Mayer Magic with Music!

Posted on November 16, 2011

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In the hospital room with tears rolling down his face, from fear of mental illness, John Mayer picked up a pen and started writing his very first lyrics. Laying in the white hospital sheets, white walls surrounding him, and a talking remote beside him–the smell of sanitizer, medicine, and mothballs marked the beginning of his career.

 

John Clayton Mayer was born October 6th, 1977 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mayer attended Andrew Warde High School in Fairfield, but enrolled at the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School his Junior year, a school for students who wanted to learn how to speak Japanese. In middle school, he played the clarinet, and took guitar lessons from a local guitar-shop owner. At age seventeen Mayer was stricken with cardiac dysrhythmia and was hospitalized for a weekend. That night he started writing from fear of entering a mental institution.

 

At the age of nineteen, Mayer and college buddy Clay Cook formed a two-man band named LoFi. LoFi performed in local coffee houses and club venues. Although the band officially broke up because of Mayer’s love for pop music, they continued to work together occasionally. With help from local producer and engineer Gleen Matullo, Mayer recorded his first album EP Inside Wants Out. Cook was mainly singing backup, and was featured in Mayer’s commercial single release, “No Such Thing.”

 

            In March 2000, Mayer appeared at South by Southwest for the “launch” of label Aware Records. In 2001, Mayer and Aware Records released the internet-only album Room for Squares.  In 2003, Mayer won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Your Body Is a Wonderland.”

 

            On February 9th, 2009, Mayer appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show for an interview. He revealed that he thought he shouldn’t have won the Grammy for Song of the year because he thought that Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” was better then his song “Daughters.” Later, Mayer removed the top half of the Grammy and gave it to Keys, and kept the bottom part. At the 37th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2006, Mayer was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award.

 

            Later in his career, Mayer thought of a change in his musical direction. He appeared on Common’s song “Go,” and Kanye West’s “Bittersweet Poetry.” Mayer received praise from hip-hop stars Jay-Z and Nelly; when asked why he appeared in the hip-hop community he replied, “It’s not music out there right now. That’s why to me, hip-hop is where rock used to be.”

 

            During his change in musical direction he also collaborated with Blues legends: B.B.King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and Jazz artist John Scotfield. Mayer later went on tour with legendary Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock.

 

            Junior Hannah Johnston said, “He’s all over my phone, and his voice takes me to another dimension.” Johnston says that her favorite song by Mayer is “Half of My Heart” featuring Taylor Swift. If she were ever given the opportunity to meet him, then she definitely would take the opportunity to do so.

Reported by Alex Brimmer

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