The writers strike is finally at an end, and the regular roundup of late night TV talkshows are back on our screens. Which means more Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers. More gags and goofs, political insights, and interviews. And, yes, more music.
Ahead of his fall Solo tour, the seven-time Grammy Award-winning bluesman appeared on two separate shows overnight, for chats, laughs and a performance.
At the restart of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Mayer stopped by for a chat with the host, and for several trips down memory lane.
The rocker recounted the time Fallon’s bandleader Questlove filled in for his drummer on stage at Madison Square Garden. “He was coming to the gig anyway, and somewhere along the line of him coming to the show he got offered to play like six songs,” Mayer remembers. Questlove apparently learned all those songs on the way to the Garden, and delivered the goods for a “magical night.”
At the top of the talk, Mayer took us back in time for his “Crypto Bismol” comedy spot which came to him one night and ended up getting pitched for The Tonight Show.
As its title would suggest, the Solo shows feature Mayer alone with an acoustic guitar on stage – “out there on a tightrope” is how he describes it. “It works,” he tells Fallon, “it’s an opportunity for me to play some of the songs from my career, tell stories around them, and read signs with requests on them and they’ll try to stump me and see if I remember an old song.”
Expect the concerts to be “open-ended and great, and fun, and I’m never quite sure where the show is going to go,” with “turn on a dime” moments. “It’s really exciting.” The format is “the most fun to have finished; you know those shows where they’re really hard when you’re doing them and then when you’re done you’re just so rewarded.”
Mayer is clearly a busy guy. And what do you give a busy person? More work. That’s certainly the case, as Mayer unwraps his new SiriusXM channel, Life. The idea, he explains, is a radio channel that “isn’t genre-based, but plays music for whatever moment you’re most likely to be in during your day or week, your month or even your year.” Life begins in November.
Naturally, Mayer gave late owls a taste of things to come, with a one-man acoustic rendition of “Shouldn’t Matter but It Does,” lifted from his 2021 album Sob Rock.
Not to limit himself, Mayer also dropped in at Watch What Happens Live for a spot on the couch with Andy Cohen.
The questions came hard and fast, some from fans Zooming them in from home.
Among them, will Mayer reunite with Dead & Company (“we will play shows. I have to believe…everyone has it in their hearts to keep playing”), what is the sexiest musical instrument (saxophone), his first celebrity crush (Debbie Gibson), his three-word self-description as a lover (“takes some time”) and his least-favorite album (Paradise Valley – he has reasons).
Mayer’s Solo arena tour kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the MSG in New York City.
Watch his latest WWHL appearance below.