This week’s Billboard cover star John Mayer opened up about the first time he ever picked up a guitar, the best (and worst) things about touring, his worst on-stage mishap and more as he played a game of “First, Best, Last, Worst.”
“The first time I remember picking up a guitar, I was at friends’ houses who had these beginner guitars with less than six strings on them,” Mayer tells Billboard. His grandmother then bought him his own guitar from a tag sale — also lacking in six strings — but, as he says, he didn’t mind.
“When I got a guitar with all six strings, well, I found that very exciting,” he shares, “Because I had all the strings that a guitar was supposed to have. And the sky was the limit at that point. And I was 13 when I did that.”
Speaking of touring, the “New Light” singer reveals that he loves the familiarity he has developed working with the same crew over the years. His least favorite part of being on the road, however, is when he has off days.
“You’re not doing anything that day that would make touring worthwhile,” Mayer says. “You’re just staring out of your hotel window at a Panda Pavilion in a mall, and you’re just waiting for the next day you get to go play.”
The musician is also asked what the worst thing that has happened to him on stage has been, prompting him to share a story about the time he accidentally got a string from a tea bag caught in his throat, but still had to perform.
“I had a teabag in a cup. String came out of the teabag and I swallowed the string,” he explains. “But not all the way. So, the string was just hanging over the back of my throat, wouldn’t go anywhere, and I had to keep singing. A lot of skill involved in continuing with the show no matter what.”
You can watch the full video interview with John Mayer above and take a behind the scenes look at his cover shoot below.