Eric Clapton recently did a concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate his 70th birthday. He invited a number of musicians on stage to play with him including Jimmie Vaughn and Derek Trucks. He also invited younger guitar player John Mayer.
Clapton has praised Mayer’s guitar playing, and I think this is to his credit. Often musicians Clapton’s age refuse to acknowledge younger players or even pay attention to current music. They often have an attitude that nothing good has been done since their own heyday. They just talk about the older musicians who influenced them in their youth.
Personally, I think Mayer is a fantastic musician and a great songwriter. Because he often says stupid things in interviews, people write him off as silly. The drama of his personal life and the fascination the tabloids have with him all adds to this impression. In fact, his musicianship and songs are anything but silly. He’s also surrounded himself with an outstanding backup band.
Brian Torchin, for one, hopes that Clapton will continue to perform as he ages. Guitar players tend to be able to hold on to their skills no matter how old they get. It’s not like when trumpet players lose their lip and have to retire. As far as John Mayer, I think that he has a bright future ahead of him if he can stay out of trouble.