Weekly Roundup: When Mayer Met Maren Edition

Here’s the story: Handsome fellow with plenty going for him has cute girl with plenty going for her, and there’s no reason in the world they shouldn’t be happy together, but there’s another fellow involved. A little (or a lot) more famous, a little (or a lot) more adored by the public. There’s some “creative work” involved. Does it go farther than that? We can only guess. But we can guess.

That’s how I got my ticket for John Mayer’s remarkable performance at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville this past Tuesday: a friend of mine has a girlfriend with whom he is squabbling. She’s an artist and she is popular with various D-list celebrities. My friend would be almost any woman’s dream date: tall enough, fit, handsome, articulate, conventionally masculine, thoughtful, and working a high-paid job that actually means something and almost never involves an office. Truth be told, I’m a little attracted to him myself, mostly in an envious way.

Ah, but he’s not famous. Let’s insert the usual The-Current-Year disclaimers about how there is no difference between AMAB (assigned male at birth) citizens and AFAB (absolutely fabulous) citizens, and formally assert their validity in all circumstances… and then click the jump.

Women dig fame and power. They dig fame and power the same way men dig beauty. You don’t have to be Leonardo DiCaprio. You can be a D-list rapper, or a saxophone player for a ska band, or the manager at a restaurant. (The latter is a depressingly common occurrence; I’ve heard more stories about that than I have about hookups with musicians.) You just need to be somebody in some kind of social situation. There are sound biological reasons for this, but I have sound biological reasons for wanting to be able to feed my son so that’s as far as I’m going to go in this line of discussion. If you want more, read Vox Day, or Heartiste, or any one of a thousand scientific studies published before the turn of the 21st Century.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my friend and his girl had a fight so I was able to buy her ticket. I think it’s a temporary situation, this disagreement. She really likes him and he really likes her. But it was very lucky for me. While I have often been the beneficiary of fights between men and the women they love, this is the first time it’s been concert-related. Which is how I came to be standing among twenty thousand maskless, social-distance-less actual human beings when the opening chords of “Last Train Home” came blaring out of the stadium’s not-that-great sound system.

I make no apologies for being a John Mayer fan of 15 years’ standing. I felt authentically giddy when the song started. Didn’t think it could get any better… but then Maren Morris came out to sing!

Maren, for those of you over the age of thirty, is the indifferently-talented country-pop singer/songwriter who has penned quite a few hits for country’s biggest names but who also has a few hit records in her own right. She provides vocals for the studio version of “Last Train Home”, but since she is a Nashville resident Mayer thought it would be fun to have her come out and sing on it live. She then returned for “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”:

Listen, I’m about as autistic as you can get without being nonverbal and I have all sorts of difficulty interpreting human behavior but after seeing it in person even my dumb ass can tell you that Maren really, really, digs John Mayer. After the fact, she posted about it on Instagram, talked to People magazine, and basically did everything she could to make sure the whole world knew that her “high school dream had come true”.

This phrase, “my high school dream came true”, can in every single instance it appears be interpreted as

My high school dream came true

and that is doubly so when the object of one’s high school affection is in the kind of fine form enjoyed by 44-year-old John Mayer. He looks like he is thirty. There isn’t any fat on him. Is it HGH? T supplements? Adrenochrome? Who knows. But he doesn’t look forty-four. (Side note: he is exactly six days older than Brother Bark.) Plus he is, ya know, John Mayer. He is six foot four, with a size 14 shoe and personal equipment that reportedly delighted Jennifer Aniston enough for her to discuss it with anyone who would listen. If you think he only appeals to menopausal moms, you’d be wrong; the Nashville concert was about one-third twentysomething beauty pageant.

(Another third of the crowd, to everyone’s chagrin: men of a certain age who “dig the blues” and own a PRS Silver Sky, such as your humble author’s “Lunar Ice” example.)

Of course, Maren is married, to a Nashville nonentity named Ryan Hurd. You can throw a lawn dart in Nashville and hit three Ryan Hurds. They all look and dress and act exactly the same. He is generically handsome — but Mayer is uniquely handsome, even to your non-flexible author. Hurd is tall, as Maren notes here in an explanation for her song “Tall Guys”:

but he is only six foot three and gawky with it, while Mayer is simply a five-eleven man at 110% scale. Oh, and there’s the fame thing, as mentioned above. John Mayer can entice fifteen thousand women to attend a no-mask, no-protocol concert in the middle of yet another COVID hysterical propaganda wave; I don’t think Ryan Hurd can fill a Potbelly sandwich shop. At the end of the show, Mayer said that Maren’s music is “what it sounds like to be alive right now”. Her music is Auto-Tuned junk, so I assume that’s code for “Maren is 32, and I’m 44, which is great.”

So yeah, I can only guess, but I can guess.

As for the show itself: looking like a 30-year-old at 44 isn’t the only way John Mayer is on top of his game. He has been making hit records for twenty-six years. To put it in perspective, he’s older than Paul McCartney was when he released Pipes Of Peace, and about the same age Bob Dylan was when he and George Harrison effectively vanished into the Traveling Wilburys. As noted above, a significant percentage of the Nashville concert attendees were no older than the first pressing of his major label debut, Room For Squares. The row of girls in front of me couldn’t have been that old. They were so fresh and naive that they actually got up and left at the “end” of the concert, only to come screaming and running back to their seats when the encore started. I had to wonder if this was not, in fact, their first-ever concert. That never happened for the Traveling Wilburys.

Mayer is, of course, painfully self-aware of this and many other things. “I never set out to write a bullshit song… I must have written this with sincerity, so tonight I’m going to play it with sincerity,” he assured the audience, right before launching into “Your Body Is A Wonderland” and causing the air to flood with raw estrogen. I am reasonably certain that he could have stopped halfway thorough the song, put his guitar down, and asked the women in the audience to kill every man present… and it would have happened immediately. You can’t fight fame. Fame reinforced by the screams of countless other girls around, doubly so.

Well, this is the effect the concert had on me: I’m going to practice my guitar a little more often. Just in case those sandwich-shop gigs ever make a post-COVID return. Not that I think it will help me with the ladies, but I dimly recall there was a free lunch and a soupçon of tip money involved with each one. I’d like to get some more of that. As the man himself said: If you give me just one night (or day!), you’re gonna see me in a new light.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about ambitious collections and ambitious Korean luxury sedans.

109 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: When Mayer Met Maren Edition”

    • jc

      I’m far from an expert and I never got a ton of pussy but it seems like half the battle is having her attention. Whether that’s a boss or the dude butchering karaoke at 3am.

      When I was on the dating apps cicra 2017 I had WAY more success with the opening line of “Damn girl are you a school?? Cause I want to shoot kids in you” than I did with something reasonable. Not even close. IDK what that says about women but the less I think about it the happier I am.

      Reply
      • Ice Age

        Wow, that’s a hell of a pickup line!

        Even better than, “If you were a woman, I’d totally have sex with you.”

        Reply
      • Harry

        Nice top.

        I still use it when I am out and want to fell good about/prove something.

        Extracting myself from what ensues usually provides amusement front my friends.

        “Here hold my drink”. Then fleeing the bar was my low/most amusing to my peers moment in years.

        Reply
    • Trucky McTruckface

      Is it really, though? Your average restaurant manager, bartender, etc has more access to women than just about anybody, and instant social proof. He’s a known quantity. Meanwhile, generic STEM guy works in some sausagefest cube farm and while he might have a six figure salary and be photogenic, he’s a still an unknown nobody to every girl he swipes right on.

      Yeah, it’s stupid, but biology trumps logic every time. I’m in what Jules Winnfield would call a “transitional period,” and life lessons like these are more reason why I’ll likely never make use of my engineering degree or MBA ever again. Actually, restaurant/bar work is probably in my future while my next career gets off the ground – in which case I’ll be exploring this theory further.

      Reply
      • Daniel J

        Folks just must not be doing it right. I work in a medium sized city with one of the highest rates of PHd’s and STEM degreed men and women per capita. We got Aerospace, Mechanical, Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical engineers all over this city.

        Many of these men have hotties for girl friends or wives and are yes, raking in the money. While they are an unknown commodity in some sense, these women are happy to sit at home, not work, and in many cases, be homemakers

        I live in the south though, so maybe these more attractive women are less influenced by extreme feminism..

        Reply
          • jc

            I don’t know where it could be if it isn’t huntsville. One of my many personal failings is that I worked for a summer in west alabama and never made it up to muscle shoals.

        • Trucky McTruckface

          “Folks just must not be doing it right.”

          It’s not so much that being a technical guy hurts your prospects (although there’s definitely a stigma); the problem is when they have the mindset of “Why do these women go for such losers? I’m the one with the great job.” It’s as though they expect women to just gravitate to them because of that.

          In my experience, for every STEM-type that I’ve known with a hot girlfriend/wife, there’s five more that either settled for the first woman that gave them the time of day, no matter how frumpy or witchy, or don’t even try to pursue women at all. STEM just seems to attract those kinds of guys.

          “While they are an unknown commodity in some sense, these women are happy to sit at home, not work, and in many cases, be homemakers.”

          And that explains it. Having an engineering degree seems to be a magnet for this type of woman. As much as tradcon guys like to romanticize this, these women are usually gold diggers with lower standards. Classier versions of what military guys would call a “dependapotamus.” I’ve dated girls like this; the last one actually told me she feared losing her physical attraction to me if she ever had to help pay the bills – I ended things soon thereafter. Don’t get me wrong, stay at home moms are great – my own mom worked a lot of awful graveyard shift jobs to be home during the day – but any woman who eagerly wants to be a homemaker should be viewed with suspicion.

          Reply
          • John C.

            There also maybe a realization on the part of the top flight ladies, that the STEM men will be forever stuck in their techincal, 80k a year ghetto and never progress into top management and top status. That was the fate of many of my engineering classmates at Georgia Tech.

          • stingray65

            I think most men would be very enthusiastic about a classic 1950s era housewife who supports her husband’s career by taking care of the home and kids, makes sure a good meal awaits his arrival home, is happy to host business colleagues for dinners, and takes time to keep her appearance up. On the other hand, a feminist housewife who doesn’t contribute much if anything to the household finances but still insists her breadwinner husband do “his share” of the cooking, housekeeping, and listen patiently to her complaints when he returns home from a long day at work is pretty much every man’s nightmare and all too common these days.

    • hank chinaski

      “In Which the Author Argues Against Women’s Suffrage”
      Perhaps those bearded bearded, cave dwelling fellows in Afghanistan are on to something.

      Understanding female behavior is like getting into Existentialism….go too far into the weeds and you’ll either want to eat a bullet or else drop it all and get religion.

      Speaking of restaurant supervisors, for some really cheap laughs, catch the early Reynold’s vehicle ‘Waiting’.

      Reply
      • TAFKADG

        That’s an excellent analogy, and it’s quite applicable.

        Here’s a harsh truth for the young dudes; when it comes to understanding female behavior… dating is amateur hour.

        You get a much more comprehensive understanding through being married AND raising daughter. Trying to successfully raise a teenage girl in the current year is…… almost inexplicably difficult. Even if you do everything right.

        I’m not really sure how many times I’ve threatened to convert us to Islam over the past three years, but it’s a lot.

        Anyone who still argues that men and women are the same/interchangeable deserves to be torn limb from limb by John Mayer’s female audience.

        Reply
  1. John Van Stry

    Yeah, it may not be the fall of society as we know it, but you can definitely see it from here.
    Used to be women were all about family (and so were the men).
    Now women just want to get laid by the ‘high value’ male (and what they consider ‘high value’ is often pretty screwed up), get knocked up by him. Then find some poor slob to raise the kid while she continues to go out and give her all to more ‘high value’ males that are willing to sleep with her.
    And too many guys are more than willing to stand there and hold her coat while he’s getting cuckolded.

    Our whole society is based on the ‘average male’ being able to find a mate so he’ll continue to slave away at the kind of unglamorous jobs that society needs done so it doesn’t fall apart. But the social contract has been broken and more and more guys are just checking out and doing the bare minimum to get by.

    Yeah, it was fun while it lasted.

    Reply
    • jc

      I was thinking about that last weekend. I went home (small town with most of the industry leaving or gone) to for my buddy’s birthday. We were smoking cigs and shooting the bull. He said he’s thrilled to start making $18 an hour this week. This due is a great guy and I love him like a brother, but he’s 5’7″ and women aren’t exactly beating a path to his door. Starting a family and owning a home seem to be half the reason grown men don’t do crazy stuff. This isn’t just a him problem. What in God’s name happens when an average dude doesn’t have any incentive to shut up and go to work?

      Reply
    • stingray65

      It is interesting that the John Mayer concert was filled with young women who dream of being with him as a lover or wife, and that he has a long history of dating famous good looking women, and yet he has never married and has no known children at age 44. In the old Hollywood days similar patterns were seen among good looking hunks like Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift who later turned out to be gay, but in the modern era when members of the LGBQT+ community are celebrated as heroes I suspect another explanation is simply a case of not seeing a reason to settle down with one woman when you can have a new one every day – or perhaps that even the famous, rich, talented, and good looking John Mayer can’t find a modern woman of reasonable attractiveness who is not a total narcissistic loon?

      Reply
      • Jack Baruth Post author

        In his thirties Mayer said something along the lines of “I haven’t found the perfect vagina yet, and I’ve seen thousands.”

        Reply
          • hank chinaski

            The cheap shot answer would be: ‘Problem, what problem?’
            Even cheaper: ‘Within what? The thousands of vaginas?’

            Tip your servers.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            You have to look at from Mayer’s point of view. He can have anything he wants. So he wants to make sure he has the best. We’ve all felt that way about SOMETHING. He has the ultimate luxury of being able to feel that way about a human being.

          • stingray65

            There is no perfect vagina or perfect human being, and to judge a potential mate only on the basis of their bedroom abilities is unlikely to yield a very satisfying relationship. So either Mr. Meyer is a literal and figurative dick in making such a comment, or it reflects a frustration in finding a woman who is not a gold digger, not a crazy feminist, not a total narcissist, but instead someone who supports him by being good company as in sharing interests, hobbies, intellectual curiosity, offering empathy, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness, and perhaps even being a good cook, good in bed, and interested in being a good mother to their children.

        • Dirty Dingus McGee

          “I haven’t found the perfect vagina yet, and I’ve seen thousands.”

          Not having even 1 one thousandth of 1% of the fame of John Mayer, I have only “seen” approx 100-125. I have found a few that were kinda sorta perfectish, but the life support system needed some tuning.

          I know, misogynistic, caveman, blah blah blah. I have been divorced for over 40 years, having decided to NOT marry just for the sake of being married. I came to conclusion, slowly, that it was better to be occasionally lonely and single, than often miserable and married. An additional problem was my work: I had jobs that required a lot of travel, regularly over 200 nights a year away from home.Hard to build/maintain any type of relationship if you’re not there to build it to begin with.

          As the internet famous tattoo says; No Regerts. I’m comfortable in my skin, something a lot of folks I know can’t say.

          Reply
          • -Nate

            Dirty Dingus McGee wrote :

            “I came to conclusion, slowly, that it was better to be occasionally lonely and single, than often miserable and married. ”

            _THIS_ in spades ! .

            Too many don’t like their own company and so get married or cohabitate with someone they don’t really get along with .

            Trim is always easy to find, inner peace not so much .

            -Nate

  2. Ice Age

    While I was at work the other day, waist-deep in yet another meaningless assignment, I mused for the thousandth time on how my current “good” job has finally made me understand why divorces generate so much raw, white-hot hatred. This was my dream job when I started, but in the last year has sent the following two sentiments racing around the emotional particle accelerator that is my head:

    “YOU BETRAYED ME!!!”
    “I THOUGHT I FINALLY HAD THIS BOX CHECKED!!!”

    I finally get it. Modern industrial civilization depends for its very survival on keeping nearly everyone poor enough to need jobs.

    Society has an infinite number of hateful little shit tasks that need to be done, but which no one would do if they didn’t have to. So while society can tolerate the small number of rich at the top who’ve escaped the drudgery and the dregs at the bottom who’ll never produce anything useful, it needs the 99% in the middle to need to earn money, so that they’ll have to work.

    I hate my job, but I’d do it for free if I could do it MY way.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Actually, the small number of rich at the top are the ones who produce most of the useful stuff that society values, which is why they are rich. The idle rich is largely a myth used by communists to justify confiscating the property and wealth of super productive. Sure there are some trust fund country club types who inherited the wealth generated by their super hard-working and smart husband, father, or grandfather, but most of the modern day idle rich are women who have latched onto a high-value male so they can live in the fancy neighborhood, enjoys the fancy yacht, and drive the fancy brand vehicle he provides, but is often too busy to enjoy himself. I suspect a lot of high end divorces are primarily caused by the man’s passion for his job/profession/business to the neglect of the wife who was attracted to him because of the fame and wealth that his passion has created, but has grown tired of running in a poor 2nd place (or lower) and now wants to get her 50% of his wealth as revenge.

      On the other hand, you are correct that society needs a large group of “laborers” to do the crap jobs that nobody really wants to do except for the fact that they need the money. Yet with the modern welfare state and rampant female hypergamy, a lot of “low value” men don’t need to do much paid work to “get by” and don’t have much prospects of having the fame, credentials, and wealth to attract a wife and gain family obligations that require striving in the workplace, which is why male labor participation is much lower than in previous generations. The good news is that if you hate your job as it is currently configured, there are more opportunities than ever to find another place of employment where things are done better or even self-employment. Just don’t quit your current job before you have found your new landing place, because potential employers and business funders are just like most women – they are only interested in you when you are already in a relationship.

      Reply
      • bullitt315

        I believe this for small companies and for companies where the CEO actually started the joint. I don’t for large publicly traded companies. the people who make the most toe the woke line and are rewarded for it. A 300k a year diversity officer does nothing beneficial for a company. Carly Fiorina made millions ruining HP. The Disney and Twitter board are actively sabotaging their companies right now so much so they should be sued for breach of duty.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          Good points, but woke CEOs of large traded companies work very long hours, even if much of their woke efforts end up hurting shareholders and employees. I have no problems with high performing CEOs getting big salaries and bonuses for doing a good management job because such skill sets are very rare, but there is clearly something wrong with boards who approve golden parachutes and bonus packages for top managers to do the “Get Woke, Go Broke” routine on the company they manage. While a $300K diversity officer is always a net negative for the company she works for, she also does not qualify as truly rich with that kind of salary. Furthermore, I expect DIE administrator salaries are inflated in large part because it makes their company’s diversity and inclusion statistics look good since highly paid DIE administrators who are highly placed on company organization charts are almost always some combination of female, POC, and LBGQT who otherwise have no skills or talents that would make them eligible for management positions.

          Reply
    • Ken

      Hits close to home… great comment and I can empathize in regard to my own work…

      [This was my dream job when I started, but in the last year has sent the following two sentiments racing around the emotional particle accelerator that is my head:

      “YOU BETRAYED ME!!!”
      “I THOUGHT I FINALLY HAD THIS BOX CHECKED!!!”]

      Reply
  3. Arbuckle

    So I have a 2nd gen G80 5.0L and might be sour grapes or whatever but I like my car more than the new G80.

    Reply
  4. Ronnie Schreiber

    (Another third of the crowd, to everyone’s chagrin: men of a certain age who “dig the blues” and own a PRS Silver Sky, such as your humble author’s “Lunar Ice” example.)

    PRS has done a masterful job rolling out the versions of the Silver Sky and it’s done very well in all its iterations, but according to what Paul Reed Smith has said recently, it’s only like #4 on their best selling models list. Interestingly enough, the PRS model that Paul designed for Jim McCarty, the 245 single cut, sells better than the one he designed for Mayer as the 245 is apparently their best selling model. It’s interesting that while Paul Smith is notable for the first widely successful original electric guitar design that wasn’t a Tele, Strat, or LP, two of his company’s best selling models are essentially his versions of the Strat and the Les Paul.

    Reply
  5. Will

    Drove the G8-0, bought a honda accord 2.0T touring. Sure as shit ain’t worth $30k more than the Honda. In fact, I’d say that the gap is narrowing fast. Even the tech the Mercs is beyond lame with Honda at level 3 autonomy (in Japan).

    Reply
    • stingray65

      This is the big problem for luxury brands, and especially new luxury brands, because what tangible benefits are you getting by going up-market when even pedestrian brands offer almost the same level of performance, luxury, and technology as the expensive upscale brands, and certainly more than 99% of buyers will ever need/use in their daily driving. Some might point to better quality leather or paint or nicer feeling switchgear, but if you are leasing and returning the vehicle after 3 years such higher quality is not really relevant, and the movement towards putting all switches onto a dash mounted touchscreen is also making switch quality irrelevant. More sophisticated motors and suspensions that offered smoother refined power and better handling also become irrelevant when every car has a super smooth and quiet electric motor and self-driving suite that means the car is largely driven by a computer instead of the human on-board. Which leads to the status that comes simply by having a well established luxury/status brand that bestows “wow he drives a MB, BMW, Rolls, Ferrari, Lexus, etc.” status on the owner that will be difficult for Genesis, Polestar, or some of the new Chinese car brands to match. Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid seem to be making inroads largely based on super cool styling or breath-taking EV performance, but when all vehicles can silently do the 0-60 run in less 5 seconds and offer wind-cheating sleek style to maximize range, will they still be relevant (especially if they fail to make money and look financially shakey)? Of course, if no one can figure out a way to make a profitable and cheap EV the luxury brand problem may disappear because there won’t be any cheap brands/models available for new car buyers to lease.

      Reply
    • John C.

      I love me a good, why should any other car exist in a world that includes the Accord, comment. I would have thought that would have ended with CVTs, no more sticks or V6. Good for you Will for keeping the faith. Bonus points for mentioning a JDM only option, I thought Honda had stopped selling them there.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        Its not like you can get manuals in most premium brands (except for a few specialty models), and I suspect that 90% of 3/C/A4 and 5/E/A6 size premium brands are sold with a turbo-4 just like the cheap brands. Further in the slog through rush hour commute or school run, I suspect that 95% of drivers would not be able to tell whether their vehicle has a CVT, torque converter automatic, or dual-clutch gearbox.

        Reply
      • Trucky McTruckface

        It’s embarrassing how overrated the Accord is. Sure, it’s superior to a Camry or Altima, or at least it usually used to be. But as a replacement for RWD sport/luxury sedan? Please.

        The Touring’s interior very obviously built to a price, despite costing almost $40k with destination now. Honda in general doesn’t do sweat little stylistic details very well, and the plastic on the dash that’s molded to look like open pore wood is the sort of joke one used to expect to see in something like a GM10 Buick Regal. The seats are too short in the cushion and don’t offer enough adjustments, especially for the passenger. And the infotainment, as is Honda tradition, is among the worst in the industry.

        If one is happy enough with an Accord when they could have had something richer, good for them. But lets not pretend its anything close to a rival to anything other than Honda’s own halfassed TLX.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          I agree with your assessment of the Accord and Honda more generally, but most of the commenters on this site are “car people” who like cars and can typically feel/see the difference between different configurations, models, and brands, but most people who buy/lease cars can’t. BMW did some research a few years ago among buyers of the rear-drive 1/2 series and something like 80% thought they had purchased a front-drive car. Of course we enthusiasts should be happy that many people with more money than car sense buy the upscale brands featuring rear-drive, hot 6 and 8 engines, and other elements of a sporty type car, because if such brands were limited to true car enthusiasts they either wouldn’t exist or they would be priced in Ferrari/Bentley territory and out of reach for most.

          Reply
  6. Ronnie Schreiber

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. My older sister saw the Beatles live twice, in 1964 and 1965. A good friend of her’s father was the promoter so she was sitting close to the stage but she said she couldn’t hear anything but the girls screaming.

    BTW, if a woman, hypothetically, told me that she’d suck my own dick in front of her dad because she loved me that much I’d send her out to the streets where she would, hypothetically, belong. Well, after she sucked my dick one last time.

    Reply
  7. aircooledTOM

    Jack, are you familiar with the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia? I think it qualifies as a collection purely by dint of its significant cars. The long-tail Porsche and the Phil Spector-owned Cobra are worth the price if admission.

    Collection vs Accumulation is a very interesting discussion though. I’m tempted to explore that further…

    Anyway, Simeone is worth a trip, if you haven’t already seen it… If you’re in the area I’ll buy you a cheesesteak at John’s Roast Pork.

    On the Mayer thing, it’s weird my wife is aware of him mostly because of the dust up with his comments about Jessica Simpson, apparently made more than 15 years ago…. I just like his double-stops and his tone.

    Reply
      • jc

        If you go to philly from columbus, there’s a train museum in Strasburg PA that’s low key on your way. Dad and I enjoyed it when we were ditching Mom’s sisters about 5 years ago. Keep in mind that dad and I are both a little autistic as far as trains go. It’s far from as cool as race cars and mountain bikes worth more than my motorcycle.

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      • JMcG

        Simeone does a motorcycle exhibition every August, I believe. It focuses on a single marque. A friend had several Manx Nortons in it some years ago.

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        • aircooledTOM

          JMcG, I seem to miss this event every year. But I love the themes. I work just a couple of miles from the museum.

          Unrelated… the fact that they run all the cars in the back lot. It’s so cool to see those cars running… even if it’s just first gear at 4/10ths.

          Reply
          • JMcG

            Yes, my friend was in line there on one of the exhibition days. He was speculating with his friend as to what Jay Leno’s opinion of the place might be. A voice behind them piped up- “Oh, Jay Leno loves this place!”
            Sure enough, Jay Leno was behind them in line.
            If Jack comes east, we’ll have to meet up.

  8. James Trater

    Jack, would you consider writing an article, a column, or even a 2 sentence reply on how an inexperienced (performance) driver may reasonably progress to become a ‘club racer’ and what a ‘club racer’ even means these days? A lot of guys seem to think that spending an afternoon on the Tail of the Dragon somehow qualifies them to be the next F1 World Champion. For those of us with amateur motorsports aspirations… it can be a little difficult to know where to start and what things are worth spending time/money on in order to progress as a driver.

    Reply
  9. Trucky McTruckface

    Yeah, I’m in my thirties and I never heard of this chick before the “Last Train Home” video dropped. Your assessment of her talent seems spot-on…I’d be pretty disappointed if I’d paid to hear her step all over “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” my favorite John Mayer song.

    The bar for “hit country singer-songwriter” keeps getting lower. It’s all mindless pop sung with an increasingly-slight twang. I thought country music was supposed to be depressing; the best songwriting comes from individuals who’ve lived and lost, and were deeply broken in the process. Maybe Maren’s music will be better after she blows up her marriage for a romp with Mayer.

    Mayer is a phenomenal musician – something that’s totally lost on much of his audience. Looks like Ms. Morris’ guest spot was the big story of the show – I’d have been more excited that Greg Phillinganes was in the touring band. Makes me wish I’d taken guitar at least a bit more seriously all these years.

    I needed a palate cleanser after that, so here’s John faithfully covering Clapton’s under-appreciated “Promises” until it’s time for a solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN0omLH4gHs

    Reply
    • Rick T.

      CMA = Country My Ass

      Happened to catch this couple in passing on the Opry Saturday night. I could take only about one song. My wife’s catty comment was “she looks a little piggy.”

      Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      The last time there was a Summer NAMM (which may never be revived) in Nashville, I stayed at an AirBNB about 20 minutes out of town that was the guest accommodations of a lavish home owned by Annie Tate who is a successful songwriter for what is now mainstream country music. She calls it “the house that music built”. With a psych degree from Stanford, and having sung backup for hard rock “hair” bands, she’s about as far from a pickup truck driving traditional rural woman as you can imagine. To be honest, I didn’t recognize the name of any of the artists on the gold records that were hanging on the wall but from the acreage and the Tudorish mansion, she and her husband Sam have done very, very well in the music business.

      Since I fancy myself as a creative type, I asked her about the songwriting process, and her response was very businesslike. She offers a class on “How To Write a Hit Record” https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/333977

      Reply
  10. CJinSD

    I met a couple of women this weekend who redefined how little women could think of themselves, in complete agreement with the tourists from upstate New York who were in the train they were pulling. At least they didn’t say anything in praise of John Mayer or his music.

    Reply
  11. NoID

    so glad I entered and exited the dating scene in the span of one year, with one woman, when I was still in high school. The adventure of singleness/dating doesn’t seem worth the baggage.

    Probably because we weren’t designed to participate in that kind of life.

    Reply
  12. Rick T.

    As a counterpoint to maximumbob’s “last article I’ll ever read” comment, I am still chuckling over the wit of the Voltaire quote several hours later.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      That mook has made a similar comment about four times now, I’m starting to give up hope that he is really going to quit reading!

      Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      Besides the signature PRS carved lower cut that gives easier access to all the frets, some people may prefer the warmer sound of the PRS pickups to the brighter pickups that Fender specs. Also, the PRS neck is a little thicker, with wider, taller frets, and a flatter radiused fingerboard (like vintage Fenders). Or maybe they just like the PRS bird inlays on the fingerboard.

      FWIW, you could ask the same question about G&L or Suhr versions of the Strat.

      Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Play them both and answer that question for yourself; I personally sold three of my seven Strats after I bought the Silver Sky, and if I could have just one Strat-style it would be the PRS.

      There’s a big difference in quality of assembly, playability, and balance.

      Reply
      • Gary

        Ok, sounds good. I saw a lot of press (my youtube feed was swamped with demos) about them and just wondered if there was something I missed.

        The ‘a Strat for Dentists’ vibe isn’t for me, but I do understand the increase in quality and obviously wouldn’t begrudge anyone for picking quality over all.

        Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          In a world where nobody saw the guitar you were playing, everyone would play either a PRS or an Ibanez JEM. Paul puts a tremendous amount of thought into how the guitars actually work and play. The vibe isn’t cool, as you point out.

          Reply
  13. Carmine

    Marking myself “safe” from caring what an elitist 1% of the 1%’s “automotive authority” thinks……

    Maybe I wasn’t following the message but I’m not sure I really understand what Mr. Collier was getting at, so if someone has various different cars, makes, models years….. they are an accumulator but if they are a collector if they devote it to a single make and model?

    So for example, Jay Leno is an accumulator and not a collector?

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I think I would define the terms differently. Accumulators would be the type of people that Barn Find Hunter tends to focus on, which are people who have barns full of various brands/types of cars that are mostly in some state of disrepair/deterioration: i.e. deflated tires, heavy accumulation of dust and bird poop, ran when parked in 1986. In other words, people who have more love of finding and owning interesting vehicles than the time/money/ability resources to keep them all running/pristine. Collectors would be the Jay Leno types who have a love of owning a wide variety of interesting vehicles and the time/money/ability resources to restore/preserve and keep them all running: i.e. big budget, climate controlled storage, and large staff of mechanics/restorers. Not to offend anyone, but I think any “collector” or “accumulator” who focuses solely on getting every variant of one brand/model to the exclusion of most everything else is almost certainly OCPD or anal in their personality, although that type of personality could also lead to a tremendous accumulation of knowledge about their narrow field of interest that could be beneficial to the wider community of “normal” people. But in terms of attracting the interest of the wider body of enthusiasts, I would personally find it much more interesting to see a collection of cars that include many makes, models, and ages than a collection of every variant of the Model A, Miata or 911 that Ford/Mazda/Porsche ever made.

      Reply
      • John C.

        Coming from the postage stamp collecting hobbby, I am definately an acumilator. There is nothing I like better than going through a new shoe box full of stamps, stirring it around like it was a stew and seeing what turns over. A collector would think that for kids.

        A collector, will be trying to put together, for example, the 1935 British Empire George V Jubilee edition from every colony in every denomination, each stamp never mailed. Hundreds of stamps versus the thousands in my box, but much more expensive and a stamp dealers dream, so that collector will get all the respect.

        I think as Jack was with his book writing colector, I am more interested in the functioning of the colectors mind and the different way it is working.

        Reply
      • Carmine

        I agree, single make/model “collectors” and collections are usually pretty boring, even if you have interesting variants, its the same car. I like having a variety of cars, I have one Corvair…. a 4 carb Corsa convertible… pretty much the best variant available besides maybe a turbo Corsa, thats it, I’m good with Corvairs. Though a 2nd gen hardtop or 1st gen coupe would be interesting, and in the case of the 1st gen, a significantly different car than the 2nd gen, or even Greenbrier or Rampside would be interesting too, I have no desire to own a version of every Corvair.

        If someone gave me this guys $150 book, I would see if I could trade it for $150 in credit at Rock Auto….

        Reply
          • Carmine

            Would that make you a collector or an accumulator?

            Pish…pish…posh posh…..he says..as cleans monocle and take a sip of tea with his pinky in the air….

          • Carmine

            That would be interesting, though the way the turbo sits on the Corvair engines makes it hard to install on the FC’s and wagons without having to remove the engine cover. The short lived 1961-1963 Corvair wagon and FC van/truck have a double access “hood”, where you can get to minor things like checking the oil through a small access door under the license plate and then there is a larger door in the bed/wagon floor for direct access to the engine.

            Though neither the turbo or the 4 carb motor was available on the FC’s, there was a 4 carb swapped 140 Rampside with a 4 speed running around that I would see at shows from time to time. I really liked it.

          • jc

            Also, the 4 carb setup in a FC or wagon will require considerable sheet metal work on the air filter runners. That setup was only in the late model cars, and it stands up pretty high (I am pretty sure the spare tire had been permanently relocated to the front compartment by then, so there was no need for the air cleaner assembly to clear it). You’d need to take two early-model air cleaner assemblies and cut and splice to make one four-carb assembly.

          • Carmine

            The spare stays in the rear all the way through 1969 unless the Corvair in question had air conditioning, then it was moved to the front, though air conditioning was dropped from the options list after 1967 from what I recall.

            I have my spare in the front on my Corsa, It really frees up a lot of space in the engine compartment.

            In regards to the air cleaner, you can just run one little air cleaner on each carb and save the hassle of trying to get the factory set up to fit.

          • jc

            OK then, Carmine (the buggy interface here means I don’t know where this comment’s going to end up located): if the spare tire remained in the back thru 69 (I’ve never had a late model), then it’s just the change in body shape back there that allowed the taller 4 carb setup with single central air cleaner.

            I believe there are two issues in putting individual air cleaners on each carb, as I tried to do many years ago on a two-carb motor. However, these may well have been resolved in the years since I rigged up something dubious back in 1978:

            1) The carb upper housing is designed for the wire bail, so there are two bumps on the outside for that, and no central feature to connect a screw to, to secure the individual wee air cleaner – something has to be fabricated, and it’s likely to be inelegant. Again, Clark’s and the like have probably long since worked out something for this.

            2) No warm air feed for cold weather warmup.

          • Carmine

            The 4 carb engine will fit in a 1st gen Corvair too, its no taller than turbo engine which is in both gens. I know someone with a 1st with a 4 carb 140 converted to the single 4bbl setup with carb where the air cleaner would be on a stock 4 carb car.

            I think you would have to move the tire though if you were doing a 4 carb 1st gen though. After thinking about it again, there is one year where all Corvairs had the spare in the front, 1960, the first year cars all have the tire in the font.

            As to the 2nd part, Clarks is the answer or the Corvair Underground, there are a few options, I never really looked into them enough to see of they use the little hook tie down pins like the stock air cleaner, but they must have some sort of set up that works. In regards to heating the carbs, the air cleaner really doesn’t do all that much heating, they don’t have a “stovepipe” running into it, just a pcv into the big center air cleaner. The heat mostly comes from underneath.

  14. Tom Klockau

    Edit: ^ Above comment was meant to be a reply to Carmine. These comment threads sure get goofy sometimes…

    Reply
  15. sgeffe

    What would Adam of the “Rare Classic Cars and Automotive History” (YouTube) be?

    A varied collection, with a few different varieties of late-‘60s Mercurys (Park Lanes) as repeats. Always in tip-top shape! His 30-plus cars might be considered a hoard, except he keeps them in great condition. It’s obviously a full time hobby for him, or he pays someone to do some of the looking-after.

    A hoarder would be the late owner of the farm that Kevin Brown of the “Junkyard Digs” YouTube channel was clearing out! All kinds of cars, in various states of (dis)repair just stashed like cordwood in a few barns, along with all sorts of general merchandise, a lot in the original containers and boxes, cluttering the floor around the cars

    Reply
  16. -Nate

    Mr. Leno is in fact a very nice person and Gentleman .

    I’ve met him a few times and his huge shop is near where I used to work in North Hollywood, Ca.

    -Nate

    Reply
    • sgeffe

      I could see Jay being in person what he seemed to be on the Tonight Show and his car stuff: just a nice all-around guy.

      Reply
  17. One Leg at a Time

    Is RF going to be a continuing contributor to Hagerty? This week raised quite a bit of early TTAC nostalgia – commenters complaining about “obscure” history references; and a meandering, but thought-provoking article from the Fearless one.

    Reply
      • Robert Shelton

        Ask RF whatever happened to The Truth About Watches website! No new content since October 2021. As a watch guy, I figured you would have frequented it occasionally, Jack.

        Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          I take the blame for that. I talked him into starting the site and then found myself short on time to contribute as much as I’d hoped. There’s also the fact that most watch fanciers don’t want to be anywhere NEAR the truth about what they own.

          Reply
  18. goose

    I thought John Mayer was about 5′ 11″ have never seen him in real life! 6′ 4″ damn. I find his music boring but he’s a phenominal guitar player. I think the same about Pat Metheny & Steve Vai, so maybe that’s a compliment. Or an indicator of my ineptitude.

    Reply
  19. jc

    Well, I’d never listened to John Mayer before, so I’ve just spent some time listening to a “best hits” compilation.

    I have to say that’s the biggest bunch of bland mall music I’ve heard in quite a while. Makes James Taylor’s mid 70s output sound positively transgressive.

    It is not, however, surprising that a certain fraction of women are fascinated by him .

    Fortunately I’ve been doing some productive work while his processed music product was on the headphones, so it’s not been a total waste of time. Now, what shall I use to cleanse the palate?

    Reply
    • Snavehtrebor

      New RHCP sounds like old RHCP in the best possible way, if you’re into that sort of thing.

      I tend to agree about Mayer’s music, but every time I’ve seen him interviewed, he seems like a humorous, thoughtful, and generally likeable guy. Poor fellow, he’s just bored of all the puss.

      Reply
      • jc

        Well, musicians come in a variety of flavors.

        As someone who grew up on a diet of Stravinsky, Messiaen, and the like, and whose current listening tends more toward the Mingus and Kirk end of things, I’d have to say I’m not very interested by Mayer.

        Seems to me that there are any number of competent writers who can crank out that stuff all day long. Unfortunately for them, they’re mostly old bald fat guys and gals who spend 10 hours a day in recording studios somewhere, not tall handsome charming guys like Mayer. Don’t get me wrong, he’s clearly a competent professional musician, but the music? Nothing we haven’t all heard ten thousand times before.

        Reply
        • Jack Baruth Post author

          Neither Mingus nor Kirk ever wrote something as complex, or as hard to play, as “St. Patrick’s Day” or “Edge of Desire”, respectively. Most people aren’t even physically capable of playing the latter, the same way that the various Asian piano-girl prodigies have to play Rachmaninoff with the pedal down because they can’t cover the octaves. Plus Mingus, Kirk, and the rest of the Rudy van Gelder Generation had the advantage of being born in an era where there was a lot of empty field to till, so to speak. I can make the same argument about them you made about Mayer: you can sit in the Vanguard on random nights and hear people who have just as much talent and chops as anyone short of Miles or Trane (more chops than Miles, really) but who didn’t have the fortune of growing up in an era where Playboy made it hip to listen to jazz.

          My brother, who is an IBC winner and has played out with a lot of big names, said something a while ago that stuck with me: “Unless you can write a song as good as the worst Fiona Apple song — and not many people can — there’s no sense in thinking you’re qualified to criticize pop music.”

          There was certainly a time in my life where I felt I was too serious to listen to “Take On Me” or “Waterloo”; that time has passed for me, as I think it eventually does for most people. You either end up with a love of everything musical, or you sit in a darkened room complaining about the way Manfred Eicher miked the drums. The funny thing is that people seem to derive equal satisfaction from both paths!

          Reply
          • jc

            Well, I listened to “St. Patrick’s Day” and I don’t hear it. Yeah, there’s a lot of unusual harmonic movement, but nothing there the average professional musician couldn’t play if you gave him a lead sheet.

            The “unless you can do better you have no right to criticize” argument strikes me as fallacious but I don’t have the equipment to analyze exactly how. I will point out, however, that the criterion “unless you can write as good a pop song as X, you have no right to criticize” kind of leaves the vast majority of people out, since as we all know pop songs are highly structured confections designed by experts in the field. Taken to its extreme that argument would indicate that all the rest of us should just shut up and listen to whatever the commercial interests shove at us, wtihout choosing, and that has additional implications.

            Remember the ants in The Sword and the Stone?

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            I should refine/fix what I mean: everyone is free to dislike things, no matter how well done. I acknowledge that “Future” is the leading practitioner of his musical style but I think the musical style itself is garbage. No one is required to enjoy or appreciate any particular form of music. I’m more speaking to the idea of having disdain for a given musician that might not be totally valid. There might be ten thousand people who could have become John Mayer but only one person actually did it. He’s been around for so long that, as with Rush and prog-rock, his imitators have imitators who in turn have imitators.

            For what it’s worth, however, your low opinion is shared by Riverside Green’s Music Editor Emeritus, John Marks, who once told me that he couldn’t assign Mayer any status more exalted than that of “Michael Franks with less talent” or something like that.

          • jc

            I thought some more about this and I think the distinction is between OPINION and AUTHORITY. Anyone’s allowed to have an opinion on J. Mayer, whether or not they could duplicate what he’s done (I certainly couldn’t) but to have AUTHORTY one needs to have skills and knowledge. So if John Mayer were to ask me for career or artistic guidance (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …. sorry, had to slap myself there) I should recuse myself from offering such guidance.

            And I should also make clear that I’m not necessarily expressing disdain for Mayer’s skills (he’s obviously a competent professional musician) but rather for the whole genre he represents. Really it’s soft rock/pop and it goes way way back, I guess, to Patti Page and Perry Como, then Pat Boone-as-rock-star (first incarnation), 10cc, KC and the Sunshine Band, Capt. & Tennille, etc., etc., etc.

          • CJinSD

            “My brother, who is an IBC winner and has played out with a lot of big names, said something a while ago that stuck with me: ‘Unless you can write a song as good as the worst Fiona Apple song — and not many people can — there’s no sense in thinking you’re qualified to criticize pop music.’”

            I have no animus for your brother, but that’s simply absurd. Pop music is inflicted on an often-unwilling public. Pretending that bringing pop songs into existence is a virtue in itself is as meritorious as celebrating the ability to torture a confession out of an innocent man.

            As for Fiona Apple, I don’t think the songs were even the product. She was a pedo-friendly prop, and as simple-minded as Greta Thunberg. Does anyone remember when she told the kids to insist that their out-of-touch parents spare the lives of the turkeys…on Thanksgiving. She seemed to think that Americans started the day with a hatchet and a beloved pet. Even that isn’t as vacuous as thinking that you need to be a pop-song writer to have an opinion about the garbage that is on the radio.

  20. JMcG

    In the early 90’s, there was probably no actress hotter than Julia Roberts. She was A-List, up there with Demi Moore.
    Julia Roberts married the man who is tied with Mark Knopfler as my favorite musician; Mr. Lyle P. Lovett, of Klein, Texas.
    Discuss among yourselves.

    Reply
  21. goose

    What is there to discuss about those statements??

    Her brother Eric, was fantastic in “the pope of greenwich village”

    Reply
    • JMcG

      In the context of John Mayer attracting women. Lyle Lovett is a long way from 6’4”, not conventionally handsome, though I’d say he’s grown into his face. But he married one of the prime women of his generation. His current wife is, if anything, more attractive. He’s just become a father for the first time.
      What does that say about the premise of Jack’s post?

      Reply
      • Trucky McTruckface

        It’s the voice. That and a heap of charisma. That’s a big part of what Mayer’s got going for him, too. Jack said he’s “uniquely attractive,” which is more than just looks. Being less than handsome, but distinctive-looking (not short/fat/etc) and having some real personality, talent, and coolness can work better than being a bland pretty boy. Mayer’s got both, so he’s on another level entirely.

        Plus, I suspect Lyle just gets it. It’s in his songwriting. I always liked his song “M-O-N-E-Y” off the Pontiac album. Maybe modern country wouldn’t suck so hard if its stars actually understood the blues and jazz, instead of milking a formula to death.

        Lyle’s awesome and way under-appreciated. And I’m a huge Mark Knopfler fan – had the pleasure of seeing him live once. His guitar is obviously unmistakable, but like Lyle, he’s also an incredibly nuanced, eclectic, witty songwriter. Incidentally, it sounds like Mayer had the first Dire Straits record on loop when he wrote “Wild Blue” on Sob Rock.

        Reply
  22. jc

    I also notice in the “slow dancing” video, the guy playing the acoustic guitar and the keys player in the back: “Hey man, where can we get dinner after this? You know anyplace good near the hotel?” I mean, that acoustic isn’t doing a damn thing for that song anyway. It’s always a hoot to watch the old pros that back up the stars and make them sound good: “You want me to do the dance steps, too? OK, but I get 200 extra for dance steps.”

    Whatshername’s a bit pitchy too, without autotune to pull her flat notes up.

    Reply
  23. -Nate

    ” Maybe modern country wouldn’t suck so hard if its stars actually understood the blues and jazz, instead of milking a formula to death.”

    Agreed 100% .

    It seems to me there’s a sort of charisma thing some have and other’s don’t ~ I’ve been in the presence of some not good looking guys who are simply magnets to beautiful women .

    Having good talent is nice, I go for the music not what the Musician looks like but I don’t bad mouth those who can do what I cannot .

    Being rich is nice I’m sure but it also comes with downsides .

    -Nate

    Reply
  24. hank chinaski

    Perhaps because my focus naturally centered on Maren’s respectable derriere, I originally missed the tattoo on Mayer’s right arm…..’Life’. I’d normally expect both the word and script as a tramp stamp on Maren than on a grown man’s arm, but ‘thousands of vaginas’, so, oh welp.

    Carry on.

    Reply

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