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

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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