John Mayer Biography
John Clayton Mayer(b. October 16, 1977) is a American Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist. Originally from Connecticut, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998 where he refined his skills and began gaining a following. After originally performing mainly acoustic pop, in 2005 he made a transition towards the blues genre with the formation of the John Mayer Trio.
Mayer's other interests include stand-up comedy and writing; he has written articles for several magazines, most notably Esquire. His current album, entitled Continuum, was released on September 12, 2006.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mayer grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, the second of three sons. There, he became friends with future tennis star James Blake. Mayer attended Fairfield High School (now Fairfield Warde High School) for his freshman, sophomore, and senior years, but attended Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Connecticut for his junior year, where he was enrolled in the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School. Then known as the Center for Japanese Studies Abroad, it is a magnet program for students in Fairfield County wanting to learn Japanese.
Mayer listened to pop music, but it was not until the age of thirteen that his inspiration for playing the guitar began. When his father, a high school principal, gave him a confiscated tape player that contained an album by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mayer discovered the blues and learned how to play the guitar. After two years of practice, he started playing at blues bars and other venues in the area. While in high school, he was in a band called Villanova Junction with Joe Beleznay, Tim Procaccini, and Rich Wolf.
When Mayer was seventeen, he was suddenly stricken with a cardiac arrhythmia that sent him to the hospital for a weekend. The trauma of the incident sparked his songwriting, and he penned his first lyrics the night he got home. Shortly thereafter, he began suffering from crippling panic attacks and even now he keeps a Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug) with him, just in case.
After playing the guitar for several years, Mayer enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of nineteen. He chose to cut his studies short in favor of a move to Atlanta, Georgia. He began his career in earnest there, quickly making a name for himself in the local coffeehouse and club circuit, in venues like Eddie's Attic.
John allows audio taping at most live performances, and he also allows for the non-commercial trading of those recordings. He does this to give fans the opportunity to recreate the live experience, and to encourage fan interaction. Trading recordings helped John become better known in the early stages of his career.
To date, Mayer has toured with many groups, including Maroon 5, Guster, Counting Crows, The Wallflowers, Teitur, Dave Matthews Band, and Sheryl Crow, with whom he traded on-stage shenanigans during their last week touring together.
Sheryl Crow and Mayer, who both had recently appeared on the Cars Soundtrack together, co-headlined a tour that commenced in August 2006 to October 2006, before each continuing on solo tours. Mayer recently finished promoting Continuum in Europe with his band, where he commenced his tour in Holland the day after his 29th birthday (October 16, 2006), the release date for Continuum.
Beyond this, Mayer played at the Desert Rhythm Festival in Dubai (October 26, 2006), headlining a line up that included Khaled, Elvis Crespo, Karen Zoid, Mustafa Sandaal & Wayne Wonder. He stayed at the Fairmont Dubai before moving east to tour in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, where he will perform his last show of this leg on November 9, 2006. He will come home and begin re-touring the U.S. after the new year.
In 2003, Martin Guitars gave Mayer his own signature model acoustic guitar called the OM-28 John Mayer. The guitar was limited to a run of only 404. This acoustic was followed by the release of a signature Stratocaster electric guitar by Fender guitars in 2005—three different models in total. Unlike the Martin, two of Mayer's Signature Fender Stratocasters are not limited edition models, and can be found at many Fender dealers. The third Stratocaster, finished in Charcoal Frost metallic paint with racing stripe, was limited to only 100 guitars. Fender has recently started manufacturing SERIES II John Mayer strats. The new colorway white with mint green pickguard and cream plastics is replacing the shoreline gold model.
Mayer appeared in a one-shot half-hour comedy special on VH1, entitled John Mayer Has a TV Show (2004). He spent most of the program poking fun at his own image, suggesting that Richard Marx had written many of his songs and anonymously visiting the parking lot outside one of his concerts. (Mayer wore a bear suit and mispronounced his last name.) Among his remarks: "True or False: 'Your Body Is a Wonderland' was written for a guy."
In the June 1, 2004, issue of Esquire, Mayer began a column called "Music Lessons with John Mayer." Each article features a lesson (some more scholarly than others) and his take on various topics, both personal and of popular interest. In the August 2005 issue he invited readers to create music for orphaned lyrics he had written. The winner was Tim Fagan of L.A., as announced in the January issue.
In January 2004, Mayer joined Steve Jobs as Jobs introduced GarageBand to much fanfare at the San Francisco Macworld Expo. Jobs had his "good friend" John Mayer record some guitar and keyboard licks into the program, and said such things as, "we love music" and "we're very excited."
Mayer has a number of tattoos. These include: "Home" and "Life" on the back of his left and right arms, respectively (after the song from the Heavier Things album), "SRV" (for his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan), "77" (his year of birth) on his left pectoralis major, and a Japanese-style fish on his right deltoid. In 2003, he got a tattoo of three squares on his right forearm, which sparked a lot of questions. Mayer explains that he likes getting tattoos, but not having too many, so he will fill the three squares in gradually. As of 2006, two are filled.
John experiences synesthesia, meaning he often mixes up senses, for instance, "hearing colors" which he mentioned in a Rolling Stone interview.
Mayer also has a extensive collection of sneakers, estimated (in 2006) at over 200 pairs.
Mayer dated Jennifer Love Hewitt briefly in 2002. In a comedy routine in May 2006, he joked they never consummated their relationship; he later apologized to her for the raunchy routine. Despite rumors in 2003, Mayer has denied dating model Heidi Klum. According to the August 29, 2006, issue of People, Mayer was rumored to be in a relationship with singer Jessica Simpson. The article actually followed a US Weekly magazine report claiming a confirmation from Simpson. John was then quoted as saying that this claim seemed "desperate". However, when asked by Rosie O'Donnell in a September 5, 2006, episode of The View, Simpson stated "I am not actually dating John Mayer." It has been confirmed by sources for both Mayer and Simpson that there was never a relationship between the two. Simpson was reported to have fired her publicist, who was apparently responsible for the rumors.
John resides in a suburb of Los Angeles with his roommate and sound engineer, Chad Franscoviak. He also has an apartment in New York City.