At Monday evening’s VH1 Save the Music benefit, honoree John Mayer turned the attention to his favorite subject: himself.
“They asked me if I wanted to load something into the teleprompter. But I figured since I’ve been doing so well talking off the cuff lately, I figured I’d just stick with it,” said Mayer, who was dressed in a blazer and an untucked grey shirt that he had buttoned to the top. It was true: The teleprompter was, for Mayer’s speech only, completely blank. Mayer — who brought along College Humor founder Ricky Van Veen as his date — was introduced by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. So maybe he was in a boys-will-be-boys mood from the moment he got there.
“I’m not philanthropic by nature,” he said, noting that all his charitable efforts were due in part to his managers. And then: “Did you know you can send wine to someone after they give birth? I had no idea until I met [manager and former ATO Records president] Michael McDonald. He said, ‘Let’s send them a bottle of wine.’ Wow! She just gave birth to a child. Vaginally. I get it now! So now I send bottles of wine.” He hung his head: “Julie Andrews is here … and I’m making a fool of myself.”
Andrews giggled. Having already received a standing ovation and a tribute performance of “Do Re Mi” and “The Sound of Music” from Kristen Chenoweth, she was safe in her seat.
Mayer continued with the self-deprecation, much to the delight of the crowd: “If you want to imagine how my life would be like without music, think about how you think about me now, and take away the guitar.” He ended the speech by noting the importance of creating music instead of simply listening to it: “I’m not so interested in Auto-Tuning the remix. Professional consumption is boring me to death.”
For his part, Jason Mraz, an ambassador for the Save the Music program, couldn’t stop talking about love. “My love life is great. Where my head is in music is great,” he told Rolling Stone. He also discussed his upcoming album, which he said is tentatively titled The Love Album: “But really it’s just L-O-V-E. Which is something I want to put out in the world.”
Ten years after the release of his first album, Live and Acoustic, Mraz admitted he feels a little trapped. “I miss driving around in my own car, around the country, to get the gig. Being a poor romantic. I guess I miss the freedom and the rebellion that was so easy to have. Even when I slip a little of that life into my blog, man, I get comments, I get phone calls, and issues.”