The John Mayer blues

I hate John Mayer.

The man is a cheater, a liar and a swindler.

Pretty-boy pop-star Mayer, the guy responsible for "Daughters" and "Your Body Is a Wonderland," is perhaps the best guitar player alive.

Anybody who finds that hard to believe should check out his concert DVD, "Where the Light Is," like I did a few days ago.

During the concert, Mayer played three sets: one acoustic, one with his blues trio, and finally all his pop hits with a full band.

The final set is all the vanilla-tinged Hot 100 hits people expect from Mayer, but the first two display his shockingly wizard-like musicianship.

Watching the apparently vacuous Mayer burn his guitar parts to pieces is like finding out that Santa Claus really exists, and he's Kevin Federline.

Mayer plays solos on his acoustic guitar that should not be playable on an acoustic. During the song "Neon," he uses a finger-sliding technique that by all means does not seem possible except for on an electric.

Jokes have been made about the faces Mayer makes while playing. One of my friends jokes that the faces are because Jimi Hendrix's soul is trying to escape from Mayer's body.

During his set with the John Mayer Trio, he covers Hendrix twice and tears both songs to pieces.

Immediately after playing Hendrix's "Wait Until Tomorrow," he plays a Trio original, "Who Did You Think I Was," while playing a guitar that belonged to Hendrix.

The audacity this displays is staggering. He managed to get his hands on one of Hendrix's axes, which would be a glass-encased gem to many collectors, and actually plays it in concert.

Not only is that like buying Annie Oakley's rifle and using it to hunt deer, but Mayer is intentionally suggesting comparisons between himself and the rock legend, which exemplifies why I hate him.

Sure, there's a lot of envy mixed in with my animosity, because Mayer is an incredible guitarist and I am not. But my sticking point is that Mayer knows he is a fantastic guitarist, brags about it and exploits it to the lowest-common denominator to make money.

That's why nobody realizes what a talent he is, because it's not as profitable nowadays to play blazing licks as it is to do easy-listening ballads and look pretty doing it.

It's a shame that Mayer feels that it's necessary to use his talent in this way.

I guess integrity is just not profitable nowadays.


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