Mayer Booted From School

Mayer makes surprise appearance at old school, asked to leave

December 27, 2004 12:00 AM ET
When John Mayer discovered he was being inducted into his old high school's Hall of Fame last Thursday, he decided to put in a surprise appearance at the ceremony. But when he showed up at Fairfield Warde High, in his hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut, the singer-songwriter was taken to the principal's office and then escorted to his car.

The school cited security concerns and concerns for the students' "welfare" as the reason for ejecting their star alumnus. Mayer, 27, graduated from Fairfield Warde in 1995, and his parents Margaret and Richard are a retired schoolteacher and principal, respectively.

Mayer has made a habit of reaching out to high schools this year, treating students at Pennsbury High in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to a last-minute performance at their senior prom. "It was great to get back to the simplicity of just showing up somewhere and playing," he said of the experience. "But the best part is realizing that not a single drop of that moment is going to be lost on these kids. It will be written on their brains for the rest of their lives. It was really exciting. I'm thinking I should start doing six proms a night."

Mayer had planned to donate a guitar he'd used on tour to his alma mater before he was booted from the premises.

Mayer is set to play an acoustic set at the first Musicians on Call benefit at Sotheby's in New York on January 31st. Profits from the auction -- of guitars signed by Bruce Springsteen, Avril Lavigne, Dave Matthews, No Doubt and Elvis Costello, and a miniature piano from Alicia Keys -- help to bring live and taped music to people in healthcare institutions.

Mayer's song "Daughters," off his recent album Heavier Things, is nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year. The singer-songwriter previously won a Grammy in 2001 for best male pop performance for "Your Body Is a Wonderland."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »