I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a huge fan of John Mayer’s discography despite some of the jams that it contains, but with that said, I am an unabashed stan of the dude behind the music, who seems to be pretty misunderstood by a lot of people.
Mayer burst onto the scene shortly after the turn of the new millennium when Room For Squares took the world by storm thanks to songs including “No Such Thing” and “Your Body Is A Wonderland,” which helped catapult the musician to fame virtually overnight. However, when you’re a dreamy-looking dude with a hit song about the high school experience, it’s easy to find yourself pigeonholed, which is exactly what happened to him, as a lot of people sort of just assumed he was another in a long line of generic teen idols as opposed to the insanely talented musician that he is.
Based on everything I know about Mayer, he’s just an incredibly chill dude who would love nothing more to spend his days smoking a fair amount of weed and making the kind of music he wants to make. I doubt he regrets becoming famous in the way that he did, but at the same time, a lot of people initially viewed him as something he really wasn’t at his core. However, the success he experienced early on in his career earned him the right to eventually escape from the shadow of his reputation and I have a hunch he feels a bit more at home showcasing his prowess as a guitarist at Dead and Company shows, where he plays to a slightly different crowd than the ones he performed to back in the day.
While some people might judge him for the person he was over a decade ago, he’s developed much more self-awareness than he showcased in his fateful interview with Playboy in 2010 and has constantly shown he’s an incredibly funny dude.
There are plenty of things you can point to in order to highlight his fantastic sense of humor and I recently discovered an incredible anecdote that was shared on an episode of Office Ladies, the podcast where Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey have been reflecting on their time on The Office by exploring the background of every episode, which has produced some awesome stories about the beloved sitcom.
The most recent episode examined “A Benihana Christmas,” the two-parter from the third season featuring one of the show’s hallowed holiday parties, which includes a scene where Andy and Michael take over the karaoke machine to perform their interpretation of “Your Body Is A Wonderland.”
On the podcast, a former writer revealed a joke where Michael sings one line of Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets To Paradise” cost the show $60,000 in usage fees but it turns out Mayer’s demands were a bit more reasonable, as he initially rejected the proposal after B.J. Novak asked if they could use his track but eventually said they were free to do so in exchange for one demand: his own Dundie Award.
I guess Mayer has told this story before but this was the first time I heard about it, as he previously wrote about the negotiations in a blog post where he revealed he eventually received one of the storied trophies for being the “Tallest Music Dude.”
I think that was a pretty fair trade.