How John Mayer came to join Dead & Company

Dead and Company
(Image credit: C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

John Mayer’s discovery of the Grateful Dead happened by chance. In 2011, while listening to random suggestions on Pandora, he heard the Dead classic Althea, and with that he fell hard and fast. Taking a deep-dive into the band’s vast back catalogue, he became a committed ‘Deadhead’, leading to a remarkable chapter in his career. 

The first evidence of the Dead’s influence on Mayer came with his 2012 album Born And Raised and 2013 follow-up Paradise Valley. Both albums marked incrementally intensifying departures from polished pop, with Mayer doing and playing exactly what he pleased. And both contained subtle but abundant Grateful Dead influences.

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.