Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, John Mayer grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, the second of three sons. There, he became friends with future tennis star James Blake. Mayer attended Fairfield High School (now Fairfield Warde High School) for his freshman, sophomore, and senior year, but attended Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Connecticut for his junior year, where he was enrolled in the Center for Global Studies. Then known as the Center for Japanese Studies Abroad, it is a magnet program for students in Fairfield County wanting to learn Japanese.
Mayer listened to pop music, but it was not until the age of thirteen that his inspiration for playing the guitar began, and his father rented one for him. On Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Mayer confessed that he had played the clarinet for a while in grammar school, with minor success.
Generally, it was believed that Mayer's father, a Bridgeport High School principal, had given him a confiscated tape player that contained an album by Stevie Ray Vaughan. However, Mayer, in an 2006 interview on the New Zealand show, Close Up, said the cassette was given to him by a neighbor, sparking Mayer's love of the blues. After two years of practice, he started playing at blues bars and other venues in the area. While in high school, he was in a band called Villanova Junction with Joe Beleznay, Tim Procaccini, and Rich Wolf.
When Mayer was seventeen, he was suddenly stricken with a cardiac arrhythmia that sent him to the hospital for a weekend. The trauma of the incident sparked his songwriting, and he penned his first lyrics the night he got home. Shortly thereafter, he began suffering from crippling panic attacks and even now he keeps Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug) with him, just in case.
Now, at the age of 29, Mayer has already had a successful career. He has sold over three million albums and won six Grammy awards. … Expand