‘The lyric idea for In Repair came from this kind of knowledge about the way people are, that we’re always either on the way down or the way up. You never really enjoy the moment when it’s all put together, ‘cause it probably never really is. Those moments where things come apart is only setting you up for that moment where you put it back together again, and you’re so surprised that it’s coming back together again. There’s this beauty in the idea of being in repair. ‘
John Mayer (Best speech ever!!! WPB 9/11/2010)
What an amazing way to end the tour.
(via tropicalblitz) He is amazing… — Eli’s blog:
I really though my heart was going to explode at this show.
If you wanna be free you’ve gotta go it alone and if you wanna go home you’ve gotta build your own,
Cuz you’ll never find what you’re looking for til you open the door to the sweet unknown.— John Mayer, Berklee Clinic 2011
ABC interview, AU, 2009.
- John Mayer: My job is to play songs for people, my job is to transport people, my job is to give people 45 minutes on a record and two hours on stage of escapism. And I think for me to take the role of tutor, and trying to explain to people why they should feel sorry for me, or why they should have a little more sensitivity to the fact that I'm not just complaining because I'm a celebrity, this is actually a problem. I don't necessarily want to do that. Because I think in explaining that, whether you were successful at it or not, you've taken that ability to transport somebody away, you know what I mean?
- Interviewer: It's not just escapism is it, I think you also have a desire to reinforce our essential humanity and brotherhood.
- John: Which you can do with music without having to explain outside of music why somebody--you know somebody could come up to me and go ''Dude, why not just let them have the picture?' Now, I have two choices. I could sit them down and talk to them, and 5 minutes later their head would be on backwards, they would go 'I had no idea.' But the question is, do you really want somebody to carry that load? Isn't it sort of completely antithetical to what you go and see an artist for? To take on his load, you know. That's why I say to people 'It's awesome, it's fine, don't worry about it.' There might be information that I could give people that would exonerate me as being a douchebag as people call me, but I think overall, it's a really bad idea. Because you will in having done that, removed this relationship that's essential in somebody saying 'Just play me a song, and let me just disappear into it.'
- Interviewer: Yeah, I don't want you to dump on me, but I love it when you celebrate your humanness and I love it when you celebrate your vulnerability.
- John: Oh no no, that's fine, I just mean talking about--trying to explain the vitriolic media, I don't think that should be my narrative. So I'd rather deal with that on my own time, and if it is terrible, then I'll deal with that. But I think to interject that into the stream of communication I have with people with a guitar around my back, and a record coming out, I think if the music is good enough, you can erase all that stuff. And let me deal with the stuff that might be not as fun as I wish it was, but then you at least maintain that ability to communicate with a fan. I don't want anybody worrying about me. I don't want a fan going like 'I had no idea.' That's terrible, and they don't realize that their head is hung low and they're walking away from me and they've realized that I have just taken away everything from them that they believed in.
So often, he’s portrayed as a loud, psychedelic rock star lighting his guitar on fire. But when I think of Hendrix, I think of some of the most placid, lovely guitar sounds on songs like “One Rainy Wish,” “Little Wing” and “Drifting.” “Little Wing” is painfully short and painfully beautiful. It’s like your grandfather coming back from the dead and hanging out with you for a minute and a half and then going away. It’s perfect, then it’s gone.
I think the reason musicians love Hendrix’s playing so much is that the language of it was so native to his head and heart. He had a secret relationship with playing the guitar, and though it was incredibly technical and based in theory, it was his theory. And I think that was sacred to him. That’s why you almost never read an interview with him explaining his live-gear setup or his favorite scales. That’s part of what made his playing so compelling — all you heard was the color. The math is what’s been applied ever since.
I discovered Hendrix by way of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I heard Stevie Ray do “Little Wing,” and I started working my way backward to Hendrix. The first Hendrix record I bought was Axis: Bold As Love, because it had “Little Wing” on it. I remember staring at the album cover for hours. Then I remember spending months listening to Electric Ladyland, which was very creepy. There’s something dark about it in certain places that maybe Hendrix was too honest to hide.
Hendrix invented a kind of cool. The cool of a big conch-shell belt. The cool of boots that your jeans are tucked into. If Jimi Hendrix is an influence on somebody, you can immediately tell. Give me a guy who’s got some kind of weird-ass goatee and an applejack hat, and you just go, “He got to you, didn’t he?”
Hendrix has the allure of the tragic figure: We all wish we were genius enough to die before we’re twenty-eight. People want to paint him as this lonely, shy figure who managed to let himself open up on the stage and play straight colors through the crowd. There’s something heroic about it, but there’s nothing human about it. Everybody is so caught up in the otherworldliness of Jimi Hendrix. I prefer to think about his human side. He was a man who had a Social Security number, not an alien. The merchandising companies made the Space God. They put Jimi Hendrix’s face on a tie-dyed T-shirt, and somehow that’s what he became. But when I listen to Hendrix, I just hear a man, and that’s when it’s most beautiful — when you remember that another human being was capable of what he achieved. I will always try to attain that kind of control on the guitar: Hendrix’s playing was sloppy, but it was controlled. Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix. And that’s who a lot of people have become. However far you stop on your climb to be like him, that’s who you are.
(From RS 946, April 15, 2004) — Words by John
A Look Back
ONE FORTY PLUS: HAPPY HOLIDAY
When you see a string of lights in some perfect sequence of colors,
or when you hear a Christmas song that makes you joyful and somber at the same time,
that’s the work of dozens of Holiday memories coming together.
That’s the collective memory of many Holidays’ past.