Our Evening with John Mayer
Updated 5.14.2012: For a limited time, you will be able to stream the complete John Mayer Born and Raised album beginning tonight at 9 pm PST. Click here for more details.
The GRAMMY Museum hosted an intimate conversation with seven time award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician JOHN MAYER Thursday night in L.A. at the Clive Davis Theater. You might remember the March announcement when Mayer was forced to cancel his Spring 2012 tour for health issues pertaining to his throat. Not the best timing considering he’s dropping his fifth studio album – BORN AND RAISED – May 22nd. For a crowd of 200 people – the interview – moderated by Bob Santelli, the GRAMMY Museum’s Executive Director, kicked off what will be a series of sit-downs Mayer is doing to support his album in lieu of performing live. The best thing about the evening? The Trend Tribe was there to cover the event!
I want the beginning back. I wanted to go home and become irrelevant.”
Shoulder length hair and a wide-brimmed hat, John Mayer, was almost unrecognizable as he approached the stage. He confessed to the audience that during his 2009-2010 BATTLE STUDIES tour he realized that he needed to “just go home.” The singer set out – after a figurative punch in the face – on a quest to “reboot, flatline, and restart.” The “punch” Mayer is referring to is the salacious interview he gave to Playboy Magazine that same year. In the end, the culmination of being lost and no longer able to talk his way out of things made him want to simply become irrelevant. He eventually found a quiet refuge in Montana which he now calls home.
BORN AND RAISED was what Mayer calls “cooked with love.” He ditched the laptop and invested in a cheap typewriter where he could put words to paper without editing himself. He talked about how connected he felt to writing this album and questions if BORN AND RAISED was truly made for radio or just someone’s music collection – an achievement he is OK with.
Four tracks from the album, including SHADOW DAYS, THE QUEEN OF CALIFORNIA, IF I EVER GET AROUND TO LIVING, and THE AGE OF WORRY were played for the audience. Mayer shared that he had been influenced by the Allman Brothers, Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” and Bob Dylan. Humbled, he confessed not ever “getting” Dylan before now but that “great musicians are waiting for you…[and] at some point in your life you’ll need them.”
“It’s hard to fake who I won’t be…”
We were hoping John Mayer would surprise us for a live performance but unfortunately that didn’t happen. The next closest thing did though that made both Nicole and I swoon in our seats. As the new songs played, Mayer – with eyes closed – bobbed his head, drummed on his knees, plucked pretend guitar strings, and sang along with the tunes. I almost had to hold Nicole back from bum-rushing the stage!
BORN AND RAISED – made with legendary producer Don Was – is an album I’d definitely turn on while hanging around the house on a Sunday afternoon. Rolling Stone recently gave the album 4 stars and called it “some of the most convincing music of Mayer’s career…every breezy solo or sun-dappled acoustic spindle is comfy and luxe like a spun-silk blanket.”
I just want to be a piece of someone’s music collection, not their whole world.”
As for Mayer’s future? He’s already writing another album and plans on having a second throat surgery in the Fall with hopes of kicking off a tour to support both albums in Spring 2013. He told the story that while recovering from the first surgery – under strict doctor’s orders not to talk or sing – he found himself alone, in his home, playing guitar in front of a mirror like he once did while dreaming about what his future career might be. And there he was again, feeling the same way, excited and dreaming about what was next. I’d say you’ve had a successful reboot, Mr. Mayer.
What is your favorite John Mayer song? Check out our John Mayer Mix Tape on Trend Tribe Radio
Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own.