John Mayer

Re: John Mayer

Postby aiq » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:16 am

The Beatles were promoted as pop, but they were the hippest thing happening in 1964. If you weren't around for that you can't know the effect, just earth shaking.

And they rocked hard.

Stones a close second.

One of the teachers at my school, a twenty something loves Meyer, went to a show recently. We have a little fun back and forth but at the end of the day I agree that Mayer is a good player.

As they say, anyone drawing a crowd is doing something right...
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Mr.Burns » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:12 am

I didn't say his phrasing wasn't "like Jerry". It's clunky and wrong, plain and simple. Big difference. Maybe he wasn't "making mistakes" per se, but listen to that lead again, it hits a brick wall and he instantly starts a new phrase in the middle of a measure. Not exactly Jerry-esqe, or professional even. It helps to watch that video with your eyes actually open, and without stars in them. There's quite a few members here who could probably play circles around him on FOTD. If we as musicians and Deadheads give everybody that comes down the pike equal praise then praise for the truly great means that much less.

I'm not disrespecting Mayer, quite the contrary. But that guy is a celebrity first and a musician second. He was a TMZ magnet because he wanted it that way. Why is he the only guitar player or musician period they care about? He isn't trying to make more $ by playing GD tunes, he's shoring up his fan base for the future, and it comes off as a business decision, since he seems a little mechanical and calculating.

He is not on par with the Beatles. Why is that the go-to? The are lots of other great pop bands, but why not just compare every yahoo we see to the Beatles? The worst Beatles song (whatever that may be) is infinitely more listenable than the best Mayer song. Hands down. Not trying to put anyone down but the correlative logic in "If I like the Beatles, and they were pop then I must like John Mayer because he is pop" is flawed. Totally illogical.
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Re: John Mayer

Postby joethepainter » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:12 am

Mr.Burns wrote:I didn't say his phrasing wasn't "like Jerry". It's clunky and wrong, plain and simple. Big difference. Maybe he wasn't "making mistakes" per se, but listen to that lead again, it hits a brick wall and he instantly starts a new phrase in the middle of a measure. Not exactly Jerry-esqe, or professional even. It helps to watch that video with your eyes actually open, and without stars in them. There's quite a few members here who could probably play circles around him on FOTD. If we as musicians and Deadheads give everybody that comes down the pike equal praise then praise for the truly great means that much less.

I'm not disrespecting Mayer, quite the contrary. But that guy is a celebrity first and a musician second. He was a TMZ magnet because he wanted it that way. Why is he the only guitar player or musician period they care about? He isn't trying to make more $ by playing GD tunes, he's shoring up his fan base for the future, and it comes off as a business decision, since he seems a little mechanical and calculating.

He is not on par with the Beatles. Why is that the go-to? The are lots of other great pop bands, but why not just compare every yahoo we see to the Beatles? The worst Beatles song (whatever that may be) is infinitely more listenable than the best Mayer song. Hands down. Not trying to put anyone down but the correlative logic in "If I like the Beatles, and they were pop then I must like John Mayer because he is pop" is flawed. Totally illogical.

I watched the vid with eyes open, no stars in them, and I liked it. Unique take on the solo section, with the band cycling thru the verse, with no resolution to the chorus until the end of the song. Nice take. Also, I couldn't give a rat's ass about his supposedly sordid personal life. Furthermore, whatever decisions he's made, business or otherwise, seems to have paid off for him, regardless of the motives behind them. He's a musician making a living doing what he loves to do. What's wrong with that? Last time I checked, this is an acceptable, and even encouraged, way of living here in the good ol' U. S. of A. Finally, you're presenting your opinions as if they're facts. That's totally illogical, Mr. Burns.

Peace, Joe
Last edited by joethepainter on Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Mayer

Postby strumminsix » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:00 am

Mr.Burns wrote:I didn't say his phrasing wasn't "like Jerry". It's clunky and wrong, plain and simple. Big difference. Maybe he wasn't "making mistakes" per se, but listen to that lead again, it hits a brick wall and he instantly starts a new phrase in the middle of a measure. Not exactly Jerry-esqe, or professional even. It helps to watch that video with your eyes actually open, and without stars in them. There's quite a few members here who could probably play circles around him on FOTD. If we as musicians and Deadheads give everybody that comes down the pike equal praise then praise for the truly great means that much less.

I'm not disrespecting Mayer, quite the contrary. But that guy is a celebrity first and a musician second. He was a TMZ magnet because he wanted it that way. Why is he the only guitar player or musician period they care about? He isn't trying to make more $ by playing GD tunes, he's shoring up his fan base for the future, and it comes off as a business decision, since he seems a little mechanical and calculating.

He is not on par with the Beatles. Why is that the go-to? The are lots of other great pop bands, but why not just compare every yahoo we see to the Beatles? The worst Beatles song (whatever that may be) is infinitely more listenable than the best Mayer song. Hands down. Not trying to put anyone down but the correlative logic in "If I like the Beatles, and they were pop then I must like John Mayer because he is pop" is flawed. Totally illogical.


Just a few thoughts....
1) listen to enough blues and jazz guys and they push it, hear something not working, let it breath a beat then pickup anew from wherever. I'd rather hear that then safe pentatonics.
2) He's a musician first. How he's portrayed by the media is not of his doing.
3) Dude claims to have inspiration from the Dead and Jerry... Haven't we all?
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Re: John Mayer

Postby tatittle » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:27 pm

The best thing I heard of Mayer was some recording of him at like age 16 playing in Ct. His band was absolutely terrible (kids), but he was truly inspired and had the non-stop youthful passion gunslinger thing going on. Very Beano like but on Hendrix material. It is easy to be critical of folks like this who are hyped up to make money primarily, especially when jealousy comes into play. My main criticism of Mayer would be I havent seen him play anything new really. Kids say hes as good as Hendrix or SRV which is ridiculous of course---those guys were on totally different levels rythmically. But there is also an authenticity issue I percieve: where the other 2 seem to absolutely manifest the music from the soul, Mayer seems to be copying others travels to a some extent as a guitarist, with a few more delay effects albeit (which may be part of the divide actually). I have no doubt he has a unique sound to offer, but its tough to nurture that when there is so much worldy fruit from doing the same old thing.

My solution would be to get out of the corporate boardrooms and trendy clubs at night, and rent a Big Pink house in upstate NY, lol. The guy has plenty of talent and soul, I would just like to see him develop his uniqueness...hes getting a bit old to be playing songs like other people, no matter how good the taste is. Its not fair to criticize this one performance, I am sure he has had plenty of times where he has exploded this song with his playing, and there are some really nice moments for sure. Of course when the comparison is to one of the sweetest, subtle, and most melodic players ever its easy to look a bit bland.

I just read Mayer reported he has been listening to nothing but Dead boots for a couple years. They arent present here, but I am guessing he will begin adding those picked chromatic lead-ins before long. Of course it may already be the case as I can count on one hand the numbers of times Ive watched a video of him live. One of the others is a version of Althea I just saw on Youtube...pretty darn good. It lacks the rolling subtlety that I would argue is much of its personality, in favor of turning it into a rocker at times (but thats the rythym sections perogative largely). Arent we lucky to live in America with so may musical influences?! And Jerry embodies so many of them in some way lol...they even rapped at the acid tests.

I am not familiar with his catalog, but he seems like a good songwriter too. Thats one of the places I draw the line between mere pop acts and those that respect the craft and art. One doesnt become so proficient on an instrument if chasing fame, money and women is the only priority. To lump Mayer in with the latest corporate project boy band is just ridiculous.
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Re: John Mayer

Postby jeager » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:34 am

Listening to dead and playing the songs. Good for him... i think thats great. I don't care for his vocal styling though it sounds like he is putting on false airs and sort of cheesing it up. I have the same opinion of Dave Mathews. Both very talented but not my cup of tea...

I'm really glad other people play the songs and interpret them their own way though, that's for sure.
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Jimaroe » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:12 pm

After reading this thread, I had to jump over to Youtube and find Mayer's Althea cover. I think it's cool that he's digging the Dead, but as another poster submitted, his style is not my personal cup of tea. That said, 2 other thoughts popped into my head. First, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Great that he is spreading The GD to an audience that is probably not well versed in Grateful Dead. Second, and I mean this as genuinely as possible, void of disrespect to Mayer. BUT, I now have something that I can connect with musically with my 10 year old daughter! :cool:
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Jon S. » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:05 am

Jimaroe wrote:I mean this as genuinely as possible, void of disrespect to Mayer. BUT, I now have something that I can connect with musically with my 10 year old daughter! :cool:

In my view, the value of this alone is inestimable. I would have begun with, "I mean this as genuinely as possible, FULL of RESPECT to Mayer. ..."
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Jon S. » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:07 am

Jon S. wrote:
Jimaroe wrote:I mean this as genuinely as possible, void of disrespect to Mayer. BUT, I now have something that I can connect with musically with my 10 year old daughter! :cool:

In my view, the value of this alone is inestimable. I would have begun with, "I mean this as genuinely as possible, FULL of RESPECT to Mayer. ..." Just as I felt about Tolkien after reading the Hobbit, LOTR, and Appendix A to my then 6 year old daughter in their entirety (so she'd be able to experience the books in their fullness BEFORE the 1st LOTR movie).
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Octal » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:36 pm

I'm wondering how many fangirls are walking away from those shows thinking "I can't believe John played us a new song he wrote!"

"Who's this Jerry and why does he sing John's songs like that?"
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Poor Peter » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:07 am

Octal wrote:I'm wondering how many fangirls are walking away from those shows thinking "I can't believe John played us a new song he wrote!"

"Who's this Jerry and why does he sing John's songs like that?"


I was waiting for a reply similar to this. Dudes got a pretty face and he's marketable. Period. Unfortunately in this day and age, that's what its all about.
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Re: John Mayer

Postby bilmon » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:09 am

No doubt the dude can play, but he's an absolute media whore and from things I've read about him as well as other musician's thoughts that seem to indicate he has a massive ego.
This quote from jambands.com
"I’ve been listening to stuff and just falling in love with certain things. I’ve been listening to the Grateful Dead nonstop. Mark my words, the Grateful Dead are gonna make a comeback, because of how that music cleanses your palate. When everything is processed and quantized and gridded out – to hear “Tennessee Jed” played with that lope is a real palate-cleanser. They take their time, sometimes too much. This free expressive sort of spirit – I listen and I want to find a mix of that openness. I kind of want to go to that show, if it still existed. But I wish that there were tunes that I was more familiar with. I wish that I could be the singer. I wish I could have harmonies. And I wish that I could make it seven minutes instead of 13 minutes. Now I’ll get the opportunity to kind of try that."
To me this says, because I am now into the Dead's music, it is destined to make a comeback. That may show my own biased opinion of disliking him but who here actually thinks that the Dead's music actually went anywhere? I don't see how music that's been going strong for 40+ years could be destined for a "comeback"
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Jon S. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:13 pm

bilmon wrote:That may show my own biased opinion of disliking him but

I actually respectfully think it does. But everyone's entitled to his own opinion.
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: John Mayer

Postby bilmon » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:13 pm

Yes sir, if it get's more people into the music then I see no problem
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Re: John Mayer

Postby Mr.Burns » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:37 am

@joethepainter: Sorry I didn't type IMHO before every sentence in my last post. I guess I kind of felt like it was implied. Other people keep reinforcing the opinions I stated "as facts", but some folks just keep seeing only what they want to see.
strumminsix wrote:Just a few thoughts....
1) listen to enough blues and jazz guys and they push it, hear something not working, let it breath a beat then pickup anew from wherever. I'd rather hear that then safe pentatonics.
2) He's a musician first. How he's portrayed by the media is not of his doing.
3) Dude claims to have inspiration from the Dead and Jerry... Haven't we all?


I listened to the most blues and jazz guy I could think of who was also vital and pertinent to the current musical climate: Derek Trucks. He doesn't do any of that, because he doesn't need to. He actually has something musically pleasing and vital to say when he's playing. Hence the lack of fumbling buffoonery in Mr. Trucks' playing that is ever-present in so much of what Mayer does. And #2 sounds like an opinion stated as fact IMHO.
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