There are four levels of my tolerance for pop musicians:
- Those I love (Beyonce, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake);
- Those I don’t love but respect (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Britney Spears);
- Those who compel me to change the radio station (Miley Cyrus, Blackeyed Peas, Kings of Leon); and
- Those of whom the very thought makes me want to pour lava in my ears.
Let us file John Mayer in category 4. At this level it’s not even about the music, in fact, the music is probably the most redeeming thing about level 4-ers. And that is not saying much because the music is terrible. John Mayer plays his little acoustic guitar and sings his sweet sappy songs about how much he wants to love you and be good to you because you’re a woman and that is so neat. What’s that? You have a blog and you tweet? You write for Esquire? You are so down to earth and in touch with reality.
He does not fool me. I think John Mayer thought early on that he would never be one of those sell-out musician tools obsessed with their own fame (as evident by his expressed disdain for “famous” musicians in interviews), and oops, it happened, and everyone knows it but him.
I’m talking about singing about being a considerate woman worshipping romantic and then indiscriminately entertaining every model, actress, trashy celebutante and Hooters girl that he can get his hands on in rapid succession. How about “fathers be good to your daughters” so they can grow up and share a hot tub with John Mayer in Mexico or be his “secret girlfriend” on his tour bus after a college concert? The worst part is that he acts all surprised and feigns hurt feelings when he’s called out.
I went to his blog today because I was told that it was called “140 Plus” (grr) and I came across this quote:
“TV commercial holiday cheer can be nearly offensive if you didn’t happen to have the kind of year that saw you making friends with an omni-ethnic fully gorgeous group of friends who like to dance in unison.”
Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? You are making fun of a Gap commercial? YOU making fun of the GAP? It would be really easy to assume that John Mayer and his music have played a focal role in every Gap commercial since the beginning of bootcut jeans. John Mayer and the Gap fit happily into the same relaxed fit, untucked shirt, rolled-up sleeves, barefoot and all-American good clean fun category. John Mayer, you, like Gap clothes, are seemingly innocuous but actually cheap imitations of class. Except the Gap has cleaner clothes. Take a bath hippy!
I’ll end by admitting that I’ve actually been to a John Mayer concert. I’m at least pleased to report I didn’t pay for it. The year was 2003 and I got to go to some planning event for college activities boards that culminated in a concert with John Mayer and the Counting Crows, which is really just that one crazy guy anymore. Even then John Mayer was second in quality to a band that consisted of one washed up singer clinging to his 1990’s fame, covering Joni Mitchell songs as a last resort and ending every number in “Yeeeeeeeeeeah.”