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John Mayer Finds a Serene Groove on Rothbury's Closing Night

July 7, 2008 1:25 AM ET

Perhaps the Zen spirit of Rothbury's jammy vibe engulfed John Mayer. The singer-guitarist with the biting wit was in chill-out mode for his Sunday evening set. "Waiting on the World to Change," as smooth and serene as the nearby lake, came across like the most passive-aggressive protest anthem ever written. Guitar licks fell as slow and steady as teardrops on a shuffling "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." Even a cover of the blues standard "Crossroads" sounded unnervingly polite. Still, the set wasn't without its highlights, including the soul-flecked ballad "Gravity," a song far more weightless than its titles might suggest.

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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