John Mayer: Evil Genius

By Isabel Betancourt,

A glossy bomb on John Mayer's career was hidden within the sexy pages of March's issue of Playboy magazine and exploded Wednesday as the it hit stands.

The guitar virtuoso let his wits get the best of him again as he revealed Simpson's under-cover, wild-child side, Aniston's adamant refusal to ride the technology wave and, what could only be described as a mushroom cloud comment, the N-word.

At his Nashville performance, the multi-platinum, multiple Grammy-winning artist, stood in front of his band, mostly comprised of black musicians, and attempted to clear up some of the debris the interview left behind.

He attributed his verbal recklessness to his "quest to be clever." Mayer then broke down in tears as he spoke.

"I decided that I would try to be as clever as possible all the time, and I did that at the expense of people that I love and that feels absolutely terrible. It feels worse than any headline I could get myself out of. I think it's important that you know that everybody on this stage is here playing with me not because they condone what I say in any interview...they're on this stage because they support myself as a possible future grown-up." Later, Mayer retreated as the un-official colonel leading his own one-man army in a self-inflicted war of wits and continued on with the show.

What is important to emphasize is the following: More often than not, words obey the less-is-more concept and when you are undoubtedly good at something, there is really no need to prove anything but what your own talent already exudes.

What can a man whose critically acclaimed songs, highly praised guitar skills, and eloquent lyrics possibly feel he needs to prove? Credibility as a musician? Check. Being considered a genuinely talented, intelligent individual? Check. Legions of fans, acceptance from his colleagues, collaborations with other guitar prodigies? Check, check and check.

Yet Mayer lacks self confidence. This very dangerous flaw can be the cause of his own demise as he desperately tries to overcompensate by touching on sensitive subjects in controversial ways. As the world wide webs now floods with opinions on Mayer's attempt at being brilliant, we are more and more reminded of the age old cliche: "Actions speak louder than words." We don't need to be told he's clever, we're hearing his cleverness live every night through his Les Paul.

But the dam has burst and not even the most sincere apologies can stop the rushing. All that can be done now is play the guitar, finish the tour, and seriously consider adopting a more talk-is-cheap mentality.

In the end, the Mayer that lives within the words and melodies of his albums is much more interesting than the one we're reading in Playboy right now.



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