JOHN MAYER : An Extraordinary Individual

John Mayer is an amazing singer, composer, and actor. An individual who expresses his love for music and his fans as he explores and elevates his genre.

By MARIANA MEJIA

John Clayton Mayer was born on October 16, 1977, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is the second son of three children of Richard Mayer and Margaret (Hoffman) Mayer, who were both teachers. The oldest brother is named Carl, and the younger brother is named Ben. Ben is 18 months younger than John. John is an actor and composer, best known for The Bucket List (2007), Vampire Academy (2014), and Get Hard (2015). When growing up, John played several instruments like the clarinet, violin, and flute in elementary school; he didn’t start playing or learning to play the guitar until he was 13 years old. His interest spiked when he saw Michael J. Fox’s guitar in the Back to the Future (1985) film. He also tried acting in the sixth grade, but never got a manager, so he stuck with playing the guitar. After listening to the blues artist Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cassette tape, Mayer, over time, grew a passion and love for the genre, especially when he started to listen to other blues artists like Otis Rush, B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Buddy Guy.

When he was in high school, he was the lead guitarist in a band called Villanova Junction. Then, when he was 17 years old, he was suddenly struck with cardiac arrhythmia that sent him to the hospital for the weekend. The trauma of the incident sparked his songwriting, and he penned his first lyrics the night he got home. Shortly after, he began experiencing crippling panic attacks, which lasted until he was twentysix years old, and he still keeps a Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug) with him just in case. Then, in 1997, Mayer enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, but quit two semesters later with his friend Clay Cook. The two decided to move to Atlanta and began performing at local venues as the short-lived group LoFi Masters. Mayer said, “Connecticut’s where I built the parts, Boston’s where I assembled them, and Atlanta’s where I sold them to people.” Because of the internet, Mayer gained popularity through his music and through the media.

“IT’S ALMOST CHARITY WORK, WHAT PEOPLE HAVE DONE, TURNING OTHER PEOPLE ON TO MY MUSIC,” SAID JOHN MAYER.

Mayer didn’t launch his career until the late 1990s. After making an impression at the SXSW Music Festival in 2000, he was signed to Aware Records. In 2001, Mayer released his first full-length album, Room for Squares, which spawned hits like “No Such Thing,” “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” and “Why Georgia.” He called the album Room for Squares, a characteristically wry take on jazz sax player Hank Mobley’s 1963 LP. Mayer’s album was critically praised and a multi-platinum commercial success, winning Mayer a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2003 for “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” His favorite song of his own is “3×5”, from the album “Room for Squares”. Then, Mayer followed up with his sophomore album, “Heavier Things,” which also did considerably well, reaching the top of the Billboard 200. One of its releases, “Daughters,” won the Grammy for Song of the Year. “Daughters” was performed by John Mayer in the 2015 film Get Hard, just before James (Will Ferrell) performs this song at his engagement party to his significant other Alissa (Allison Brie), with guest star John Mayer, and just before the FBI arrests James. After the movie, Mayer said, “If I look a little heavier these days, it’s because I’m bulking up for a role.” I’m playing a musician on tour who eats everything in sight while hardly exercising. ”

In 2005, Mayer began shifting his musical direction, focusing on the genre he first fell in love with: the blues. Teaming up with musicians Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan, Mayer formed the blues and rock band the John Mayer Trio. The group released the live album Try!, for which he received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. Having established himself in adult contemporary rock, Mayer broadened the scope of his sound to incorporate the blues, forming the John Mayer Trio in the mid 2000s. “I don’t mind making sissy rock… I’ll rock your a** sensitive-style”, said John Mayer. In 2006, Mayer released his third studio album, Continuum (2006), which received a Grammy for Best Pop Album and another for his top single, “Waiting on the World to Change.” Because Mayer is a huge fan of Opie & Anthony and also Ron & Fez on XM Satellite Radio, he debuted the single “Waiting on the World to Change” when he dropped by unannounced at their New York studio on June 14, 2006. Since then, he has regularly checked in with both shows, either calling in to contribute to the topic or just stopping by to hang out.

After 2006, third album release, which was another huge success under his belt, Mayer felt skittish with starting a follow-up album, but he forged ahead with the release of Battle Studies in 2009. Before 2009, John Mayer’s Song, Say was in The Bucket List (2007) soundtrack. Despite mixed critics’ views, the album did well and its arena tour garnered an impressive $45 million.

WHILE ON HIS TOUR HE SAID, “I AM BEGINNING TO KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE A WOMAN. TO HAVE PEOPLE LOOKING AT YOU ALL THE TIME. AND I’M SORRY LADIES, I HAD NO IDEA! BUT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT ME ALL THE TIME. IT’S LIKE I HAVE MUSICAL BOOBIES!”

 

Although he is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist he adores his fans, the attention will always be there because of his fame. He says, he’s got the coolest fans, he brags about his fans with other : STARS artists like if they were his grandchildren. “I love you all so much. We really need to come up with a new name for ‘fans’. How about really good friends who can’t come over my house,” said Mayer.

In 2010, John Mayer had a distasteful interview with ‘Playboy’, along with other incidents that became a tabloid fodder, Mayer retreated from the spotlight for a bit and started to refocused on his music. However, in 2011, he discovered he had granuloma on his vocal cords and had to undergo through extensive treatments which delayed the release album Born and Raised until 2012. After his health recovered, Mayer was recording and touring again, and the following year he released his country-inspired album Paradise Valley. Around the same time, he developed a strong interest in the Grateful Dead’s music and eventually created a new touring group Dead & Company with Bob Weir. During that time frame he was also on and off relationship, with the singer Katy Perry, from 2012-2014. The two released a duet, called “Who You Love”.

[On recording the duet, “Who You Love”, with Katy Perry] “I had this little chorus for years. And it was ‘You love who you love’ and I thought that was always going to be a great thing someday to have a song that people could hear and feel that sort of permission. And then it came out again and sometimes you just have to play stuff for other people… And I played it for Don Was, the producer of the record, and he went, ‘That’s something’ and I said, ‘I don’t know’ and then he said, ‘Why don’t you get Katy to do it?’ And my first thought was, ‘You can’t do that’ and then the more I thought about just the music part of it, it made perfect sense. Even if I didn’t know Katy, it would have made perfect sense… For me, it always had to be about the song. It’s a pretty big moving target to be a couple and have a song, but I think there’s an authenticity to it when you hear it”, said John Mayer.

As for Mayer’s personal life, rumors say that he has had a string of high-profile relationships with celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift. His loose-lipped approach to his famous girlfriends has gotten him into trouble and made him a source of controversy. But according to John Mayer, he said to the media,

“I’M NOT REALLY GOOD AT KEEPING MY OWN SECRETS.” I CAN KEEP OTHER PEOPLE’S SECRETS PRETTY WELL. UNLESS THEY’RE REALLY GOOD AND PEOPLE DESERVE TO HEAR THEM. AND I’LL DISSEMINATE THE INFORMATION ACCORDINGLY. “

In the fall of 2016, Mayer released his single “Love on the Weekend,” which became the lead single from his seventh studio album, The Search for Everything. Then, a year later, on December 5, 2017, Mayer was rushed to the emergency room in New Orleans to undergo an appendectomy. This happened while he was on tour with his Dead & Company bandmates. He always seems to be in a hospital for something major over the years.

Although there are many other tours and productions featuring John Mayer that come out this year, due to COVID-19, his band Dead & Company had to postpone the tour in 2020, but will be resuming their annual Playing in the Sand residency in January 2022, performing for three nights at the Rivera Cancun in Mexico. On April 2, 2022, catch Mayer at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida on his SOB Rock Tour, where fans will be eager to see him after the presented times we’ve had over the year. Rumor has it that the tour will excite both his fans and excite John Mayer. He loves his fans as much as he loves playing for them.