John Mayer Knows He Messed Up
By JOE COSCARELLIMARCH 23, 2017
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The musician John Mayer, whose new album, “The Search for Everything,” comes out in April.CreditElizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times
LOS ANGELES — John Mayer can explain where he’s been. In fact, once he gets going, he probably won’t stop, given the amount of time he has spent in private processing his recent self-imposed irrelevance — the “lean years,” as he calls them.
A generational guitar talent and reliable soft-rock hitmaker with seven Grammys, Mr. Mayer is also a master conversationalist prone to verbal solos, noodling in impressionistic bursts about his nature and career, weaving in therapy-speak, potential stand-up bits and a barrage of mixed metaphors as if he’s writing this story himself. That’s what got him into trouble in the first place.
“The elephant in the room is that we’re sort of talking about the double-headed dragon of the Rolling Stone interview and the Playboy interview,” Mr. Mayer said a half-hour into a monologue about why he left pop music’s A-list and how ready he is, emotionally and musically, to return.
Across four hectic days this month, as Mr. Mayer, lucid and optimistic, finished his big-budget new album, “The Search for Everything,” and filmed a music video for what he hopes will be his next hit single, he seemed to especially relish reflecting on his 2010 undoing. Recalling the consequences of those infamous magazine articles — in which he used the phrase “sexual napalm,” chronicled his onanism in horrific detail, referred to his male anatomy as David Duke and somehow separately used a racial epithet — Mr. Mayer was vivid and virtuosic in his self-laceration.
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“What has to happen for a guy to believe that he’s totally well-adjusted and be that far out of touch?” he said. “My GPS was shattered, just shattered.”
Published by Bruce Henry
Published Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 4:11 AM