Great Quotations: John Mayer

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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“A song protects your idea from the judgment of others and that’s why you get into songwriting. I wouldn’t wear a T-shirt that said, ‘Who says I can’t get stoned’ but with a song you can get away with a lot of different things. And I raise the point that if I was a chronic marijuana smoker, would I be as articulate and glib about it as I am?”

– Pop idol John Mayer defends his controversial single “Who Says,” which asks the question: “Who says I can’t get stoned?”

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  1. That’s a very interesting thought “A song protects your idea from the judgment of others…”. I imagine that his perspective is that when you write a song, it can be interpreted as fictional or simply playing around with ideas, which is true. But it isn’t true for every song, especially when you start writing about things that are factual. For instance, in the protest songs of the 60’s, there was no question that the songwriters were expressing their political opinions, not just having fun. And when the Dixie Chicks wrote “Not Ready To Make Nice”, anyone who knew the story behind it understood that they weren’t just having fun, which lead to the single being banned from some radio stations! So I think John Mayer should probably just put on that t-shirt and not be afraid to say what he thinks or express who he is 🙂 I think he’s a fabulous songwriter and performer.

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