A John Mayer Biography.
This is a biography of John Mayer, an exceptional guitarist, comedian and singer. John was born ‘John Clayton Mayer’ on October 16, 1977 to Richard and Margaret Mayer in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He grew up in Fairfield, CT with his older brother, Carl, and his younger brother, Ben. John was musical from a young age and at one time or another, along with playing the guitar, also played the flute, clarinet and violin.
At age thirteen, John began playing the instrument he is known across the world for playing – the guitar. It is said that John was inspired to play the guitar by scenes of ‘Marty McFly’ playing the guitar in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie. It was clear from the beginning that John was a gifted guitar player. Only two years after picking up a guitar for the first time, John was already playing for an audience at local blue’s clubs in his area.
John began writing his own songs “in earnest” at age seventeen after a weekend long stay in the hospital due to a cardiac arrhythmia. In high school, John played guitar in a band called “Villanova Junction” (with band mates Joe Beleznay and Tony Proca).
After high school, John attended two semesters at Boston’s Berklee College of Music before deciding he preferred writing and playing music to studying it. After he left Berklee, John moved to Atlanta, Georgia. John has called Atlanta his “musical home.”* In Atlanta, John became a frequent performer on the Atlanta club circuit.
He released his first album “Inside Wants Out” in 1999. In 2000, after John performed at the South by Southwest Music Festival he landed a contract with Columbia Record’s Aware Records.
John’s first major label debut, “Room for Squares’ was released in 2001.
Though it took off slowly, eventually it reached number eight on the Billboard Top 200 selling over four million copies. The album included popular John Mayer songs “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “No Such Thing.” In 1997, while John Mayer was at Berklee, his father sent him a note that read “Remember me when you go platinum.” In 2002, when “Room for Squares” went platinum, John gave his platinum album plaque to his father with his father’s note to him mounted inside the frame.
In 2003, John received the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Your Body is a Wonderland.” When he received the award John told the audience “This is very, very fast and I promise to catch up.” A very endearing comment, but one that John would later express regret for making.
John released a live CD and DVD of a concert he performed in Birmingham, Alabama entitled “Any Given Thursday.” John Mayer’s second album “Heavier Things” was also released in 2003. It included the ballad “Daughters.”
“Daughters” was a sentimental ballad that earned John two Grammy awards; one for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and another for Song of the Year. Despite the success of the song, John believed that the song was sappy and saw it as “career death.”
In a February 2009 interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” John said that he thought he shouldn’t have won the Grammy for Song of the Year because he thought that Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You” was the better song. Because of this, he removed the top half of the Grammy and gave it to Keys, and kept the bottom part for himself. In 2004, John recorded live concerts across seven nights of his U.S. tour.
These recordings were released to the iTunes music store under the title “As/Is,” indicating that the errors were included along with the good moments. A few months later, a “best of” CD was compiled from these recordings.
The album included a previously unreleased cover of the Marvin Gaye song “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).
The album included a solo from Mayer’s support act — jazz and blues group DJ Logic. Around this same time, John began a long string of collaborations with a wide range of artists including Kanye West. Buddy Guy, B.B. King, John Scofield and Eric Clapton.
The release of “Daughters” left John concerned over being pigeon-holed and led him to make a move that surprised many. In 2005, John formed a bluesy, guitar driven band called “The John Mayer Trio.” The band was made up of John, bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan.
The trio released the album “Try” which included the single “Who Did You Think I Was.” Though the group disbanded in the spring of 2006, John later announced that the band would reunite to record a studio album. John’s third album “Continuum” was released in 2006 and just as his first two albums had, it quickly went platinum. In 2007, the album won him two more Grammys: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his song “Waiting on the World to Change” and Best Pop Vocal Album for “Continuum.”
John was featured on the cover of “Rolling Stone” in February 2007 (along with John Frusciante, and Derek Trucks. He was named one of the “New Guitar Gods.” The cover nicknamed him “Slowhand, Jr.,” a reference to Eric Clapton.* At the end of 2007, John’s album “Continuum,” was re-released. It contained a bonus disc of six live songs from his 2007 tour, five from Continuum and a cover of the Ray Charles song “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”
In February 2008, John hosted a three-day Caribbean cruise event that included performances with various musicians including Brett Dennen, and Colbie Caillat. John called the event “The Mayercraft Carrier Cruise” and was held aboard a cruise ship.
(A follow-up cruise titled “Mayercraft Carrier 2″ took place in March of 2009.)
In July of 2008, John released “Where the Light Is” a live concert film of his performance at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in December of 2007. It featured an acoustic set, a set with the John Mayer Trio and a set featuring John and his band from the Continuum album. The release contained bonus material that included footage of John backstage and playing outside on Mulloholland Drive.
On July 7, 2009, John performed an instrumental guitar version of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” at Michael Jackson’s memorial service.
On August 24th, 2009, John announced his upcoming record “Battle Studies” would be released November 17, 2009. The first single from the album “Who Says” was released on September 24th.
“Battle Studies”, John Mayer’s fourth album, was released on November 17th, 2009. The album was 11 tracks and 45 minutes long.
On the evening of the release, John Mayer performed a concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York which was televised live on Fuse TV.
John spent 2010 touring, performing to sold out crowds and continuing his tradition of collaborating with the music industries’ finest, most talented stars. On September 11, 2010 to the delight of the crowd John joined rapper Jay Z on stage at Madison Square Garden.
John also collaborated several times with country music mega star Keith Urban co-headlining a concert with Urban at The Gorge in WA in August and performing as Keith’s guest at “We’re All For The Hall” benefit concert on October 5.
When John’s 2010 Summer concert came to an end in September, John immediately began work on his next record and debuted eight never heard before songs before an audience of his fans at a surprise concert at the Hotel Cafe in LA on January 9, 2011.
In May, 2011, John announced that his next album, which will be titled “Born and Raised” is scheduled to be released in October.
However, on September 16, 2011, John posted a letter on his Tumblr blog “One Forty Plus” that due to a vocal cord granuloma, which was subsequently treated surgically, John announced that the release date of “Born and Raised” would have to be pushed back on was expected to drop early to mid 2012.
“Born and Raised” was released on May 22, 2012.
On October 20, 2011, Mayer posted an update letting his fans know that he has just had surgery that afternoon to remove the granuloma and the he would be beginning a full month of “complete vocal rest.”
John used this time to travel west taking in sights, and taking photographs that would become integrally tied into the video he would soon make for the first single released off of “Born and Raised.”
The single called “Shadow Days” was released on February 27, 2012. The following day John posted a handwritten copy of the tracklist for “Born and Raised” which he had kept pinned onto his refrigerator. John announced that “Born and Raised” would be released released on May 22, 2012.
To the great dismay of his fans on March 9, 2012, Mayer posted a note to his fan on his tumblr blog “One Forty Plus” that due to the return of his vocal cord granuloma he had no choice but to cancel his tour and refrain from singing indefinitely.
John’s inability to sing did not stop him from playing all together (being he is the foremost awesome and greatest guitar player on earth).
To the delight of his fans, John continued to perform at various venues, both solo, and in collaboration with his fellow musicians.
On April 26, 2012, John Mayer was honored at the 11th Annual GRAMMYS On The Hill awards in Washington DC.
On April 27, a music video for John’s single “Shadow Days” was released.
It fed deeply off of the experiences John had while traveling earlier in the year.
John Mayer released the music video for the second single of “Born and Raised”, “Queen Of California” on July 31, 2012. When discussing the song In an interview John described as being “a very relieving breath of fresh air.”
On September 8, 2012 at the Bob Woodruff “Stand Up For Heroes” benefit John performed a strikingly beautiful rendition of the Beatles’ son “Long, Winding Road.”
On November 29, 2012 John Mayer delivered good news to his fans letting him know that his vocal cord granuloma was very close to being gone and the he was currently in the midst of a 4 week period of total “vocal rest and bland diet” …stating that being rid of the granuloma once and for all would be a “nice Christmas present.”
(Not only for YOU John, but for us, too!!)
Things did start rolling for John in December of 2012.
John Mayer was featured as a special guest of the Rolling Stones as they wrapped up their “50 & Going” tour. On December 13, John joined the Rolling Stones on stage to perform their song “Respectable.” On December 15, John joined the Rolling Stones on stage again and wowed the crowd. When Mick Jagger threw John the floor during their performance of “Coming Down” even his fellow guitarists looked on in awe.
John Mayer’s ongoing struggle to rid himself of his vocal cord granuloma kept him silent for most of 2012, but as John Mayer does everything John Mayer does he wrapped up the year by rocking it out.
JOHN MAYER + 2013 = HOT
In March 2013, to the delight of all John Mayer fans, his vocal cord granuloma finally healed(!!), John Mayer officially announced plans for a BORN AND RAISED WORLD TOUR set to kick off in July.
On May 2, 2013, John brought his fans even more delight when he took to his tumblr blog, ONE FORTY PLUS, and announced he will be releasing a new album this summer!