John Mayer takes YOU behind the scenes of his songwriting process.
- May 06, 2008
- 2.9m Views
Starring John Mayer, Ian Roberts, JB Smoove, Kristen Bell, Martin Starr, Gerry Bednob, Steve Bannos, Josh Feemster
Produced by Judd Apatow, Andrew Epstein, Melvin Mar, and Cohen/O'Brien
Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen
Written by Lew Morton, Brendan O'Brien, and Andrew Jay Cohen
Camera by Greg Cohen
Edited by Bret Scott
Special Thanks: Crystal Li, Playground Media, Tyler Nilson, George Anderson, Joe Schiff, Renee Epstein, Tiffany Lynn, Bannos Family
May 06, 2008
John Mayer: Hi. I’m John Mayer. Come along while I show you how a song is written.
Shot cuts to car pulling into a parking lot.
John Mayer (voiceover): I wake up in the morning and I go to work like a regular guy.
Shot cuts to the interior of the car. John Mayer is drinking a red bull.
John Mayer (voiceover): I drive my own hybrid vehicle.
John Mayer drives his car over a curb. The shot cuts to him walking into a building with a phone held up to each ear.
John Mayer (into the phones): Now that we’re all friends here we can
hopefully all get together on me. (voiceover) Having not been inspired
since 2004, I’ve established and idea room.
John Mayer walks up to reception desk. A very attractive and busty
woman wearing a t-shirt that reads My Body is a Wonderland hands John
Mayer a sandwich. The shot cuts to John Mayer sitting in the “idea
room” with two other men. One is African-American and the other is
African-American Idea Man: Let’s start with the most universal one we have.
White Idea Man: You work all week. You get through the grind. Just living for the weekend.
John Mayer: Eh, it’s too country.
African-American Idea Man: You’re dancing, but you don’t really care how you’re dancing. You don’t care how you look.
John Mayer: That’s not a metaphor is it? Because, I don’t like metaphors.
White Idea Man: Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy is filled with regret.
John Mayer: I don’t like this guy.
African-American Idea Man: You like the girl, but you can’t get the girl.
John Mayer: If I can’t get the girl, why don’t I just tell her I’m John Mayer?
Both Idea Men stare blankly at John Mayer.
John Mayer: How about something everybody can relate to, like, when
you’re fucking one supermodel and you make the other ones jealous.
White Idea Man: I’m not really sure that’s something people…
African American Idea Man: Well…
John Mayer: I love it. Let’s do it.
John Mayer gets up and leaves. Shot cuts to him riding a mini-scooter around in the halls.
John Mayer (voiceover): Have all the chords in music been found? Most will say yes. I say, not so fast asshole.
The shot cuts to the “chord research guy” sitting in a plush leather chair holding a guitar.
Chord Research Guy: I came up with this one.
Chord Research Guy plays a horrifying, non-chord. He then looks up at John Mayer.
Chord Research Guy: M.
John Mayer: Mmmmhmmmhmmm. It needs work.
Chord Research Guy: It’s called M, for Mayer.
John Mayer: I like it. Let’s use it.
John Mayer walks out and the shot cuts to John Mayer walking in the hall with another man.
John Mayer: Hey Brian, get me the guy who, uh, plays whistle in Paradise City.
Brian: Axl Rose?
John Mayer: I didn’t ask what his name was, just get him for me.
The shot cuts back to the Idea men. They look annoyed, helpless, and perplexed.
African-American Idea Man: Call in our friends…
White Idea Man: I had a lot of good ideas that universal and he now I gotta write about eh fucking supermodels.
The shot cuts to John Mayer riding his scooter in the halls. He passes
the hot receptionist and steals the sandwich out of her hand. He takes
a bite and throws the rest over his shoulder.
John Mayer (voiceover): You know, I never really took to drugs. The coke farts are always just terrible. So, I hired a guy.
John Mayer walks into a room and we see a bearded guy doing lines of coke.
John Mayer: Listen, I’m gonna need you to do more drugs. I need all your desperation for my guitar solos.
The drug guy stares at John Mayer for a moment, leans down, and starts
to do another line without using a straw. Shot cuts to John Maye
riding the scooter in the hall again.
John Mayer: The song has finally taken shape.
John Mayer steps off the scooter and lets it fall to the floor. He walks into a room.
A man is sitting at a computer.
Man at computer: All right. We’re ready. Do you want to take a listen?
John Mayer is sitting on a couch with the hot receptionist, Chord Research Guy, the drug user and several others.
John Mayer: I didn’t sing on it.
Man at computer: Oh, we just pieced together a bunch of stuff you’ve already sung.
John Mayer: Cool.
Man at Computer: It is cool.
The man at the computer hits a switch and a few seconds of bluesy guitar is heard.
John Mayer: That’s enough. I’m sure it’s great.
John Mayer gets up. The shot cuts to him riding the scooter in the hall
again. The shot cuts to John Mayer and the man at the computer standing
outside a room.
John Mayer (voiceover): When I focus group a song, it’s because I want to know that my core audience is gonna love it.
Inside the room we see a man in a lab coat, a young white man, an olde
African-American man, someone of indeterminate gender dressed something
like Waldo from Where’s Waldo, and a baby in a stroller. The shot cuts
to hallway outside the room.
John Mayer: Look at them. They love it.
The shot cuts back to the interior of the focus group room.
Older African-American Man: That music sucks big fucking time.
Man in lab coat: Sir could you watch your language? There’s a fucking baby in the room!
The shot cuts to John Mayer walking in a hall.
John Mayer (voiceover): People matter, but celebrities matter more. That’s why it’s time to bring it to them.
John Mayer knocks on the outside of a door.
You see Kristen Bell with a set of headphones on.
Kristen Bell: This is shit! (Points to headphones)
John Mayer: It’s the shit, right?
Kristen Bell: No. It’s fucking aw…
John Mayer: It’s awesome. It’s fucking awesome.
Kristen Bell: …ful.
John Mayer: I knew you’d love it. Thanks Kristen Bell.
John Mayer gets up and leaves. The shot cuts back to the Idea Men.
African-American Idea Man: I don’t even know a supermodel. Do you?
White Idea Man: No! Of course I don’t know a supermodel. Nobody knows a
supermodel. Him and like fucking eight other guys know supermodels.
African-American Idea Man: That’s it.
White Idea Man: Goddammit (throws notebook onto the table).
Shot cuts back to John Mayer sitting at the mixing board.
John Mayer: If I wasn’t thought of as a young Bruce Springsteen before, I sure am now. That’s how it’s done.
John Mayer waves goodbye. He turns and looks at someone off screen.
John Mayer: What’s that?