Featured photo: John Mayer in concert last night.
I grew up listening to the Bealtles and Led Zepplin. My dad thought Elvis was too risqué but classic rock and oldies from the 50s-60s were his go to. I got into Metal around 1989ish and loved hair metal, glam metal, regular metal but not death metal- if I couldn’t sing along I didn’t enjoy it. I was obsessed with Richard Marx when I was 12 and still did when I started jamming to the grunge scene a year later.
Grunge turned into the blanket alternative then ska then punk. Throughout I loved all the music of my past but just kept adding genres to it. I went a slight route down old school twangy country even.
When I got my first job, my first dive into a career after college, I thought I had to grow up. Let my punk rock attitude stay as a past life. I took out the Lebret/lip ring, bought boring new clothes, wore clothes to cover up my tattoos and went back to my contemporary/oldies genre of music.
I didn’t know what I was doing. It was a moment you see in movies and read in books. It was time to grow up and be an adult. I was 30. Time for mortgages, 401k, marriage and babies. My boyfriend at the time was on that path- though he had always been on that path. He didn’t necessarily like my punk rock days of yore, so I went with it and “grew up”.
If it sounds like a shitty relationship from the get go, well, I applaud you for being wiser than I was back then. Five years later I was fat, lazy, depressed and ashamed. Ashamed I let myself give up the things I knew made me happy for things that I only thought should bring me happiness.
Last year I went to Riot Fest in Chicago. 3 days of mostly punk bands and it was one of the happiest times I can remember in the past decade. Since then I started listening to punk again, picking up the pieces of a past life I threw away 6 years prior.
I also got into John Mayer. I always thought I hated his music until I discovered he’s not just a love song croner. He’s actually a break up song, lonesome drifter with a lot of baggage (and aren’t we all?), a ridiculous amount of talent in writing, playing, singing, comedy and being weird as fuck and living his truth. And in the scheme of things, who gives a shit about who he’s dated. It’s all anyone can focus on, but hell if I want to be judged solely on whom I’ve dated. Seriously, just start googling him. His albums Born and Raised and Paradise Valley are nothing like the one hit you prolly remember. His new album is fun to dance to while still telling the tale of a shitty breakup and just being sad for love lost, but also there’s hope. There’s living life while still having emotions. There’s remembering about tomorrow and what you can make of it. It’s not doom and gloom. It’s a touch of gloom but far more inspiration.
His music pulled me out of a serious depression and reminded me to find the things that bring me happiness instead of trying to find this mythical happiness in someone else’s dream. His snapchat showed me not to take yourself serious. Be fun and goofy and weird as fuck and be with the people who appreciate you rather than trying to live up to someone else’s standards. I tried to be what I thought my job and boyfriend wanted me to be. I tried to make this American Dream standard happen. But fuck standards. Be you! That’s the success, just being happy being whomever you are!
John Mayer is seriously responsible for me getting over and moving on from the death of what I thought I needed to be, and my rebirth into who I always was. And it’s a seriously great thing!
Now, I can’t promise you’ll have an epiphany like me, you might not dig his humor or tunes. But I got to see him in concert last night and I’m still giddy as hell. It was a fantastic show, a hell of a performance and it only left me wanting more and more.
Luckily I’ve got 2 more concerts this week, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies- a punk super group of sorts that only does covers and Lucky Boys Confusion- a Chicago band I’ve been in love with for nearly 20 years.
Music is my life. I’m happy I can see that clearly now. Sigh, smile and repeat. 😊