I was going to try to refrain from being yet another voice condemning John Mayer for his absurd, racist, sexist tirade in Playboy, but here I am. Blogging about it. Rather than state the obvious (“ill advised” doesn’t even begin to cover it), John Mayer’s off-the-cuff interview with Playboy has certainly gotten me thinking a lot about “authenticity.” As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of authenticity, and oddly enough in this day of Reality Everything, it can be an elusive quality.
And then someone like John Mayer comes along with a very “authentic” tirade (if by “authentic” we mean “racist, sexist, and hideous”) and makes me stop and think, “was he just being himself?” Mr. Mayer, in case you are sitting around waiting for me to weigh in on your, ahem, “authenticity issue,” here is some free advice:
- Think of each interview as a love letter to your fans. As much as your ego may tell you otherwise, interviews are not about you. They are about connecting with your fans. And while, yes, we are all a little obsessed with your relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson, we really aren’t interested in the level of detail you so colorfully provided (sex was like “napalm”???). From now on, think about what REALLY serves your fans. Don’t tell us what we think we want to know (gossip), but what we should know about you: what makes you write the songs you do, and what inspires you as an artist. Give us THOSE messages with purity and authenticity. You’re not Paris Hilton, reliant on the paparazzi to keep you relevant. Your music is what keeps you relevant.
- The same social media you profess to love will TAKE YOU DOWN. I’ve got a nagging suspicion that going into your interview you thought, “Hey, this is Playboy. I’m allowed to get a little down and dirty with them.” Newsflash: The minute that interview hit Playboy.com, it quickly became CNN.com and WhateverYourMomReads.com. Your credibility as someone who stands for ANYTHING OTHER than heaping-amounts-of-white-girl-only-sex is pretty much shot. Not even sure Haiti wants you raising money for them at this point.
- Focus on your talent. Do nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, for the next 12 months but write music, and play music. Don’t act like an idiot at a club, don’t date anyone. In fact, you might opt for just getting out of the country for a year or so. Clear your head. Go on a porn diet. Better yet, go work with the world’s poorest of the poor (without cameras following you), and remember that while you’ve been trying to beat Wilt Chamberlain’s record, there have been people struggling to find enough food to eat, watching their children go to bed hungry. Remember how blessed you are to be a well paid musician, surrounded by idiot women who will continue to fling themselves at you.
I hope this is helpful to you. Secretly, I’m still a fan. I still think “Daughters” may be one of the most beautiful songs ever written… insightful, simple, and true. John Mayer, you can’t possibly be as misogynistic as you have made yourself out to be. So get back to basics, shut up for a good long while, and we’ll see you at the Grammys in 2013.