Sunday, January 21

A Few Guilty Secrets: A Post About John Mayer

1. Regularly staying up until 5am scouring celebrity bios on Wikipedia, including, tonight, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and John Mayer
2. Learning nearly all of John Mayer's debut album "Room For Squares" on guitar my freshman year of college
3. Reading John Mayer's blog earlier tonight
4. Enjoying it

I don't know what it is about John Mayer that I'm so fascinated by. And I don't know how it happened, or when. Perhaps it was his combination of sensitive "your dorm or mine, after sex let's cuddle and stay up all night misquoting dead French philosophers" lyrics and Dave Matthews at Berklee acoustic guitar stylings. Maybe it was his Stevie Ray Vaughan ripped white-man's blues guitar solos over said sensitive lyrics and Dave Matthews Does Jazz Chords. Or maybe it was that I had no taste whatsoever.

Regardless of my fascination's true genesis, all I know is that, during my freshman and sophomore years of college, I found myself hopelessly dog-paddling in the Pool of John Mayer. I learned "Why Georgia" on guitar. Then "Neon". Then the solo from "City Love". By ear picked out "Your Body is a Wonderland". From "No Such Thing" stole the song structures, turned it into my own. C#m to Dm, EMaj7 to FMaj7. "(Would I Make It) Home" the song was called. I still remember the Mayer-esque cleverness.

A journey of a thousand miles/
Begins with one single step/
I always want to ask/
Is it left or right?

I didn't realize it at the time, but it all came to a head when, during a heated debate concerning, what else, music, one of my musically-judgmental roommates accused me of being John Mayer. "Dude," he had said, pointing his finger at my chest. "You are John Mayer!"

And, as much as I didn't want to admit it then (and certainly not now -- I've got hipster cred to maintain) it was pretty much true. One instance in particular I recall: In an effort to to annoy my girlfriend, rewriting the lyrics to "Your Body is a Wonderland". To include the phrases "candy tits" and "bubble gum cum". And then playing it at shows.

Yeah, that went over like a turd in the punch bowl.

But, oh, to be young and shameless again. What are your shameful late-night addictions?

13 comments:

Robb said...

The thing is, for as much as he gets made fun of because of his enormous female-under-the-age-of-16 following, he is really fucking good. The kid can play, and the kid can write songs, and you just can't get away from that fact. That's why we keep coming back to him. Back to him. It always comes around, back to him.
I think a fun game to start would be called something like "Mayer, or NOT Mayer!", where we would write a lyric and people would guess if it was an original Mayer lyric or just a soundalike. Think of it James, we could make MILLIONS!
I'll start:
So I check the weather wherever you are/
Cuz I wanna know if you can see the stars tonight/
It might be my only right/

James said...

Sounds like Mayer, but I'm not sure. Is it?

Robb said...

It IS Mayer. One point to you sir.

Robert said...

I must admit a definite guilty pleasure in the music stylings of Mr. Mayer. My obsession continues to this day. My wife has enabled my obsession through John Mayer tickets as a Christmas present. I spent a large part of my college years going to concerts (this next one will be 6 or 7) and downloading live shows and learning the extra verses and hidden lyrics. I scoured napster, kazaa, morpheus, limewire, bearshare and everything other music search engine for downloadable concerts.

I guess I'll add to the game:
Don't you feed me lies about some idealistic future/
Your heart won't heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures

Robb said...

NOT MAYER!
NOT MAYER, yells the crowd.
Shifting nervously on his feet, glancing back several times at the crowd, Robb timidly says:
"Um, not, um, not mayer?"

Robert said...

You are correct sir...looks like we have a tight race for first:
James one
Robb one

The correct answer is:
The Postal Service

Robb said...

My Google Reader is on your blog like white on rice. If you post, I'm guaranteed to know about it within about 5 minutes of its posting.
I'm watching you James...

Anonymous said...

Hi James,

My name is Angela and I recently spoke to Jenny Hontz about a story I'm doing as a journalism assignment at Northwestern University. She told me that you had an experience with an employer that might serve as a great anecdote for my story. I'd love to speak with you if you have the time. Could you shoot me an email with your yes or no? A phone interview would take less than 20 minutes, and I have a feeling that what you have to say will enrich the article.

All the best,
Angela Mears
a-mears@northwestern.edu

Anonymous said...

oh shit james. what was i thinking? i really don't want to remove my blog but if ... someone blonde and famially psychotic discovers this, i won't be able to deal. do me a favor? remove above post. i really did find you by accident (wry smile)

Anonymous said...

oh james yeh- do you really want to know what others' late night addictions might be?
mine is this..wandering around strangers' blogs and trying to figure out how my life became so desolate.

James said...

there ya go. anonymized.

Anonymous said...

thanks sweetie. i was gonna shut down my blog. hope you're doing well and not suffering too many angst ridden nights.
l

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm like 15 & Blonde, and I love guitar and John Mayer , he's so sweet looking.
Also...I just had to tell everyone that!! I went to a rock show and saw GW Williams . He is the greatest guitarist I have ever seen.
Now I am confused I think maybe I have a crush on GW Williams instead of John Mayer.
Tuesday evening,I attended the GW Williams,Rock & Blues guitar concert in Hollywood California .
And GW Williams played Guitar AWESOMELY..... his Rock, Blues guitar style made me fall in love with him ,along with his Elvis like singing voice.
If you want to see his concerts, If found this info,and I'll post it below.

Rock,Blues,Jazz Guitarist GW Williams Gets 45 minute Standing Ovation IN Seattle Concert