John Mayer

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Mayer performing on the CBS Early Morning Show in August 2006

John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist.


On himself[edit]

  • Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix.
    • From his essay on Jimi Hendrix for Rolling Stone 946
    • Mayer, John (2004). "Jimi Hendrix" (accessed March 21, 2007)
  • I won't ever get on stage at a comedy club when people know about it.
  • If you told me I was going to live to 240, I would take 10 years off and try and act. I don't have that kind of time, so I'd much rather stick to playing guitar.
  • It was so frightening at the time to be seventeen and have heart monitors hooked up to you. That was the moment the songwriter in me was born. I discovered a whole other side of me. I came home that night and started writing lyrics. I discovered it all at once: It was like opening up a lockbox, and inside was a depth that I didn't even know I had as a person, or a writer — incredible creativity and vision and neurosis, complete neurosis. They all go together in a package.
  • What I've learned in my life, it's a very interesting social study for me, to go back and forth between being the guy at home and being the guy on the road and being the guy in studio and being the guy in the interview. The environment around you has so much to do with your character, and when I'm home, my character really changes quite a bit. I become very domesticated, it becomes riding my bike, and the music thing — the music thing doesn't leave but it's kind of less put upon me by other people as a musician.
  • Sometimes it feels like my life is just one long day.
    • On rediscovering his huge collection of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan posters he had as a teenager
    • Mayer, John (October 4, 2007). "Proof" Retrieved September 4, 2007

On music[edit]

  • Everybody enjoys arguing about the current state of music because it feels as if you are talking about something incredibly important, yet it requires little understanding of the subject matter at hand. It's like world politics meets the pink questions in Trivial Pursuit. Points are made but nothing gets accomplished.
  • I love the Grammy nominations this year. Anybody who really loves what they do got rewarded for it. It's not a death match between Ray Charles and Jessica Simpson.
    • No byline (2004-12-20), "John Mayer". Newsweek. 144 (25):71
  • Songs can be Trojan horses, taking charged ideas and sneaking past the ego's defenses and into the open mind.
    • Esquire magazine (November 1, 2004)
  • There's a real self-serving element to hip-hop that threatens its life span.

On others[edit]

  • If you have to tell someone how bad you want it, then you haven't shown them how hard you already work for it.[1]
  • Sheryl's heroes are in black and white photos, and so are mine.
  • I went to my library, right? And I started to research the Bill of Rights and I did not technically find anything that said all Americans shall eat shrimp with whoever they like, but I found some things that are close enough to infer that I am within my legal rights to enjoy seafood with whomever I choose.
  • I never worked with T.I. Here's the back story to that Wikipedia nugget: I was a guest on TRL and happened to get my hands on the list of goofy, un Andrew-Miller-like questions I was going to be asked before I walked on set. One of the questions was "Who do you like more, T.I. or [I forgot the other southern rap artist]?" So I snuck to the bathroom and searched "T.I." on my Blackberry. I memorized as much information as I could and then announced that we were working together.
    • On how rumors got started that he was working with rapper T.I. (and how they made it to Wikipedia).
    • Mayer, John (2007). "10 ANSWERS FOR ANDREW MILLER" (accessed January 25, 2007)
  • ジェシカはとてもすてきな女性で、一緒にいられて最高です
  • Translation: Jessica is a lovely woman, and I'm glad to be with her.
    • When asked by Ryan Seacrest if he was dating Jessica Simpson, and, if so, when they were coming out.
    • Malkin, Marc (2007). "Mayer & Simpson's Post-Grammy PDA" (accessed February 27, 2007)

On fame[edit]

  • If I had done things differently, I'd probably have the paparazzi waiting around for me. At the studio where I've been recording, Jessica Simpson is working there, too. The paparazzi are outside waiting for her to come out. That's the result of her decisions. My decisions have led me to the point that when I walk out in front of the paparazzi, I'm considered a waste of film.
  • I am not in Us Weekly. I'd have to be going out with someone who is in there to be in there myself.
  • It wasn’t as direct as me saying “I now make the choice to bring the paparazzi into my life.” I really said, “I now make the choice to sleep with Jessica Simpson.” That was stronger than my desire to stay out of the paparazzi’s eye.
  • I was smart enough to know it would probably make me a salable item for the paparazzi. I knew I’d have to move to a home that had a gate. But that pearl of possibility that lives in your heart when you meet somebody you want to know more about has such a different molecular density than everything else that you have to pursue it.

The Playboy interview[edit]

  • Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’”
  • I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.
    • In answer to the question, "Do black women throw themselves at you?"
    • (February 10, 2010 ), John Mayer: Playboy Interview Playboy. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  • Sexually it was crazy. That’s all I’ll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm.
    • In answer to the question, "You were addicted to Jessica Simpson?"
    • (February 10, 2010 ), John Mayer: Playboy Interview Playboy. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  • Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating.
    • In answer to the question, "Masturbation for you is as good as sex?"
    • (February 10, 2010 ), John Mayer: Playboy Interview Playboy. Retrieved February 10, 2010.


  • The saddest kind of sad is the sad that tries not to be sad. You know, when Sad tries to bite its lip and not cry and smile and go, "No, I'm happy for you?" That's when it's really sad.
    • Rolling Stone magazine/iTunes podcast (December 2005)
    • On the "chin-up sad" tone of one of his new songs on his upcoming album "Continuum"
  • I find myself in situations that I know would be unbelievable pictures and I have to gauge, Is this worth taking the camera out? Am I gonna lose the moment? Am I gonna get a dirty look from Sting?
  • The first thing I said was a question: Does this really come from the family? I think that was essential to me sort of processing the honor. And when I found out that, in fact, it had, it took me about 48 hours to sort of strike the balance in how I was going to approach being -- you know, being invited to this unbelievable event without actually having the proximity to Michael Jackson personally. I'd never met him.
    • Mayer on performeing Human Nature at Michael Jackson's Memorial service
    • "Episode title unknown". Larry King Live. July 7, 2009. No. unknown, season 24.
  • I miss the days when all I would do in my free time was play the first version of (the video game) Halo. The game was perfect. It was so balanced in terms of risk vs reward you could lose yourself in it for hours, if not days. People would plan to meet up only to challenge each other to multiplayer battles. Male-female relationships fractured under the Halo regime. When the sequel came out, it’s as if they changed too much in the fundamental experience, and the game lost its once unfailing charm. All the game developers had to do was put out a sequel to Halo that added new maps, weapons, vehicles and opponents. Everything else was pitch perfect.

I know the franchise has done extremely well, but I wish they’d revisit the first Halo and just add some new secondary elements while keeping the heart and soul of the original going. Forget about XBOX live functionality. In person multiplayer only. I long for the days when every TV in the house would be ripped from it’s location and repurposed as part of a makeshift home arcade. Lock your doors, pour 64 ounces of your favorite beverage and tell your loved ones you will be in touch. I may just have to break out the original and spend a weekend revisiting the good old days way back in the 2000s. Sent from my flying car

    • Mayer on the halo video game series
      • Mayer's personal blog, ONE FORTY PLUS.

About Mayer[edit]

James Blake in Miami, Florida in 2007
  • John wanted to take it in more of a pop direction than I did. It was like a marriage that we both knew would go bad once we started touring.
    • Clay Cook, on why he and Mayer's two-man band, Lo-Fi Masters, broke up
    • Guthrie, Blake (2002). "One degree of John Mayer" (accessed February 22, 2007)
  • Neither punk nor prom king, Mayer was a tall kid from Connecticut, driving on the freeways, chasing slippery techno women, inhabiting a world of parents and slipcovers and holidays and gracious Southeastern metropolises; he was smart, inquisitive, articulate, a touch off in places.
  • John Mayer is a very talented brother and you don't know where your blessings are going to come from.
    • The rapper Common on working with Mayer on the song "Go." (From
  • He words stuff with a real, I guess it's a witty, intelligent, very human [sensibility]. I would like to grab some of those qualities...I wish he was my friend.
  • Me and John, we just cool, period. ... We get in the studio and we vibe and then we make music from that point.
  • One time I saw him perform live and he switched up his song at the end, like, [improvised] different chords — he remixed it...He's just not your typical guitar player. He's trying to push the envelope for the way guitarists and vocalists are heard. ... I just respect his musicality.
  • You know, the dude is a real musician. It's like anything you ever loved in Joe Jackson or anything you ever loved in any '70s rock. You're gonna get it out of this dude. He's a real student, and it comes through in his music.
  • I was astonished at how well he played live. I had no idea he was that good.
  • What song do I hate? I think "Daughters," by John Mayer, would be a good candidate. I don't know why he bugs me so bad.
  • Before that it was Halo, and no one could beat him. That's pretty much his MO if he finds an interest in something -- it doesn't matter how incidental it is.
  • No musician is indifferent to the public's perception of him, but the exuberant, logorrheic Mayer takes self-awareness to new postmodern heights. Like a football player providing color commentary on his own career, he muses constantly on his own abilities and his place in the taxonomy of pop.

External links[edit]

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Written by Mayer