we always corrected this misapprehension but I suppose we'd acted as unpaid pitchmen for Nick by the time we met him, when the Brinsleys came to play "The Cavern"."
Cut to 2021 and when Allan Mayes asked me Costello if he wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary by getting together to play a few songs that we used to know.
Costello said, "Absolutely not!"
"Let's make the record we would have cut when we were 18, if anyone had let us."
And this is what you will hear on "The Resurrection Of Rust".
"Allan and I quickly re‐discovered the vocal blend that convinced us that we might conquer the world (or at least Widnes) when we were teenagers but to bring Rusty into the 21st Century, I enlisted the talents of The Imposters and we were delighted to invite our old pal, Bob Andrews, to revisit his signature Hammond organ and piano parts on the Brinsley Schwarz showstopper, "Surrender To The Rhythm".
Elvis Costello & The Imposters play Brighton Dome on Sunday 5th June 2022. So pop along, watch the gig and pick up a pre-release copy of 'The Resurrection of Rust'.