John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist.
== Quotes ==
Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix.
From his essay on Jimi Hendrix for Rolling Stone 946
Mayer, John (2004). "Jimi Hendrix" RollingStone.com (accessed March 21, 2007)Everybody enjoys arguing about the current state of music because it feels as if you are talking about something incredibly important, yet it requires little understanding of the subject matter at hand. It's like world politics meets the pink questions in Trivial Pursuit. Points are made but nothing gets accomplished.
Esquire, in the column "The Resident Rock Star: JOHN MAYER" (July 1, 2004)Songs can be Trojan horses, taking charged ideas and sneaking past the ego's defenses and into the open mind.
Esquire magazine (November 1, 2004)I love the Grammy nominations this year. Anybody who really loves what they do got rewarded for it. It's not a death match between Ray Charles and Jessica Simpson.
No byline (2004-12-20), "John Mayer". Newsweek. 144 (25):71There's a real self-serving element to hip-hop that threatens its life span.
AIM Celebrity Interview (November 2005)If I had done things differently, I'd probably have the paparazzi waiting around for me. At the studio where I've been recording, Jessica Simpson is working there, too. The paparazzi are outside waiting for her to come out. That's the result of her decisions. My decisions have led me to the point that when I walk out in front of the paparazzi, I'm considered a waste of film.
How he shows self-restraint with his fame
Small, Mark (2005). "John Mayer '98: Running with the Big Dogs" Berlee.edu (accessed February 11, 2010)I am not in Us Weekly. I'd have to be going out with someone who is in there to be in there myself.
The (now ironic) quote on how he shows self-restraint with his fame
Small, Mark (2005). "John Mayer '98: Running with the Big Dogs" Berlee.edu (accessed February 22, 2007)The saddest kind of sad is the sad that tries not to be sad. You know, when Sad tries to bite its lip and not cry and smile and go, "No, I'm happy for you?" That's when it's really sad.
Rolling Stone magazine/iTunes podcast (December 2005)
On the "chin-up sad" tone of one of his new songs on his upcoming album "Continuum"I won't ever get on stage at a comedy club when people know about it.
John at his MySpace blog
(2006). "John Mayer, Stand Up Comedian?" Comedy Central Insider (accessed August 15, 2006)If you told me I was going to live to 240, I would take 10 years off and try and act. I don't have that kind of time, so I'd much rather stick to playing guitar.
On why he has no plans to go into acting any time soon
AP (2006). "John Mayer looks for magic, sneakers" CNN.com (accessed September 22, 2006)Sheryl's heroes are in black and white photos, and so are mine.
Mayer on why he agreed to tour with Sheryl Crow, despite the fact that he considers her more established and successful
Mervis, Scott (2006). "Music Preview: John Mayer takes strides with new record" Post-Gazette.com (accessed August 23, 2006)I went to my library, right? And I started to research the Bill of Rights and I did not technically find anything that said all Americans shall eat shrimp with whoever they like, but I found some things that are close enough to infer that I am within my legal rights to enjoy seafood with whomever I choose.
On being questioned about having a meal with Jessica Simpson in November 2006
(2006). "John Mayer Speaks About Eating With Jessica" AccessHollywood.com (accessed January 11, 2007)It was so frightening at the time to be seventeen and have heart monitors hooked up to you. That was the moment the songwriter in me was born. I discovered a whole other side of me. I came home that night and started writing lyrics. I discovered it all at once: It was like opening up a lockbox, and inside was a depth that I didn't even know I had as a person, or a writer — incredible creativity and vision and neurosis, complete neurosis. They all go together in a package.
On the effects of having a critical cardiac arrhythmia at age 17
Hiatt, Brian (2006-09-21), "My Big Mouth Strikes Again". Rolling Stone. (1009): 66-70I never worked with T.I. Here's the back story to that Wikipedia nugget: I was a guest on TRL and happened to get my hands on the list of goofy, un Andrew-Miller-like questions I was going to be asked before I walked on set. One of the questions was "Who do you like more, T.I. or [I forgot the other southern rap artist]?" So I snuck to the bathroom and searched "T.I." on my Blackberry. I memorized as much information as I could and then announced that we were working together.
On how rumors got started that he was working with rapper T.I. (and how they made it to Wikipedia).
Mayer, John (2007). "10 ANSWERS FOR ANDREW MILLER" JohnMayer.com (accessed January 25, 2007)What I've learned in my life, it's a very interesting social study for me, to go back and forth between being the guy at home and being the guy on the road and being the guy in studio and being the guy in the interview. The environment around you has so much to do with your character, and when I'm home, my character really changes quite a bit. I become very domesticated, it becomes riding my bike, and the music thing — the music thing doesn't leave but it's kind of less put upon me by other people as a musician.
On whether or not he misses being home with friends and family when he is on tour.
Savino, Jessi, et al (2007) "John Mayer talks life on the road, latest album" NU-News.com (accessed February 14, 2007)I find myself in situations that I know would be unbelievable pictures and I have to gauge, Is this worth taking the camera out? Am I gonna lose the moment? Am I gonna get a dirty look from Sting?
On the split-hair decisions of photography
Ellwood, Mark (2007). "Nikon Podcast #3: Exclusive Interview with John Mayer" (listen) NikonUSA.com. Retrieved September 10, 2007I know if it was the Time 99, I would've been off the list.
On making the 2007 TIME 100
Graff, Gary (July 2, 2007). "Summer tour is hardly work for now laid-back heartthrob" (accessed July 2, 2007)Sometimes it feels like my life is just one long day.
On rediscovering his huge collection of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan posters he had as a teenager
Mayer, John (October 4, 2007). "Proof" Honeyee.com. Retrieved September 4, 2007The first thing I said was a question: Does this really come from the family? I think that was essential to me sort of processing the honor. And when I found out that, in fact, it had, it took me about 48 hours to sort of strike the balance in how I was going to approach being -- you know, being invited to this unbelievable event without actually having the proximity to Michael Jackson personally. I'd never met him.
Mayer on performeing Human Nature at Michael Jackson's Memorial service
"Episode title unknown". Larry King Live. July 7, 2009. No. unknown, season 24.It wasn’t as direct as me saying “I now make the choice to bring the paparazzi into my life.” I really said, “I now make the choice to sleep with Jessica Simpson.” That was stronger than my desire to stay out of the paparazzi’s eye.
On deciding to date Jessica Simpson
(February 10, 2010), "John Mayer: Playboy Interview" Playboy. Retrieved February 10, 2010.I was smart enough to know it would probably make me a salable item for the paparazzi. I knew I’d have to move to a home that had a gate. But that pearl of possibility that lives in your heart when you meet somebody you want to know more about has such a different molecular density than everything else that you have to pursue it.
On deciding to date Jennifer Aniston
(February 10, 2010), "John Mayer: Playboy Interview" Playboy. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
=== The Playboy interview (2010) ===
(February 10, 2010 ), John Mayer: Playboy Interview Playboy. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’”
Explaining why black people love him.I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.
In answer to the question, "Do black women throw themselves at you?"Sexually it was crazy. That’s all I’ll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm.
In answer to the question, "You were addicted to Jessica Simpson?"Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating.
In answer to the question, "Masturbation for you is as good as sex?"
== Song lyrics ==
All lyrics by John Mayer, unless as noted.
=== Room for Squares (2001) ===
"Welcome to the real world", she said to meCondescendingly.Take a seat,Take your lifePlot it out in black and white.Well I never lived the dreams of the prom kingsAnd the drama queens.I'd like to think the best of meIs still hidingUp my sleeve.They love to tell you:Stay inside the lines,But something's betterOn the other side.
No Such Thing, written by John Mayer and Clay CookI want to run through the halls of my high school,I want to scream at theTop of my lungs.I just found out there's no such thing as the real world,Just a lie you've got to rise above.
No Such ThingI am driving up '85 in theKind of morning that lasts all afternoon,Just stuck inside the gloom.4 more exits to my apartment butI am tempted to keep the car in driveAnd leave it all behind.Because I wonder sometimesAbout the outcomeOf a still verdictless life.
Why GeorgiaSomething about the way your hair falls in your faceI love the shape you take when crawling towards the pillowcaseYou tell me where to go andThough I might leave to find it,I'll never let your head hit the bedWithout my hand behind it.And if you want love,We'll make it.Swim in a deep seaOf blankets.Take all your big plansAnd break them,This is bound to be a while.
Your Body Is a Wonderland
=== Heavier Things (2003) ===
Yes, I'm grounded, got my wings clipped,I'm surrounded by all this pavement.Guess I'll circle while I'm waitingFor my fuse to dry.Someday I'll fly, someday I'll soar,Someday I'll be so damn much more.Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for.
Bigger Than My BodyI know a girl;She puts the color inside of my world.But she's just like a mazeWhere all of the walls all continually change.And I've done all I canTo stand on her steps with my heart in my hands.Now I'm starting to seeMaybe it's got nothing to do with me.Fathers, be good to your daughters,Daughters will love like you do.Girls become lovers who turn into mothers,So mothers, be good to your daughters too.
=== Continuum (2006) ===
Me and all my friendsWe're all misunderstood.They say we stand for nothing andThere's no way we ever could.Now we see everything that's going wrongWith the world and those who lead it.We just feel like we don't have the meansTo rise above and beat it.So we keep waiting,Waiting on the world to change.We keep on waiting,Waiting on the world to change.It's hard to beat the systemWhen we're standing at a distance.So we keep waiting,Waiting on the world to change.
Waiting on the World to ChangeNow if we had the powerTo bring our neighbors home from war,They would have never missed a Christmas,No more ribbons on their door.And when you trust your television,What you get is what you got.Because when they own the information, ohThey can bend it all they want.
Waiting on the World to ChangeBelief is a beautiful armorBut makes for the heaviest sword.Like punching underwater,You never can hit who you're trying for.Some need the exhibitionAnd some have to know they tried,It's the chemical weapon for the war that's ragin' on inside.
BeliefGravity is working against me,And gravity wants to bring me down.Oh, twice as much ain't twice as goodAnd can't sustain like one half could.It's wanting more that's gonna send me to my knees.
GravityWhen you’re dreaming with a broken heart,The waking up is the hardest part.
Dreaming with a Broken Heart
=== From the film The Bucket List (2007) ===
Have no fear for giving in,Have no fear for giving over.You'd better know that in the endIt's better to say too muchThan never say what you need to say again.Even if your hands are shakingAnd your faith is broken,Even as the eyes are closing,Do it with a heart wide open.
=== Battle Studies (2009) ===
Lightning strikesInside my chest to keep me up at night.Dream of waysTo make you understand my pain.
Heartbreak WarfareI was born in the arms of imaginary friends,Free to roam, made a home out of everywhere I've been.Then you come crashing in, like the realest thing,Trying my best to understand all that your love can bring.Oh half of my heart's got a grip on the situation;Half of my heart takes time.Half of my heart's got a right mind to tell youThat I can't keep loving you (can't keep loving you)Oh, with half of my heart.
Half of My HeartWho says I can’t be free?From all of the things that I used to be.Re-write my history.Who says I can’t be free?
=== Born and Raised (2012) ===
Goodbye cold, goodbye rain,Goodbye sorrow, and goodbye shame.I'm headed out west with my headphones on,Boarded a flight with a song in the back of my soulAnd no one knowsI just found out her ghost left townThe queen of California is stepping down, down.
Queen of CaliforniaDid you know that you could be wrongAnd swear you’re right?Some people been known to do itAll their lives.But you find yourself aloneJust like you found yourself before.Like I found myself in piecesOn the hotel floor.Hard times help me see.I’m a good man with a good heart;Had a tough time, got a rough start.But I finally learned to let it go,Now I’m right here, and I’m right now.And I’m hoping, knowing somehowThat my shadow days are over.My shadow days are over now.
=== Paradise Valley (2013) ===
Oh, you can't make yourself stop dreamingWho you're dreaming of.If it's who you love,Then it's who you love.
Who You Love, written by Jihn Mayer and Katy Perry
=== The Search for Everything (2017) ===
You be the DJ, I'll be the driver,You put your feet up in the getaway car.I'm flying fast like a, a wanted man.I want you, baby, like you can't understand.Oh, love on the weekend,Love on the weekend.We found a message in a bottle we were drinking.
Love on the Weekend
== About Mayer ==
He was over at my house every day between fifth grade and eighth grade.
James Blake on his childhood relationship with Mayer (From ESPN The Magazine)John wanted to take it in more of a pop direction than I did. It was like a marriage that we both knew would go bad once we started touring.
Clay Cook, on why he and Mayer's two-man band, Lo-Fi Masters, broke up
Guthrie, Blake (2002). "One degree of John Mayer" CreativeLoafing.com (accessed February 22, 2007)Neither punk nor prom king, Mayer was a tall kid from Connecticut, driving on the freeways, chasing slippery techno women, inhabiting a world of parents and slipcovers and holidays and gracious Southeastern metropolises; he was smart, inquisitive, articulate, a touch off in places.
Hunter, James (2003-10-02), "Corduroy Boy". Rolling Stone. (932):116 Retrieved October 2, 2003John Mayer is a very talented brother and you don't know where your blessings are going to come from.
The rapper Common on working with Mayer on the song "Go." (From MTV.com)He words stuff with a real, I guess it's a witty, intelligent, very human [sensibility]. I would like to grab some of those qualities...I wish he was my friend.
Kanye West on Mayer (2004) (From MTV.com)Me and John, we just cool, period. ... We get in the studio and we vibe and then we make music from that point.
Kanye West on Mayer (2004) (From MTV.com)One time I saw him perform live and he switched up his song at the end, like, [improvised] different chords — he remixed it...He's just not your typical guitar player. He's trying to push the envelope for the way guitarists and vocalists are heard. ... I just respect his musicality.
Chad Hugo (of N.E.R.D.) on Mayer (From MTV.com)You know, the dude is a real musician. It's like anything you ever loved in Joe Jackson or anything you ever loved in any '70s rock. You're gonna get it out of this dude. He's a real student, and it comes through in his music.
Pharrell Williams (of N.E.R.D.) on Mayer (From MTV.com)I was astonished at how well he played live. I had no idea he was that good.
Eric Clapton, on seeing Mayer perform at the Crossroads Music Festival in 2004. (2005) (From Cleaveland.com)What song do I hate? I think "Daughters," by John Mayer, would be a good candidate. I don't know why he bugs me so bad.
Brandon Flowers on what song would be playing if he went to hell. (2005) (Rolling Stone Magazine)Before that it was Halo, and no one could beat him. That's pretty much his MO if he finds an interest in something -- it doesn't matter how incidental it is.
Chad Franscoviak on Mayer's desire to be the best at everything
Hiatt, Brian (2006-09-21), "My Big Mouth Strikes Again". Rolling Stone. (1009): 66-70No musician is indifferent to the public's perception of him, but the exuberant, logorrheic Mayer takes self-awareness to new postmodern heights. Like a football player providing color commentary on his own career, he muses constantly on his own abilities and his place in the taxonomy of pop.
Barrett, Ruth Shaut (ELLE)(2006). "Blues Brother" J-mayer.org (accessed August 3, 2006)
== External links ==
Official John Mayer site
Mayer's blog at Honeyee.com
Segment on Jimi Hendrix that Mayer wrote for Rolling Stone
Segment on Brett Dennen, that Mayer wrote for Rolling Stone
Database of Mayer's Esquire column, from FindArticles.com
"Square pegged", Mayer's first feature article in 2001, from Creative Loafing
Rolling Stone Q&A Podcast: John Mayer, from December 2005: (listen) (transcript)
Nikon Podcast #3: Exclusive Interview with John Mayer (listen)