I have been wanting to write something in defence of John Mayer for a while now but I’m not really sure how to begin, I find it hard to reconcile the idea of John Mayer the musicians whose words and music penetrate my soul with the John Mayer whose misguided interview comments and “rock star”antics mean that his reputation is now mud. Some of his actions seem beyond defense, he should know better than to publicly discuss his sex life, especially after the backlash which followed his use of ex Jennifer Love Hewitt as fodder for his stand up comedy yet as recently as January he was discussing in interviews his sex life with another ex, Jessica Simpson “Yeah, [Jessica Simpson] is like crack cocaine to me … Sexually it was crazy. It was like napalm,sexual napalm…”
Here’s the thing, despite his bad reputation and the vitriolic reaction he now elicits on many fronts I still love John.
What was totally bypassed when John was metaphorically hung drawn and quartered following the Playboy interview I quoted above was the very classy way in which he handled discussion of his relationship with Jennifer Aniston. Whether this makes the Simpson comments better or worse I’m not sure but it proves to me at least that he’s not a total rat. He’s a man in his 30’s who has had relationships with some high profile women which in the UK at least have drawn more attention than his considerable musical talent. He’s also terrible at self censoring and I think that this is one of the reasons I empathise with him so much, I am also really bad at this and if I were in his position I could easily imagine a few ill chosen words leading to my public vilification.
Whatever is said about John in the media for me is overridden by his music, technically accomplished and lyrically insightful I can’t believe that it’s creator can have anything but a good soul. I saw him perform live for the first time on Thursday which is one of the main reasons that I am writing this now but listening to his albums over the years has made me feel like I have been in his presence for much longer. I am sure that I am not the only one who feels that certain songs could have been written based on events from my own life, emotions that I have been feeling, heartbreak that I have gone through.
The dichotomy of the person I visualize when listening to his music and the star disgracing the pages of our gossip magazines confuses me, why do others not view him the way that I do? Yes he is indiscreet and his actions aren’t always in the best of taste but no one is perfect and surely his rights far outweigh his wrongs? He might be a star these days but more over he is a musician and surely that is from where our opinions of his should stem. His music has seen me through bad times and celebrated the good ones with me and should he feel that he requires defending I would suggest he uses the music as his first witness.