John Mayer (is Cooler than You)
I’m a music fan, period. I like AC/DC, Beth Hart, Creedence, DCFC, Etta James, Foo Fighters, Garth, Hendrix, INXS, JJ (you pick: either Jack Johnson or Janis Joplin or both), Kings of Leon, Led Zeppelin, My Morning Jacket, Nina Simone, Ozzy, Phish, Quiet Riot, Rage Against the Machine, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Third Eye Blind, U2, Van Halen, White Zombie, and Zakk Wylde, to name but a few*.
I also like John Mayer.
It wasn’t always this way. In fact, as recently as just a couple weeks ago, I did not like John Mayer. Why didn’t I like him? That’s a good question. Part of it has to do with the fact that I heard “Your body is a wonderland” way back when and (1) failed to recognize the great songwriting, and (2) instead focused on the mass appeal, pop nature of it instead. For example, this video, in my opinion, sucks. It’s plain he’s lip syncing, and the guitar has been “pop-ified” beyond the point of coolness. However, this video offers a different perspective. Maybe you disagree, but if so, I submit that you probably haven’t tried to play guitar and sing before a live audience before. He makes it look easy, and I suppose for him it probably is. For me, not so much. As far as I’m concerned, anybody that can play and sing has my respect, and anybody that can play well and sing well has significantly more respect. And what I discovered this weekend is that it is into this latter category that John Mayer falls; the dude can flat out play and sing. This is the song that got me on the bandwagon; check it out:
Kicks ass. Don’t fail to take note of the fact that at the 1:29 mark, the server hands the check to John. He politely smiles for a split second and with one look says, “Yeah, I got this”. He didn’t have to include that part in the video, but he did. I don’t know the reason, but I’m betting that there is a reason.
After hearing “Who Says”, I started searching around for various things, and it wasn’t long before I found this next video clip. This is the song that made me an official fan:
Fact: John Mayer has jammed with Eric Clapton, live, and not only held his own, but kicked ass.
So why is it that a tall (he’s 6’3″) dark & handsome feller with unquestionable talent, fame & fortune seems to be so polarizing? Especially with women. People either love him or hate him. Here’s my theory:
Recently, I heard that John had said some things that a lot of people felt that he shouldn’t have said, and had drawn criticism to himself in the process. Now, don’t get me wrong, because it’s absolutely unforgivable to say something “stupid”, and lord knows that good folk like you & I wouldn’t do it, but if you’ll bear with me for a moment, I’d like to offer a few reasons why you should give John a second chance.
“Nothing to do, nowhere to be, a simple little kind of free” ~ That just kicks ass!
War of my life (link to youtube, music only)
Assassin (link to youtube, music only)
Good songs all.
I have another theory about why John is so polarizing, especially among women. John says what he really thinks, because (1) he can, and (2) he increasingly doesn’t give a shit what other people think. Consider these comments from his recent interview with Playboy:
PLAYBOY: You and Aniston got back together and broke up again in 2009. How many women did you sleep with in the eight months after the breakup?
MAYER: I’m going to say four or five. No more.
PLAYBOY: That’s a reasonable number.
MAYER: But even if I said 12, that’s a reasonable number. So is 15. Here’s the thing: I get less ass now than I did when I was in a local band. Because now I don’t like jumping through hoops. It’s been so long since I’ve taken a random girl home. I don’t want to have to submit myself for approval. I don’t want to audition. I’d rather come home and edge my shit out for 90 minutes. At this point, before I can have sex I need to know somebody. Unless she’s a 14 out of 10.
Exactly. Every guy that reads that and then denies that he can relate is (1) married and (2) trying not to get drug into a hypothetical fight in which he doesn’t even have a dog.
Even if I wasn’t digging the music, I’d still be a fan after reading this, also from the recent Playboy interview:
MAYER: People are lining up around the block right now to watch me play music tonight. If some kid called me a douche bag on his terrible blog, I don’t really care. I’m letting myself out of my own prison. I’m not going to be a prisoner to a warden I can’t see. From now on I’m just going to pretend that people really dig the shit out of me. I’ve been so afraid of rocking the boat that I’m not sailing anywhere. I’ve been trying to prove to people I’m not a douche bag by not dating, by keeping my name out of Us Weekly. That’s fucked up, man. I’m not dating. I’m not even fucking. So now I’m going to experiment with “fuck you.” In 2010 my goal is to get more mentions in Us Weekly than ever.
Give ‘em hell John, give ‘em hell! [Note: If you title your next album, "Givin' 'em Hell", will you give me a nod on the album notes?]
If I listened to everything that they said to me I wouldn`t be here
And if I took the time to bleed from all the tiny little arrows shot my way
I wouldn`t be here
The ones who don`t do anything are the ones who try to put you down
You could spend your entire life in the nowhere land of self doubt
When you start to doubt yourself
The real world will eat you alive
~from “Shine”, Henry Rollins
John Mayer: He’s cooler than you think.
Fact: There are no cool bands that start with “X” or “Y”. And yes, I mean you Yaz and XTC.