Why John Mayer Nearly Stepped Away From Music

close up shot of John Mayer singing into a mic at Madison Square Garden

By Elyse Johnson |

close up shot of John Mayer singing into a mic at Madison Square Garden

(Getty Images)

John Mayer appears to be in a very comfortable place in his life today. With hits like “Daughters” and “Your Body Is a Wonderland”, he initially earned a reputation as a major heartthrob and a notorious ladies’ man. The singer has had several highly-publicized relationships, including Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson, the latter of which is partially responsible for getting Mayer in some hot water.

Since 2015, Mayer has toured with members of Grateful Dead under the name Dead & Co. His love for his music seems to be unparalleled, but there was a point in his career where he had to make some reevaluations.

John Mayer admitted to his mistakes and bad choices

In 2017, Mayer realized that he may have made a few bad decisions, both in personal and PR terms. His questionable statements during interviews with Rolling Stone and Playboy left a bad taste in the singer’s mouth, leading Mayer to quietly take a step back from the music scene. Mayer was quoted using somewhat vulgar comments about his relationship with Simpson and even referred to her as “sexual napalm”.

John Mayer considered himself to be a “Mack Truck without brakes” when it came to embarrassing himself in interviews and the press. He realized that tabloid fame was basically “human-growth hormone” that could be dismissed as “extracurricular stuff”. “I basically realized I’m no good at that, so I’m going to drop that major. What I did was probably semi-consciously just reboot it — control, alt, delete. It was an induced coma,” he told the New York Times.

The songwriter understood that his career “flatined” and that he had served himself a major loss. “What has to happen for a guy to believe that he’s totally well-adjusted and be that far out of touch? My GPS was shattered, just shattered,” the singer said. “I’m old enough to look back on my life and go: ‘That’s probably the photonegative shot in ‘Behind the Music,’ coming up after the break — boom — the downfall,” Mayer joked.

Now, John Mayer has reinvented himself and is counting his blessings as he tours with one of the most iconic bands in music history. “When I was invited into this tribe, I promise you it was the exact opposite of anything you might think along the lines of having to reconcile ego or status. It’s like a basketball team — you are doing your best to help the team win,” he said about joining the band.