John Mayer: “I'm not a Zeppelin guy; everyone I love comes from the Strat side”

(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for LiveNation)

We all know John Mayer has an affinity for things Strat-like, but in a recent interview with Dean Delray’s Let There Be Talk (opens in new tab) podcast, the electric and acoustic guitar player extended his Strat love to being partly behind the reason he’s not a huge Led Zeppelin fan.

“I happen not to be a Zeppelin guy,” he told Delray. “It never caught me; it still very much could. The vocabulary isn't my vocabulary.”

He continued, “Jimmy Page playing basically a Gibson, that's a different sound for me. I'm a Strat guy. Everyone I love comes from the Strat side. I also am a melody geek.

More Mayer musings

"I think Going to California, that song is outstanding. I mean, Blind Faith probably wishes they wrote that song. It sounds like anybody would've killed for that song.

"Anything that has melody in it, I can dig, but when it gets into like bluesy Led Zeppelin, it's a genetically just a little outside my zone, just by a little bit."

Elsewhere in the interview, Mayer talked to Delray about how he knows when a song he’s written is a keeper.

“It plays like a radio in your head," he said. "If I get home from the studio, I play a little game. I go, 'Sing it. Can you sing it?’ You can't sing it after you've worked on it the whole day?

"If you can't sing the song when you're brushing your teeth, it's trashed.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.