Watch John Mayer wield his custom Charvel for a performance of Never Gonna Be Alone featuring Jacob Collier and Lizzy McAlpine

John Mayer and Lizzy McAlpine both featured as guests on UK pop wunderkind Jacob Collier’s song Never Gonna Be Alone earlier this year – and the trio recently got the chance to perform the song together onstage for the first time.

Mayer and Collier appeared at McAlpine’s recent show at the LA Troubadour (on October 7), treating the assembled to the live debut of the song. While the latter two leant on acoustic guitars, giving the tune a new unplugged spin, the deft touch of Mayer’s centerpiece solo still demanded electric guitar.

Collier has since shared a clip of the performance on YouTube, telling fans it had been some time coming. “After eighteen months of FaceTime and virtual collaboration, we got to play this song in real life!” wrote Collier.

The performance was also notable for Mayer’s instrument of choice – a rare outing for his custom-made Charvel x Powell Peralta “McGill” San Dimas. The sky blue electric was built to Mayer’s specifications back in 2017.

In an Instagram post from that year, Mayer said the guitar was intended to be a tribute to the “late ‘80s California skate and metal culture that inspired me growing up.”

As such, the artwork was based around a design from skate brand Powell-Peralta and was hand-painted by guitar graphic whizz Dan Lawrence. The nods to skating don’t stop there – even the control knobs are meant to look like the wheels of a skateboard.

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It’s an appropriately meaningful partner for what feels like a meaningful solo. At the time of the song’s release, Collier told Rolling Stone (opens in new tab)

“To have the masterful John Mayer lend such pristinely dulcet guitar tones to the song is a surreal thrill for me, having grown up listening to his music in such a deep way,” said the songwriter. 

“His sound is utterly uniquely his, and it’s the most amazing feeling to have had him join Lizzy and me in the creation of this song.”

You can watch the full clip above. Head to Jacob Collier’s site (opens in new tab), meanwhile, for more of his forthcoming world tour dates.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.