Saturday, February 25, 2012

John Mayer

John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American pop and blues rock musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and music producer. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He moved to Atlanta in 1997, where he refined his skills and gained a following, and he now lives in New York City. His first two studio albums, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Your Body Is a Wonderland."

Mayer began his career performing mainly acoustic rock, but gradually began a transition towards the blues genre in 2005 by collaborating with renowned blues artists such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton, and by forming the John Mayer Trio. The blues influence can be heard throughout his 2005 live album Try! with the John Mayer Trio and his third studio album Continuum, released in September 2006. At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007 Mayer won Best Pop Vocal Album for Continuum and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Waiting on the World to Change". He released his fourth studio album, Battle Studies, in November 2009. He has sold over 10 million albums in the U.S. and 20 million albums worldwide.

Early Life
John Clayton Mayer was born on October 16, 1977 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Margaret, an English teacher, and Richard, a high school principal. He grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, the second of three children. His father is Jewish, and Mayer has said that he "relat[es] to Judaism". He attended Fairfield High School in Fairfield although he was enrolled in the Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk for his junior year. (Then known as the Center for Japanese Studies Abroad, it is a magnet program for students wanting to learn Japanese.) During an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Mayer said that he had played the clarinet for a while in middle school, with minor success.

After watching Michael J. Fox's guitar performance as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, Mayer became fascinated with the instrument, and when he turned 13, his father rented one for him.

A neighbor gave Mayer a Stevie Ray Vaughan cassette, which cultivated Mayer's love of blues music.a[›] Mayer started taking lessons from a local guitar-shop owner, Al Ferrante, and soon became consumed with playing the instrument. His singular focus concerned his parents, and they took him twice to see a psychiatrist—but Mayer was determined to be fine. Mayer says that the contentious nature of his parents' marriage led him to "disappear and create my own world I could believe in". After two years of practice, he started playing at blues bars and other venues in the area, while he was still in high school. In addition to performing solo, he was a member of a band called Villanova Junction (named for a Jimi Hendrix song) with Tim Procaccini, Joe Beleznay, and Rich Wolf. Mayer considered skipping college to pursue his music, but the disapproval of his parents dissuaded him from doing so.

When Mayer was seventeen, he was stricken with cardiac dysrhythmia and was hospitalized for a weekend. Reflecting on the incident, Mayer said, “That was the moment the songwriter in me was born,” and he penned his first lyrics the night he got home from the hospital. Shortly thereafter, he began suffering from panic attacks, and lived with the fear of having to enter a mental institution. He continues to manage such episodes with Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug. After graduation, he worked for fifteen months at a gas station until he saved enough money to buy a 1996 Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster.

Personal Life
Mayer has a number of tattoos. These include: "Home" and "Life" (from the song title) on the back of his left and right arms respectively, "77" (his year of birth) on the left side of his chest, and a koi-like fish on his right shoulder. His entire left arm is covered in a sleeve tattoo that he acquired gradually, ending in April 2008; it includes: "SRV" (for his idol, Stevie Ray Vaughan) on his shoulder, a decorated rectangle on his biceps, a dragon-like figure on his inner arm, and various other floral designs. In 2003, he got a tattoo of three squares on his right forearm, which, he has explained, he will fill in gradually. He hosts an annual Interfaith Baking Contest, in which he judges his favorite from pictures of baked goods sent in by his fans during the end-of-year, holiday season.[citation needed]

He is an avid collector of watches and owns timepieces worth tens of thousands of dollars. Mayer also has an extensive collection of sneakers, estimated (in 2006[update]) at more than 200 pairs.

Mayer's parents concluded an uncontested divorce on May 27, 2009. After the divorce, Mayer moved his (82-year-old) father to an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles.

Mayer has followed the discipline of Krav Maga.

Mayer sold his home in the Los Angeles suburbs in 2011. He currently lives in his apartment in the New York City neighborhood of SoHo.

In September 2011, according to a Rolling Stone magazine article, Mayer has granuloma in his throat which must be treated surgically – this has caused him to cancel various planned shows.

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