John Mayer


John Mayer
John Mayer

Mayer at the Mile High Music Festival on July 20, 2008
Background information
Birth name John Clayton Mayer
Born October 16, 1977 (1977-10-16) (age 34)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Origin Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
Genres Pop rock, blues rock, acoustic rock, blue-eyed soul
Occupations Musician, songwriter, record producer, columnist, graphic designer, photographer, comedian, television host
Instruments Guitar, vocals, omnichord, piano, vibraphone, harmonica, percussion, flute, clarinet, violin
Years active 1998 (1998)–present
Labels Arista, Aware, Columbia
Associated acts John Mayer Trio
Website johnmayer.com
Notable instruments
Fender Stratocaster
Martin Guitars
Gibson Guitars

John Clayton Mayer (play /ˈm.ər/ may-ər;[1] born October 16, 1977) is an American pop rock and blues rock musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and music producer.[2] Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He moved to Atlanta in 1997, where he refined his skills and gained a following, and he now lives in New York City.[3][4] His first two studio albums, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Your Body Is a Wonderland."[5]

Mayer began his career performing mainly acoustic rock, but gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton, and by forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues influence can be heard throughout his 2005 live album Try! with the John Mayer Trio and his third studio album Continuum, released in September 2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007 Mayer won Best Pop Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change". He released his fourth studio album, Battle Studies, in November 2009. He has sold over 10 million albums in the U.S. and 20 million albums worldwide.

Contents

Early life

John Clayton Mayer was born on October 16, 1977 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Margaret, an English teacher, and Richard, a high school principal.[6] He grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, the second of three children.[7] His father is Jewish, and Mayer has said that he "relat[es] to Judaism".[citation needed] He attended Andrew Warde High School in Fairfield[8] although he was enrolled in the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk for his junior year. (Then known as the Center for Japanese Studies Abroad, it is a magnet program for students wanting to learn Japanese.[9]) During an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Mayer said that he had played the clarinet for a while in middle school, with minor success.[citation needed]

After watching Michael J. Fox's guitar performance as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, Mayer became fascinated with the instrument, and when he turned 13, his father rented one for him.[10][11]

A neighbor gave Mayer a Stevie Ray Vaughan cassette, which cultivated Mayer's love of blues music.[12]a[›] Mayer started taking lessons from a local guitar-shop owner, Al Ferrante, and soon became consumed with playing the instrument.[3][13] His singular focus concerned his parents, and they took him twice to see a psychiatrist—but Mayer was determined to be fine.[3][13] Mayer says that the contentious nature of his parents' marriage led him to "disappear and create my own world I could believe in".[3] After two years of practice, he started playing at blues bars and other venues in the area, while he was still in high school.[9][11] In addition to performing solo, he was a member of a band called Villanova Junction (named for a Jimi Hendrix song) with Tim Procaccini, Joe Beleznay, and Rich Wolf.[3][14] Mayer considered skipping college to pursue his music, but the disapproval of his parents dissuaded him from doing so.[3]

When Mayer was seventeen, he was stricken with cardiac dysrhythmia and was hospitalized for a weekend. Reflecting on the incident, Mayer said, “That was the moment the songwriter in me was born,” and he penned his first lyrics the night he got home from the hospital.[4] Shortly thereafter, he began suffering from panic attacks, and lived with the fear of having to enter a mental institution.[3] He continues to manage such episodes with Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug.[4][15] After graduation, he worked for fifteen months at a gas station until he saved enough money to buy a 1996 Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster.[16]

Career

Early career

Mayer enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 19.[7] However, at the urging of his college friend and Atlanta, Georgia native, Clay Cook, he left school after two semesters and moved with Cook to Atlanta.[17] In Atlanta they formed a two-man band called LoFi Masters and began performing in local coffee houses and club venues such as Eddie's Attic.[11] According to Cook, they began to experience musical differences due to Mayer’s desire to move more towards pop music.[18] As a result, the two parted ways, and Mayer embarked on a solo career.[17]

With the help of local producer and engineer Glenn Matullo, Mayer recorded the independent EP Inside Wants Out. Cook co-wrote many of the songs from the EP including Mayer's first commercial single release, "No Such Thing".[18] The EP includes eight songs with Mayer on lead vocals and guitars. However, Cook's only contribution was backing vocals on the song “Comfortable”. For the opening track, “Back To You”, a full band was enlisted, including the EP’s co-producer David "DeLa" LaBruyere on bass guitars.[19] Mayer and LaBruyere then began to perform throughout Georgia and nearby states.

Major label success

Mayer’s reputation began to build, and a March 2000 appearance at South by Southwest brought him to the attention of "launch" label, Aware Records.[13][20][21] After including him in the Aware Festival concerts and having his songs included on Aware compilations, in early 2001, Aware released Mayer's internet-only album entitled, Room for Squares. During this time, Aware inked a deal with Columbia Records that gave Columbia first pick in signing Aware artists, and so in September of the same year, Columbia remixed and re-released Room for Squares.[22] As part of the major label "debut", the album's artwork was updated, and the track "3x5" was added. The re-release also included reworked studio versions of the first four songs from his indie album, Inside Wants Out.[23]

By the end of 2002, Room for Squares had spawned several radio hits, including "No Such Thing," "Your Body Is a Wonderland", and ultimately, "Why Georgia". In 2003, Mayer won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Your Body Is a Wonderland." In his acceptance speech he remarked, "This is very, very fast, and I promise to catch up."[24] He also figuratively referred to himself as being sixteen, a remark that many mistook to mean that he was only sixteen years old at the time.[25]

In 2003, Mayer released a live CD and DVD of a concert in Birmingham, Alabama titled Any Given Thursday. The concert featured songs previously not recorded, such as "Man on the Side" (co-written with Cook) and "Something's Missing", which later appeared on Heavier Things. The concert also included "Covered In Rain". According to the accompanying DVD documentary, this song is "part two" of the song "City Love", which features the line "covered in rain". Commercially, the album quickly peaked at number seventeen on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD/DVD received conservative, although consistent, praise, with critics torn between his pop-idol image, and (at the time) emerging guitar prowess. Erik Crawford (of Allmusic) asked "Is he the consummate guitar hero exemplified when he plays a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Lenny', or is he the teen idol that the pubescent girls shriek for after he plays 'Your Body Is a Wonderland?'"[26][27]

Heavier Things, Mayer's second album, was released in 2003 to generally favorable reviews. Rolling Stone, Allmusic and Blender all gave positive, although reserved, feedback. PopMatters said that it "doesn't have as many drawbacks as one might assume".[28] The album was commercially successful, and while it did not sell as well as Room for Squares, it peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. Mayer earned his first number one single with the song "Daughters" as well as a 2005 Grammy for Song of the Year, beating out fellow contenders Alicia Keys and Kanye West. He dedicated the award to his grandmother, Annie Hoffman, who died in May 2004. He also won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, beating Elvis Costello, Prince, and Seal for the award. In a February 9, 2009 interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Mayer said that he thought he should not have won the Grammy for Song of the year because he thought that Alicia Keys' If I Ain't Got You was the better song. Because of this, he removed the top half of the Grammy and gave it to Keys, and kept the bottom part for himself. At the 37th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2006, Mayer was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award.[29]

Mayer again recorded live concerts across seven nights of his U.S. tour in 2004. These recordings were released to the iTunes Store under the title As/Is, indicating that the errors were included along with the good moments. A few months later, a "best of" CD was compiled from the As/Is nights. The album included a previously unreleased cover of Marvin Gaye's song "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)", featuring a solo from Mayer's support act, jazz and blues turntablist DJ Logic. All the album covers of the As/Is releases feature drawings of anthropomorphic bunnies.[30]

January 2005, left to right: David Ryan Harris, John Mayer and Steve Jobs at Macworld 11, SF Moscone Center.

With increased exposure, Mayer's talent came into demand in other areas. Steve Jobs invited Mayer to perform during the keynote address of Apple's annual Macworld Conference & Expo, in January 2004, as Jobs introduced the software application GarageBand.[31] The gig led to Mayer becoming a fixture of the event. He rejoined Jobs on stage for a solo performance at Macworld 2007, following the announcement of the iPhone.[32] Mayer has also done endorsements, such as a Volkswagen commercial for the Beetle's guitar outlet and for the BlackBerry Curve.[33]

Change in musical direction

Mayer began to collaborate extensively, often working with artists outside of his own genre. He appeared on Common's song "Go!" and on Kanye West's "Bittersweet Poetry".b[›] Following these collaborations, Mayer received praise from rap heavyweights Jay-Z and Nelly.[34] When asked about his presence in the hip hop community, Mayer said, "It's not music out there right now. That's why, to me, hip-hop is where rock used to be."[35]

It was around this time that Mayer began hinting a change in his musical interests, announcing that he was "closing up shop on acoustic sensitivity."[35] In 2005, he began a string of collaborations with various blues artists, including Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, as well as jazz artist John Scofield. He also went on tour with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, which included a show at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. These collaborations led to recordings with several of these artists, namely, Clapton (Back Home, Crossroads Guitar Festival), Guy (Bring 'Em In), Scofield (That's What I Say), and King (80). Although Mayer has maintained a reputation for being a sensitive singer-songwriter, he has also gained distinction as an accomplished guitarist, influenced by the likes of the above artists, as well as Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Tommy Herman, Robert Cray, and Freddie King.[37]

John Mayer Trio

In the spring of 2005, Mayer formed the John Mayer Trio with bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan, both of whom he had met through previous studio sessions. The trio played a combination of blues and rock music. In October 2005, the Trio opened for The Rolling Stones during a sold-out club tour of their own,[39] and that November, released a live album called Try! The band took a break in mid-2006. In September 2006, Mayer announced plans for the Trio to begin work on a future studio album.[40]

Continuum

Mayer's third studio album, titled Continuum, was released on September 12, 2006, and was produced by Mayer and Steve Jordan. Mayer suggested the album was intended to combine his signature pop music with the feel, sound, groove, and sensibilities of the blues. In that vein, two of the tracks from his Trio release Try!—"Vultures" and "Gravity"—also were included on Continuum.[7]

The first single from Continuum was "Waiting on the World to Change", which debuted on The Ron and Fez Show. The song was the third most downloaded song of the week on the iTunes Store following its release on July 11, 2006, and debuted at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

On August 23, 2006, Mayer debuted the entire album on the Los Angeles radio station Star 98.7, giving commentary on each track.[41] A subsequent version was released the next day on the Clear Channel Music website as a streaming sneak preview. On September 21, 2006, Mayer appeared on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing "Waiting on the World to Change" and "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." The song "Gravity" was featured on the television series House, in the episode "Cane & Able", and Numb3rs. He recorded a session for the British program Live from Abbey Road at Abbey Road Studios on October 22, 2006.

On December 7, 2006, Mayer was nominated for five 2007 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The John Mayer Trio also received a nomination for their album, Try!. He won two: Best Pop Song with Vocal for "Waiting on the World to Change" and Best Pop Album for Continuum. Mayer remixed an acoustic version of his single "Waiting on the World to Change" with vocal additions from fellow musician Ben Harper. In preparation for recording Continuum, Mayer had booked the Village Recorder in Los Angeles to record five demo acoustic versions of his songs with veteran musician Robbie McIntosh. These recordings became The Village Sessions, an EP released on December 12, 2006. As usual, Mayer oversaw the artwork of the release.[42]

Mayer was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone (#1020) in February 2007, along with John Frusciante and Derek Trucks. He was named as one of the "New Guitar Gods," and the cover nicknamed him "Slowhand, Jr.," a reference to Eric Clapton.[37] Additionally, he was selected by the editors of Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2007 and was listed among artists and entertainers.[43]

On November 20, 2007, the re-issue of Continuum became available online and in stores. The release contains a bonus disc of six live songs from his 2007 tour: five from Continuum and a cover of the Ray Charles song "I Don't Need No Doctor".[44] His new single, "Say", also became available through iTunes. On December 6, 2007, "Belief" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. He accompanied Alicia Keys on guitar on her song "No One" at the ceremony.

In February 2008, Mayer hosted a three-day Caribbean cruise event that included performances with various musicians including David Ryan Harris, Brett Dennen, Colbie Caillat and Dave Barnes, among others. The event was called "The Mayercraft Carrier" and was held aboard the cruise ship known as the Carnival Victory.[45] A follow up cruise titled "Mayercraft Carrier 2" set sail from Long Beach, California from March 27–31, 2009 on the Carnival Splendor.

On July 1, 2008, Mayer released Where the Light Is, a live concert film of Mayer's performance at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 8, 2007. The film was directed by Danny Clinch. It features an acoustic set and a set with the John Mayer Trio, followed by a set with John's band from the Continuum album. The DVD and Blu-ray bonus material includes footage of Mayer backstage and playing outside on Mulholland Drive.[46]

Australian artist Guy Sebastian invited Mayer to collaborate on three songs from his 2009 album Like It Like That.[47] Mayer also played guitar on the title track of Crosby Loggins' debut LP, Time to Move, released on July 10, 2009.[48]

John Mayer playing guitar on "Human Nature" at Jackson's memorial service on July 7, 2009

On July 7, 2009, Mayer performed an instrumental guitar version of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" at Jackson's televised memorial service.[49]

Battle Studies

On November 17, 2009, Mayer's fourth studio album, Battle Studies, was released and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.[50] The album consists of 11 tracks with a total time of 45 minutes. The first single from the album, "Who Says", was released on September 24, 2009 in advance of album, and was followed on October 19 by the single "Heartbreak Warfare" and the single "Half of My Heart" released on June 21, 2010. Despite the album's commercial success, critics were mixed with their praise; while some reviews were glowing, calling it his "most adventurous",[51][52] others called the album "safe" and noted that "Mayer the singer-songwriter and Mayer the man about town sometimes seem disconnected, like they don’t even belong in the same body."[3][53][54][55]

Mayer admitted to Rolling Stone that he thought Battle Studies was not his best album.[56][57]

Born and Raised

Early reports indicated that the follow-up to "Battle Studies" would be called "Born and Raised," and would be released in October 2011.[58]

On September 16, 2011 Mayer posted on his blog that his new record, "Born and Raised," was being delayed due to granulomas discovered in his throat. The granulomas were found next to the vocal cords and are treatable. Mayer described this as a "temporary setback" and that recording and mixing of "Born and Raised" was entirely finished except for a few remaining vocal tracks. He expects the album to be out in early 2012.[59]

On October 20, 2011 Mayer updated his fans about the treatment of his throat granuloma, announcing that he "had surgery this afternoon to remove it and am now on complete vocal rest for a month or more", during which he plans to "travel the country, look, and listen."[59]

Other projects

Philanthropy and activism

In 2002, Mayer began the "Back to You" Fund, a nonprofit organization that focuses on fundraising in the areas of health care, education, the arts, and talent development. The foundation raises funds through the auction of exclusive John Mayer items, such as guitar picks, T-shirts, and signed CDs, made available on Mayer's auction site. The auctions have been successful, with some tickets selling for more than seventeen times their face value.[60][61]

Mayer participated at the East Rutherford, New Jersey location of the Live Earth project, a musical rally to support awareness for global warming held July 7, 2007.[62] In the summer of 2007, the environmental advocacy group Reverb set up informational booths and helped his crew conserve energy on his tour dates.[citation needed] He converted his tour bus to bio-diesel fuel.[63]

Mayer has performed at a number of benefits and telethons for charity throughout his career. In response to the Virginia Tech massacre, Mayer (along with Dave Matthews Band, Phil Vassar, and Nas) performed a free concert at Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium on September 6, 2007.[64] On December 8, 2007, Mayer hosted the first annual Charity Revue, a tradition he has continued each year. Charities who have benefited from the concerts include Toys for Tots, Inner City Arts, and the Los Angeles Mission.[65] Both CDs and DVDs of the first concert were released under the title Where the Light Is in July 2008. It has not been announced whether the DVD proceeds will go to charity or not.[66] Mayer appeared on Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace, a celebrity initiative to support Tibet and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.[67]

Design

"I'm actually into sneakers on a design level. I've got a big design thing going on in my life right now ... I love designing stuff. I mean, my biggest dream, forget Grammys, I want to be able to design an Air Max."

—John Mayer (AP, 2006)[68]

In a Rolling Stone interview, Mayer recalled that after former Columbia Records head, Don Ienner, panned Continuum, he briefly considered quitting music and studying design full time.[4] In 2003, Martin Guitars gave Mayer his own signature model acoustic guitar called the OM-28 John Mayer.[69] The guitar was limited to a run of only 404, an Atlanta area code.[70] This model was followed by the release of two Fender signature Stratocaster electric guitars, beginning in 2005. A third Stratocaster, finished in charcoal frost metallic paint with a racing stripe, was also a limited-release, with only 100 guitars made. In January 2006, Martin Guitars released the Martin OMJM John Mayer acoustic guitar. The guitar was intended to have many of the attributes of the Martin OM-28 John Mayer but with a more affordable price tag.[71] In August 2006, Fender started manufacturing SERIES II John Mayer Stratocasters. The new Olympic white with mint green pickguard and cream plastics replaced the shoreline gold model.[72]

In January 2007, Two Rock collaborated with Mayer on custom-designed amps. Only 25 (all signed by Mayer himself) were made available to the public.[73][74] June 2007 saw the release of the "album art" guitar, with the Continuum motif repeated on the face of the instrument,[75] as well as a 500-run John Mayer signature Fender Stratocaster in Cypress-Mica, including the limited Cypress-Mica model was the INCSvsJM gig bag on which Mayer collaborated with Incase designs. In 2006, Mayer was estimated to have more than 200 guitars in his personal collection.[4] In 2010, Fender announced a production model of Mayer's "The Black One" guitar.[76]

Writing

With the June 1, 2004, issue of Esquire, Mayer began a column called "Music Lessons with John Mayer". Each article featured a lesson and his (often humorous) take on various topics, both of personal and popular interest. In the August 2005 issue, he invited readers to create music for orphaned lyrics he had written.[77] The winner was Tim Fagan of L.A., as announced in the following January's issue.[78]

Mayer has been active online, and has maintained four blogs: a Myspace page, a blog at his official site, another at Honeyee.com, one at tumblr.com, and a photoblog at StunningNikon.com. He also is one of the most-followed persons on the micro-blogging site Twitter,[79] reaching 3 million followers in January 2010. Although his posts often deal with career-related matters, they also contain jokes, videos, photos, his convictions, and his personal activities; they sometimes overlap in content. He is noted for writing the blogs himself, and not through a publicist.[15][43] On January 23, 2008, he posted a graphic that read, "Done & Dusted & Self Conscious & Back to Work." on his official blog, followed by the quote "There is danger in theoretical speculation of battle, in prejudice, in false reasoning, in pride, in braggadocio. There is one safe resource, the return to nature..";c[›] all the previous blog entries were deleted.[80]

In the mid-2000s he did stand-up comedy sporadically[79] making random appearances at the famed Comedy Cellar in New York and at other venues. He stated that it helped him write better but that increased media attention made him too careful in his technique.[4]

Television

In 2004, Mayer hosted a one-shot, half-hour comedy special on VH1 entitled John Mayer Has a TV Show, with antics including wearing a bear suit while anonymously teasing concertgoers in the parking lot outside one of his concerts. The American network CBS announced on January 14, 2009 that they were in negotiations with Mayer for a variety show; it may air as a special or as a regular series.[81][82] In an interview with Rolling Stone, posted online on January 22, 2010, Mayer confirmed that the program, also called John Mayer Has a TV Show, was still in development, and that personnel were being hired. He described the concept as "a high quality music performance show, where I could also steer it a little bit. It's about there being a bastion of artists being made to look good and sound good.".[83]

Mayer has made many appearances on talk shows and other television programs, most notably, on a Chappelle's Show comedy skit, Late Night with David Letterman and on the final episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Mayer made an appearance with Rob Dyrdek in the MTV show Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory.

Mayer has written the theme song to the upcoming show Rollin' with Zach on the OWN network.

Touring

External videos
Official video Mayer performing an acoustic set from his DVD Where the Light Is

Mayer has toured with many musical groups, including Maroon 5,[84] Guster, Howie Day, Mat Kearney, Counting Crows,[85] Ben Folds, The Wallflowers, Teitur,[86] Brett Dennen, Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, Train, Ellie Goulding, OneRepublic and Paramore. Crow and Mayer, who had just previously appeared on the Cars Soundtrack together, co-headlined a tour that ran from August to October 2006.[87] In 2007, Mayer toured Europe, hoping to reach the popularity abroad that he enjoys in North America.[88] The initial North American Continuum tour ended on February 28, 2007, with a show at Madison Square Garden, a performance which the New York Post described as "career-defining."[89] In 2010, Mayer and Keith Urban performed at a CMT Crossroads concert which saw Mayer and Urban performing a medley of their own songs together and a rendition of George Michael's single, "Faith". This performance was led to Urban and Mayer teaming up again for future performances, including at the 2010 CMT Music Awards.

Mayer allows audio taping at most of his live performances, and he also allows for the non-commercial trading of those recordings. He does this to give fans the opportunity to recreate the live experience, and to encourage fan interaction.[90]

Mayer often shows up at small venues unannounced (or with little advance notice) for surprise concerts—occasionally for free or without accepting the performance fee.[91][92][93][94] He has made appearances throughout the Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York areas, including shows at The Laugh Factory,[95] Eddie's Attic,[96] and the Village Underground.[94] His latest surprise appearance was on January 8, 2011 at Hotel Cafe where he played seven new unreleased songs. In 2004, after being asked for numerous past years, he performed for over 1000 students at the Pennsbury High School Senior Prom. Wonderland, a book written by Micheal Bamberger, describes the world- famous prom and John Mayer's performance.

Touring band members

Current members
  • David Ryan Harris – guitar, backing vocals (2003–present)
  • Sean Hurley – bass, backing vocals (2008–present)
  • Chuck Leavell - keyboards (2011–present)
  • Aaron Sterling - drums (2011–present)
Former members
  • Bob Reynolds – saxophones, flute (2006–2008, 2010)
  • Robbie McIntosh – guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals (2006–2010)
  • Pino Palladino - Bass (2010)
  • Keith Carlock - drums, percussion (2010)
  • David LaBruyere – bass (1999–2008)
  • Nir Z - drums (2001)
  • Matt Mangano - guitar (2001)
  • Matt Johnson - drums (2002)
  • Stephen Chopek – drums, percussion (2001–2002)
  • Michael Chaves – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2001–2005)
  • Kevin Lovejoy – keyboards (2003–2004)
  • Erik Jekabsen – trumpet, flugelhorn (2003–2004)
  • Chris Karlic – saxophone, flute (2003–2005)
  • J.J. Johnson – drums (2003–2005, 2006–2008)
  • Onree Gill – keyboards (2004–2005)
  • Chuck McKinnon – trumpet, flugelhorn (2004–2005)
  • Keith Carlock - drums, percussion (2010–2011)
  • Ricky Peterson – keyboards, organ, backing vocals (2006–2007)
  • Charlie Wilson – keyboards (2009–2011)
  • Tim Bradshaw – keyboards, organ, lap steel guitar, backing vocals (2007–2008)
  • Kenna Ramsey - backing vocals (2009–2010)
  • Melanie Taylor - backing vocals (2009–2010)
  • Steve Jordan – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2003, 2005–2006, 2009–2010)
  • Brad Mason - trumpet, flugelhorn (2006–2008)

Personal life

Mayer has a number of tattoos. These include: "Home" and "Life" (from the song title) on the back of his left and right arms respectively, "77" (his year of birth) on the left side of his chest, and a koi-like fish on his right shoulder. His entire left arm is covered in a sleeve tattoo that he acquired gradually, ending in April 2008; it includes: "SRV" (for his idol, Stevie Ray Vaughan) on his shoulder, a decorated rectangle on his biceps, a dragon-like figure on his inner arm, and various other floral designs. In 2003, he got a tattoo of three squares on his right forearm, which, he has explained, he will fill in gradually.[97] He hosts an annual Interfaith Baking Contest, in which he judges his favorite from pictures of baked goods sent in by his fans during the end-of-year, holiday season.[citation needed]

He is an avid collector of watches and owns timepieces worth tens of thousands of dollars.[98][99] Mayer also has an extensive collection of sneakers, estimated (in 2006) at more than 200 pairs.[4][100]

Mayer's parents concluded an uncontested divorce on May 27, 2009.[101] After the divorce, Mayer moved his (82-year-old) father to an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles.[3]

Mayer has followed the discipline of Krav Maga.[102][103][104]

Mayer sold his home in the Los Angeles suburbs in 2011.[3][4][105] He currently lives in his apartment in the New York City neighborhood of SoHo.[3][4]

In September 2011, according to a Rolling Stone magazine article, Mayer has granuloma in his throat which must be treated surgically – this has caused him to cancel various planned shows.[106]

Dating and relationship with the media

Mayer dated Jennifer Love Hewitt briefly in 2002. In a comedy routine at the Hollywood Laugh Factory in May 2006, he said that they never consummated their relationship; he later said that he immediately apologized to her for the raunchy routine.[3][95] Mayer dated Jessica Simpson for about nine months, beginning in the middle of 2006. Rumors started in August of that year with a People magazine article, but kicked into high gear when Mayer and Simpson spent New Year's holiday together in New York City, both attending Christina Aguilera's New Year's Eve party.[107] When Ryan Seacrest asked Mayer on the red carpet of the 2007 Grammy Awards, about his relationship with Simpson, Mayer responded in Japanese. Despite some initially conflicting translations, he said, "Jessica is a lovely woman, and I'm glad to be with her."[108]d[›] However, the couple split in May 2007.[109] He began dating actress Minka Kelly in September 2007,[110] but they split up before the year's end.[111] Mayer began dating actress Jennifer Aniston in April 2008,[112] but Mayer broke it off the following August.[113] They resumed dating in October 2008 and split up again in March 2009.[114][115] His relationships with high-profile celebrities has led to his having a reputation as a "womanizer."[79][116][117] Taylor Swift recently wrote a song about her relationship with Mayer, "Dear John".

"I am not in Us Weekly. I'd have to be going out with someone who is in there to be in there myself."

—Mayer, in 2005, on how he avoided tabloid attention.[17]

Mayer's relationship with Jessica Simpson coincided with some personal behavior changes that served to significantly increase his tabloid exposure.[13][102][118] Previously, Mayer had expressed his resolve to completely avoid drugs, alcohol, clubbing, "red-carpet" events, dating celebrities and anything else that he felt would detract from his focus on his music.[119] In interviews, however, Mayer has alluded to experiencing an extreme "anxiety bender" episode in his twenties that motivated him to be less reclusive.[3][13] He later said he realized that, "If I wanted to see Jessica more, I had to grow up," and not be afraid to be without his guitar.[13] He called his relationship with her "sexual napalm" and said she had the power to "change [his] values."[102] He began making appearances at clubs in Los Angeles and New York (where he would stage pranks for the paparazzi), and in a Rolling Stone interview from 2006, he first mentioned that he had begun using marijuana.[4] Mayer joined Aniston at the 81st Academy Awards in February 2009, where she was a presenter.[120]

Mayer's relationship with the media has drawn controversy. He has been called long-winded and self-aware,[79] stemming from his style as an interviewee.[3][4][117] Mayer's discourse with the tabloid media (including hosting a TMZ segment and getting in Twitter battles with Perez Hilton)[79][102][121][122] culminated in an impromptu press conference outside of his gym in New York, where he explained why he had broken-up with Aniston. The fall-out was unfavorable, and he was branded a "douchebag" for "saving face";[79][102] Mayer later said, "It was one of the worst times of my life,"[3][123] and maintains he did it to take responsibility for hurting her.[102]

Controversies and allegations of racism

Despite assertions that he would not be doing any more press,[83] an interview with Playboy magazine (posted to their website on February 10, 2010) set off accusations in the media and on Twitter of his being a misogynist, kiss-and-tell ex-boyfriend, and racist.[102][124] He apologized via Twitter for his use of the word "nigger," saying, "It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize...a word that is so emotionally charged."[125] He also tearfully apologized to his band and fans at his concert in Nashville later that night.[126]

Solo discography

Awards

Grammy Awards

Mayer has won seven awards from eighteen nominations.

Year Awardee Category Result
2003 John Mayer Best New Artist Nominated
"Your Body Is a Wonderland" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Won
2005 "Daughters" Song of the Year Won
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Won
2007 Continuum Album of the Year Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Album Won
Try! Best Rock Album Nominated
"Waiting on the World to Change" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Won
"Route 66" Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
2008 "Belief" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
2009 "Say" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Won
Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Nominated
"Gravity" Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Won
"Lesson Learned" Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Nominated
Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles Best Long Form Music Video Nominated
2011 Battle Studies Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
"Half of My Heart" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
"Crossroads" Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance Nominated

Others awards and nominations

Year Award Category
2002 MTV Video Music Awards
  • Best New Artist in a Video for "No Such Thing" – nominated
Orville H. Gibson Guitar Awards
  • Les Paul Horizon Award (Most Promising Up and Coming Guitarist)
VH1 Big in 2002 Awards
  • Can't Get You Out of My Head Award for "No Such Thing"
Pollstar Concert Industry Awards
  • Best New Artist Tour
2003 20th Annual ASCAP Awards
  • ASCAP Pop Award – "No Such Thing" (shared with Clay Cook)[127]
    Awarded to songwriters and publishers of the most performed songs in the ASCAP repertory for the award period.
31st Annual American Music Awards
  • Favorite Male Artist – Pop or Rock 'n Roll Music
15th Annual Boston Music Awards
  • Act of the Year[128]
  • Male Vocalist of the Year
  • Song of the Year for "Your Body Is a Wonderland"
MTV Video Music Awards
  • Best Male Video
Radio Music Awards
  • Modern Adult Contemporary Radio Artist of the Year
  • Best Hook-Up Song for "Your Body Is a Wonderland"
Teen People Awards
  • Choice Music – Male Artist
  • Choice Music – Album for Any Given Thursday
Danish Music Awards
  • Best New Artist
2004 BDS Certified Spin Awards
March 2004 recipients
  • Reached 100,000 spins for "Why Georgia"
2005 33rd annual American Music Awards
  • Adult Contemporary: Favorite Artist
World Music Awards
  • World's Best Selling Rock Act
People's Choice Awards
  • Favorite Male Artist
2007 35th Annual American Music Awards
  • Adult Contemporary Music — nominated
23rd Annual TEC Awards
  • Tour Sound Production (for the Continuum Tour)
  • Record Production/Single or Track (for production on "Waiting on the World to Change")
  • Record Production/Album (from production on Continuum)

See also

  • Battle Studies World Tour

Notes

^ a: Generally, it was believed that Mayer's father, a Bridgeport High School principal, had given him a tape player (confiscated from a student) that happened to contain Stevie Ray Vaughan album. However, in a 2006 interview on the New Zealand show Close Up (and other interviews), Mayer said that this wasn't true.[12]
^ b: "Bittersweet Poetry" was released in the summer of 2007 (three years after its creation) as an iTunes pre-order bonus track to the album Graduation.
^ c: The quote is taken from the posthumously-published book Battle Studies by Colonel Ardant Du Picq (d. 1870)[129]
^ d: His actual words were: "Jessica はとても素敵な女性で、一緒に居られて最高です。" In Romanized script, he said "Jessica wa totemo suteki na josei de, issho ni irarete saikō desu."

Footnotes

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  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hedegaard, Erik (February 4, 2010), "The Dirty Mind and Lonely Heart of John Mayer". Rolling Stone (1097); pgs. 36-45, 68
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hiatt, Brian (September 21, 2006), "My Big Mouth Strikes Again". Rolling Stone (1009): pgs. 66-70
  5. ^ (2003). "45th Annual GRAMMY Award - Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" grammy.com. Retrieved October 23, 2011
  6. ^ No byline (October 7, 2002), "It's Hip to Be Square". People. 58 (15):107
  7. ^ a b c Ruth Shaut. Elle magazine (2006) "Blues Brother" J-mayer.org. Retrieved August 3, 2006
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  9. ^ a b Eliscu, Jenny (November 27, 2003), "Songs in the Key of Mayer". Rolling Stone. (936): 52-56
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  13. ^ a b c d e f Mather, John; Hedegaard, Erik (March 2008), "The Wonder of John Mayer Land". Best Life. vol unknown (3):140
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  20. ^ (Adobe Engagement Platform) South by Southwest Music Festival. Blender. March 2000. http://www.blender.com/JohnMayerSXSW2001/video/7344.aspx?src=BB3839:MD. Retrieved October 11, 2007. 
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References

External links


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