Thanksgiving Day On All Things Considered: A Performance, Interview With John Mayer


Mayer Plays Songs from New Album, Talks to Guest Host Ari Shapiro About Nostalgia for Home Life, Patience in Career

In a special performance and interview airing Thanksgiving Day on NPR's All Things Considered, John Mayer gets comfortable with guest host Ari Shapiro – delving into the music and story behind his current album, Paradise Valley; patience as a career virtue; and his thoughts on fame. Asked about the conflict between his celebrity and nostalgia for a tranquil family life, Mayer tells NPR: "That's been the theme of my entire career, really. Basically, I don't know how to reconcile this job I have as a musician, with this desire I have to be a guy who stays at home. I even tattooed it on my arms, 'home life,' as some sort of like 'thug life' alternative tattoo."

The interview and performance is airing Thursday, November 28 on All Things Considered, and will be available at NPR Music and on mobile, which will also feature a video of Mayer's performance. To find NPR Member stations and broadcast times, visit Audio clips and photos from the interview, recorded last week at NPR's Studio 1 at its Washington, D.C. headquarters, are available now at the "This Is NPR" blog.

During the interview, Mayer performs several songs from his new album, including "Dear Marie" and "Waitin' on the Day," and returns to his older work with the Grammy Award-winning "Daughters." When asked if he writes different songs from his ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana, than from New York or L.A., Mayer responds: "Yes, yes, yes. You may have to go someplace like Montana to 'get' this record." He cites the track "Dear Marie" as an example, saying: "If you take that song on the road, any open road, it's killer. I think if you're on a subway in Manhattan, I don't know if it's going to play like that."

The interview also touches on the balance between commercial success and artistic vision, and how to build a long-lasting legacy. Mayer says: "Being patient with your career, being patient with your gifts, being patient with your time. It's hard to stay patient. The only thing that keeps me going is looking back at historical data of the artists that we now absolutely love – while forgetting the huge pockets of time their records weren't successful. Neil Young. Frank Sinatra. Bob Dylan. Crosby Stills and Nash. Joni Mitchell. Tom Petty. There's a certain patience to it that if you can do that, if you can really walk that path, and you know we all applaud Bob Dylan for going electric. I guarantee you he lost sleep over it. If an artist says he loves not being loved, he's like an inch away from falling off the cliff."

Tune in to Mayer's interview and performance Thanksgiving Day during All Things Considered on NPR Member stations nationwide, and visit NPR Music for more.


NPR Media Relations: Cara Philbin
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