Behind The Stories

Turkey & Tattoos: NPR Is Thankful For A John Mayer Performance This T-Day

This Thanksgiving, treat yourself to more than that extra serving of granny's finest green bean casserole. All Things Considered is serving up a special performance and interview with John Mayer.

  • "You may have to go someplace like Montana to 'get' this record." John Mayer tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his new album, Paradise Valley.
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    "You may have to go someplace like Montana to 'get' this record." John Mayer tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his new album, Paradise Valley.
    Amy Ta/NPR
  • John Mayer sets up shop for his performance in Studio 1 at NPR Headquarters.
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    John Mayer sets up shop for his performance in Studio 1 at NPR Headquarters.
    Amy Ta/NPR
  • NPR Correspondent Ari Shapiro and John Mayer get chummy outside of the green room at the NPR Headquarters.
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    NPR Correspondent Ari Shapiro and John Mayer get chummy outside of the green room at the NPR Headquarters.
    Amy Ta/NPR

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In between acoustic performances of tracks from his new album, Paradise Valley (and a few of his older hits, as well), the Grammy award-winning musician got comfortable chatting about his music, patience and fame with All Things Considered guest host Ari Shapiro.

"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," Mayer tells Shapiro, in the interview that airs on Thursday, November 28.

"Neil Young. Frank Sinatra. Bob Dylan. Crosby Stills and Nash. Joni Mitchell. Tom Petty," he says. "There's a certain patience to it."

When Mayer circles back to this "it" several times throughout the interview, could the musician - who has released six solo albums and collaborated with a string of blues and jazz heavyweights, like Eric Clapton and Herbie Hancock - be alluding to his own struggle to find a peaceful work/life balance?

"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," says Mayer. "I even tattooed it on my arms, 'home life,' as some sort of, like, 'thug life' alternative tattoo."

The full interview follows Mayer through performances of songs like "Dear Marie" and the award-winning "Daughters," all recorded in Studio 1, NPR's 325-seat black box studio and event space housed in its new Washington, D.C., headquarters.

But if you just can't tear yourself away from that cutthroat game of Scrabble with good ol' granny, catch up on Mayer's interview on Thursday via NPR Music. In the meantime, check out two audio excerpts from his visit to NPR, here:

Visit www.npr.org/stations to find broadcast times in your area.

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