John Mayer defends 'gnarly guitar face' while playing Grateful Dead songs

Yvette C. Hammett
John Mayer (R) and Bob Weir perform the Grateful Dead classic Friend of the Devil on Watch What Happens Live with host Andy Cohen. Courtesy Bravo
John Mayer (R) and Bob Weir perform the Grateful Dead classic "Friend of the Devil" on "Watch What Happens Live" with host Andy Cohen. Courtesy Bravo

LOS ANGELES, June 29 (UPI) -- Bravo's Watch What Happens Live surprised viewers by bringing in Bob Weir and John Mayer of Dead & Company for its Tuesday talk show, on which Mayer talked about his "gnarly guitar face" and his upcoming solo album.

In answering a question from the audience, Mayer defended his guitar face, often described as sexual and contorted, Billboard reported.


"I don't mean to do the guitar face," a defensive Mayer said. He said it's the demands of the Grateful Dead's enormous array of songs that cause him to make "an even more gnarly guitar face."

Concentrating on getting every chord perfect as the music mixes and twists, he said, causes him to make "a pained sexual face."

Not only is he lost in the music, Mayer said, "I'm worried about falling off the bike."

Host Andy Cohen asked them if they feel the late front man Jerry Garcia's presence when they perform as Dead & Company, Entertainment reported.

"In my imagination," Mayer said, "I better preface that by saying, there are moments where – I would never think to vocalize this or feel like I deserve to be able to vocalize this – but there are times when I go, 'You tell me what to do.'"

"I hear that in his playing," Weir chimed in. "He goes to the registers, for instance, that Jerry would. It's something you intuited."

As for Mayer's upcoming solo album, he said it will likely come out early next year. "I'm almost done with it. I have to finish some vocals and then just mix it and it's ready to go."

Cohen, whose love of the Grateful Dead is well documented, convinced Mayer and Weir to pick up their guitars.

Weir and Mayer finished out the segment with their rendition of The Grateful Dead's Friend of the Devil.

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