Is It Wrong to Like John Mayer?

Categories: Is It Wrong?
john-mayer.jpg
OK, yeah, maybe he's a tool.
Editor's Note: Is It Wrong is a therapeutic column examining feelings we have about music that just aren't quite right. To ease any discomfort, County Grind will explore these emotions and thoughts, breaking down from whence our feelings of guilt, disgust, and shame arise. And, as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

I started liking John Mayer before I knew I wasn't supposed to. I heard "Why Georgia" off of Room for Squares and thought, well, he's at least a better guitar player than the acoustic folks with the plastic glasses and plaid shirts. Then I heard "Neon" and realized I actually liked him.

I forgot about it again until Continuum came out in 2006. I was a bona fide fan. I knew it wasn't particularly cool to be a fan of the guy who sang "Your Body Is a Wonderland," but it's taken a while for me to realize just how much people dislike him.
I didn't buy the outrage when he said, of his relationship with Jessica Simpson, that "sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm." Yeah, it wasn't a particularly gentlemanly thing to say, but that's no reason to toss out an entire discography.

The uproar over Mayer's telling Playboy that he wasn't into sexing black women was equally stupid. OH GOD, a musician gave an honest answer to a question instead of just doling out the standard PR bullshittery. Forget about all those artists who sell records by reducing women to hypersexualized piles of humpmeat; John Mayer is a racist.

I didn't get the outrage over that. Sorry. But he's still the guy who sings "No Such Thing" and that abhorrent cover of "Crossroads," so I can see the argument for not liking him, an argument that gets even stronger when you factor in that time he charged a fan $10 to get a photo with him. And I don't know what happened between him and Taylor Swift, but I don't like it.

Still, it's dishonest to say he's all bad. Bits of his L.A. concert DVD are brilliant -- though it's almost eight minutes long, his live version of "Gravity" is great:


Actually, I just listened to it again. Do... do I not like John Mayer? Oh man...

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20 comments
Tracey
Tracey

Chris Brown can beat the the crap out of Rihanna and apparently that's A-OK, but John Mayer is a bad guy.  I don't buy it either.  And for the record, I don't think anything happened between Taylor and John, I think she's an opportunistic little brat and based on his latest RS interview, it looks like I am right.  The $10 photo - a joke.  People need to learn not to be so damn literal.

Macky Paige
Macky Paige

I personally think he is extremely talented and I can't wait to get my copy of Born and Raised on 5/22!!

Marisol
Marisol

John Mayer, for the record, did not say he "wasn't into sexing black women", nor did he "honestly answer a question." The question he was asked was if black women come on to him. Instead of telling the truth (which was "no") he said that his dick was the grand duke of the ku klux klan. As a black female who had spent more money (and TIME) on his music and concerts than I care to admit to, that comment felt like fan abuse. And if the author of this article can't understand that, I seriously wonder if she has the chops to be analyzing anything.

jones91
jones91

you do realize he said something worse than not being attracted to black women right? he said he had a "nigger pass"? people make mistakes and time heals all wounds but your somewhat misinforming people by leaving that caveat out. 

Chris R
Chris R

There are very odd double/triple standards that people take on artists, and John Mayer is one of those people. For some stupid reason, a lot of people tend to judge some artists by the things they do in public, not based solely on their music. At the same time, these are the same people who will like an artist during their first album when they aren't so popular, and than three singles later after being overplayed to death the same person will say that the artist sucks...when they're still on their first album...

sound
sound

ooops, oh well. dont mind me.. i was just rambling.. p.s. why arent there any girl profine pictures? like a generic one with long curly hair or something? can somebody make that an option? ??

sound
sound

whoever doesnt like john mayer is a person who is lacking in intelligence to the degree so as to fall short of understanding someone with a very high intellect coupled with a prerogative to say things colorfully. and not that anyone cares in this case, but my using the word colorfully does not have anything to do with race. if you do not fit the mold i just described as "lacking upstairs," then you'll know john mayer, nor i, are racist. (and i can only say im sorry, writer.. no offense to you) you would instead be able to conclude that there's at the very least a connotation that black men have big dicks.. and, further, have a tendency to believe that women who would be most aware and/or accustomed to that is black women. and if you're an exception to that falling short mold, no pun intended, you would know that no person who lives and breathes wants to fall short in any area of their life. it's as simple as that. as far as the sexual napalm comment, it's obviously ridiculous to say that was not a compliment and we all know that. quite frankly, theres no other justified reason to dislike john mayer than being envious, being resentful perhaps, or being ignorant. its ridiculous really.. john mayer is a true, kind, and loving person. and if they cant see that, they simply dont have a clue. so before you decide whether you like him or not, if you dont have a clue, i say go to school and get one, then decide.

kate
kate

If you don't know what happened between JM & Taylor Swift, how can you say you don't like what he did?  She probably had stars in her eyes over him, slept with him then was as crushed as only young girls can be that he didn't want to be her one and only true love.  And quit picking on "Wonderland" (have you watched Storytellers?)  He has done a few songs that would be sappy if done by anyone else, but between his mad guitar skills and his dark chocolate/whiskey voice, they just come off as romantic and sexy as hell - but a heterosexual male might not be able to appreciate that.  I send his throat positive thoughts every day.

Hgilliatt
Hgilliatt

People can jump on the "John Mayer is a douche" bandwagon all they want, but it doesn't take anything away from his talent. He's an amazing guitar player, gritty vocalist, and (deservedly) an award winning songwriter & performer. I am a fan of good music, so I am unashamedly a fan of John Mayer.

Brenda
Brenda

If it's wrong, I don't want to be right. He's a genius!

RamSlam3214
RamSlam3214

Guy could be one of the most talented guitarist of our generation. John Meyer Trio, nuff said.

Cjones
Cjones

ifmore people had great minds like john mayer, he would be one of the funniestcomedians on earth!lol (lucky for us, there arent! cause then he might not make music!) by the way marisol, i must say youve had great taste in music.  i'm embarrassed to admit but i only started listening recently, and i wish i'd been listening since he began playing. itsphenomenal.  anyway, thank you.. peace.

kate
kate

You really should read the whole interview tho, to get the drift of what he was trying (albeit in that awkward song-writer-y way) to say.  He seemed to be in his "backward speak" mode, but if you really read it, he was actually saying the opposite of what some people took it to mean.  

cjones
cjones

rest assured, we already know he said that. but since you brought it up some sort of "caveat" left out, im compelled to reply due to its ridiculousness. consider it a favor. there was no assault. no wounds rendered. the only wounds for time to to heal are those a person has within himself for lack of understanding and worse rash thoughtless judgement upon a very just person. if its the term "nigger pass" that offends you so much... step back, breathe, remain calm.. and think. is that a harmful thing to say? lets say you ansered yes. are we to be in complete oblivion just because its a great way to stir up conflict? if i didnt already know you indeed think its harmful, i would ask, for fullness of the issue, is it a compliment? i would say yes it is in two ways. one to a black person because quite frankly the word nigger refers to slaves from africa (nigeria probably) and all of them were black to my knowledge, and only a black person has the natural right to associate him/herself with the term and say whether or not it is harmful thus giving them exclusive power over saying whether it is or not. but two, and more importantly, its complimentary in that it is the crying out by one human being that he does not want to be excluded from any part of the society of mankind and thus finds honor in belonging. now, is that so hard to fathom?

Marisol
Marisol

Yeah, you were rambling. Your bad grammar and wrong word choice meant I had to re-read some sentences to figure out what you were saying. That said, I can only speak for myself when I say that, while I still listen to John's music and openly acknowledge his extreme talent, his reckless and hurtful comments and actions have often made it very difficult (and sometimes shameful) for me to be a fan.

sound
sound

oops.. i meant to say "profile".. girl profile pictures  (im having eyesight problems these days)   anyway, peace everyone.

kate
kate

So NOT a douchebag.  Anyone who invites an 11 year old boy up on stage to play with his band is a very cool, undouchebaggy person.  Also an unashamed fan.  

cjones
cjones

and perhaps my term "crying out" is a little dramatic, but what i meant is he definitely wasnt trying to hurt anybody.. and i think we all know that. there was no misspeaking whatsoever and it was very unfair. i hope this can just be understood and let go of now for Pete's sake.

Cjones
Cjones

yes, rambling and unsure about posting at the same time... hope you didnt mind reading it!  oh! and re-reading it on top of that!  sorry you feel its bad grammar.. i guess its a difficult thing?  but my word choices were not wrong.  im sorry if you feel they were.  (wrong/lack of puctuation, absolutely!   i wouldnt have it any other way!  but i guess it really doesnt matter, cause you for instance are still reading it, right?  anyway no wrong word choices here!   i meant everything i wrote.  again, i think there's a lot to say about lack of understanding.  perhaps if you'd just think outside the box, maybe thatd help.  because as far as your calling john's comments reckless and hurtful, again, the lack of understanding red flag comes up, for me.. just saying.  but no hard feelings.

cjones
cjones

i tried to change my name on here to cj (nickname) but couldnt.. anyway if you'd like to comment, please comment here and ill access this via my phone. peace.

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