I feel like I have listened to so much John Mayer music, since middle school that these days I feel like we’re old friends. Honestly, when ever his voice comes humming through my headphones or speakers it sounds like a familiar friend. I’m guessing that probably half the universe feels this way at some point, and though I’d like to think maybe we made eye contact when I was a few rows away from him as he rocked out on stage in Tampa, that even though I might feel this great connection – he has no idea who I am. And that my dears, is reality. But isn’t that why a lot of people make music? To share their talents, their creations, to connect? In these ways he’s a brilliant artist. I didn’t write the words, but I feel like I sympathize with the frustration of the ‘real world,’ have been in the boat of being “safe til St.Patrick’s Day,” share the “split screen sadness,” am tempted to skip my exit “and keep the car in drive, and leave it all behind.” Sometimes, I leave the camera behind and “see the world through both my eyes,” feel like “half of my heart won’t do” but where’s the other half? And on and on and on…relatable, ever-changing, just like life. Sometimes, we’re in love or we’re in the midst of an undeniable infatuation. Sometimes, we’re just stringing ourselves along to make it through each excruciatingly difficult moment, but reminding ourselves “the heart of life is good.” I feel like we’ve seen Mayer grow up over the years, some of us growing up at the same time, evolving, changing, becoming who we are. There’s always a song for whatever stage we’re in…You know, I saw a clip from the interview he did with CNN right before he released his latest album, “Born and Raised.” He talked about how, he’s doing what he always should’ve been doing…just living in Montana being a singer song writer. You know he sold his places in LA and New York? I have to wonder how he got there. I mean, I know he was taking a break from the interviews, from his spew of emotions across the internet, getting away from his rampant Tweets and tumblr posts, and avoiding his mouth getting him in trouble (makes me think of ‘My Stupid Mouth’ – “got me in trouble, I’ve said too much again…”) But over the past few days, I can’t stop thinking about it. Was it like Baz Luhrman said:
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
I wish we could sit and chat about these things. Not because I’m nosy, but I feel like I know him. Which of course in itself is probably crazy, but whatever. Before I saw him, in Tampa my senior year (of college,) close enough to take photos (I’ve included a few below,) and see the elaborate expression cross his face as he held his guitar like someone he loves, a best friend – I’d seen him at the amphitheater in Tampa. An outdoor venue. JD and I had lawn tickets. Some people might scoff at this, but I love that lawn. It started down pouring. Ben Folds had just played a Postal Service cover, and here comes John in the pouring rain. We were drenched, our toes curled in the muddy earth as we danced around to one of our favorite artists. So, I mean – not only has he given us the music to connect to all these years, (I used to fall asleep every night, for weeks at a time listening to “Room for Squares” in middle school. My mom and I had two copies of this album, so we could listen to it in separate cars. Or I could leave it in my CD player,) but he’s also been instrumental to the creation of such fabulous memories.
So you know, even though I have my insane prying wondering, and we’re no longer privy to such outlets he used for the extra inner-workings of his mind – I’m so thankful for the music. It gave me something to be excited about, in a way I hadn’t been in a while. The anticipation of this album’s release. Driving to the store to pick it up. Ripping off the pesky plastic wrapper. Blaring it in my kitchen while I cooked. Listening through three times the first night, and probably four last night while I ate dinner and packed. It’s different, in a totally good way. A friend and I were just conversing about this on Instagram yesterday. Where would the fun be, if everything he made sounded the same? I love how he experiments with his style, but you know it’s still his work.
There’s not a real point to this, other than I’ve just been thinking about him as a person and as an artist and musician a lot this week, and I’ve been listening to his album non-stop and I just wanted to get some of the thoughts out there. Are you a John Mayer fan? Have you seen him live? (He falls in that same category as DCFC for me, where I would gladly see him in concert any opportunity I had!)