Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear John...

I wish I had a good way to broadcast to celebs who keep managing to get themselves in trouble. I mean, I do, with this blog, but let’s be real. My name isn’t Perez Hilton.

I don’t even have a hundred hits a week, because I don’t update as often as I want to or could, I don’t do all the things you’re supposed to do in order to gain more readers quickly. I just write here whenever I feel compelled, and obviously that isn’t very often.

But we’re not talking about me, for once. We’re talking about troubled celebs… and if you want to get more specific—troubled musicians.

I can kind of grasp what it’s like to be a troubled musician. In my own way, I used to be one. I played the piano from third grade on. I used the piano to get into an up-and-coming music school at a high profile university.

And the moment I got my first grade for playing the piano… I knew I was going to quit.

I suddenly wasn’t doing it for myself anymore. I was doing it to get a grade. I felt like a sell-out. I felt like I had to produce, produce, produce, just to be considered someone worth listening to.

That really brought home my understanding of what a musician must go through in order to “make it big”. Especially in this day and age… you have to become something bigger than yourself to be known.

Or else, it takes you many years to gain notoriety, like it has for Adam Ezra—who is an incredibly talented and committed musician… but because he refuses to sell out (good for him, I say) or become something he isn’t, he’s had to work harder to broaden his audience.

And then there’s a whole other type of musician-turned-celeb, like Kurt Cobain. He got swept up in the music, and the press, and he tried to deal, and he failed.

Kanye West is another talented musician who doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to handle fame.

How about the latest debacle, though?

John Mayer.

I love me some John Mayer. His music is at times brilliant, especially his latest work, and now that the ultra-annoying run-through-the-halls-of-my-high-school-scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs song has all but left the radio waves forever (Thank God. Seriously.).

I do get that he’s a little troubled under that arrogant exterior. And it doesn’t take a genius to realize that, if you read between the lines of what he does and doesn’t sing, he struggles with depression.

I get the feeling that he really does only want to write songs and play guitar, and the rest is just the crap that he built around himself… perhaps as a mode of protection—a façade to hide how hard it is to be in the spotlight all the time.

What I’d like to tell him is… please come to Texas for a while, and give Pathways a try.

It’s more than just media silence. It’s more than just taking a look at yourself.

It’s about healing and learning concrete ways to do it better in the future. I bet Pathways could teach him how to show his fans who he really is… his soft underbelly—which, as a singer/songwriter, you’ve got to be willing to expose… yet still be a grown-up who knows how to maintain his dignity.

I said the following recently, and while the actual topic I was referring to deserves its own post, I’ll post the pertinent excerpt here:

We need to shed this age-old notion that a "real man" is someone who sucks up his feelings and does "what he needs to do".

That's just not true.

A real man is someone who has the courage to face the demons within, allow himself to feel, and show vulnerability to those he loves, while showing compassion and strength to the world around him.

There is undeniable strength in tenderness, and it takes true courage to be vulnerable.

No matter how you do it, John... be a real man.


  1. thx for taking the time to write it! should've known you'd be a great writer:) have a great Valentine weekend!

  2. Thanks Kim! I love blogging and wish I had more time to do it. I'm trying to *make* the time!


    They said it best.