Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is John Mayer more talented than me? And other questions that haunt my nights...

I've been a musician for more or less my whole life. From piano lessons in grade school, through bands and choirs in school, through bands with friends, through picking up instruments here and there, and even riding a vocal scholarship halfway through my undergrad years. I can play about a dozen instruments, half of them pretty well, and I'm a good enough singer to garner the aforementioned scholarship. In short, music has pretty much dominated my life. I've been spending the majority of my days either listening to or performing it for as long as I can remember. I know it inside and out, classical and contemporary, theoretically and wanking jammery.

Yet my one big project this summer has been to write a song. A song of my own. One that I would perform and say "here's a little ditty I wrote" or something witty like that. How hard can it be? To borrow a phrase, the radio is full of no-talent ass-clowns winning Grammys all over the place. Certainly it cannot be that hard.

And yet it vexes me so. I simply cannot write anything I would ever perform in front of other human beings. And in my quest to figure out why this writer's block has such a grip on me, I've been relentlessly analyzing all forms of music I listen to.

And you know what I think? I think I'm just not full of myself enough to do it. I mean, seriously, look at the lyrics to your favorite songs. Read them aloud, with no music or anything, just read the words aloud. You'll notice they sound completely ridiculous. So ridiculous you have to wonder if the people performing them ever get embarrassed of having to say such things night in and night out on tour. But they don't, because they're able to accept their own bullshit as if it were legitimate.

And it's not just accepting your own bullshit, it's truly believing that others want to hear your bullshit. And don't get me wrong, I'm plenty able to force my bullshit on others, but for some reason, just not musically.

So I'm working on it, and making a little bit of progress. But I have to believe I'll overcome this and write some eventually, because I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with the fact that there are things the likes of John Mayer can do that I can't...


Howard said...

Jennifer Aniston
Jessica Simpson
Heidi Klum

Those are three things John Mayer has done that we will never be able to.

Woz said...

Oh, I'll accept that he's more attractive than me, just not more talented...

Finfrock said...


It's been a long time, since we were toddlers in fact. But because I saw that you had commented on Chris Uggen's post re my research for Mother Jones, I figured I could send you a quick hello on your blog. (

I'm glad to see that you're doing well. Your blog is very entertaining, keep at it!


Woz said...

I must admit my ignorance here...I don't remember any other toddlers I knew named Jesse, especially ones that are doing research for mojo. Shoot me an e-mail at