MY WRITING TO JOHN MAYER 2010–THE PRESENT AND HOW IT BECAME AS LA DIVINA COMMEDIA WITH A TOUR OF HELL
by SHILOH RICHTER
19 January 2023
TAYLOR SWIFT FORCED A FALSE RELATIONSHIP WITH JOHN MAYER TO THE PRESS WITH “DEAR JOHN”: THE BEGINNING CIRCLES OF HELL
RED FLAGS: THE BEGINNING OF PUSHING A RELATIONSHIP TO THE PRESS AND COPYING JOHN In May 2008, after meeting John Mayer at the Met Gala, Taylor Swift immediately took the encounter to the press within three days. John was in a relationship with Jennifer Aniston, whom he had been dating since February.
John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston attended the 2009 Oscars on 22 February while John was working on Battle Studies and during the time he was in Los Angeles with Aniston, working on “Half of My Heart,” then politely offering it in a tweet as a duet to Swift.
Still Loving Friends, Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer back on 22 February 2009
COPYING JENNIFER IN A PHOTO-OP FOR “HALF OF MY HEART” IN 2009: Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer in December 2008
John went on the Ellen Degeneres Show on 15 December 2009 at the time of the public appearances with Taylor Swift for “Half of My Heart” to state that he was not dating, that he was single, needed to stay that way for awhile, and was going to take the year ahead away from dating, stating that 2010 was going to be a “peaceful” year for him.
In her Open Book, Jessica Simpson wrote about the summer of 2009 into February 2010 with John and also about his continued involvement with Jennifer Aniston (unnamed by her, but referenced by John in Rolling Stone).
On 20 January 2010 People Magazine reported John stating “I’ve never gotten over Jen Aniston,” which appeared in Rolling Stone.
But even after John’s statements in December 2009 and January 2010 that he was not interested in a relationship, Taylor Swift pushed ahead anyway, with People Magazine notified of a dinner she attended in Nashville on Sunday, 24 January with John and fifteen of his friends, but with on-lookers saying it was merely a dinner with friends. John was there to rehearse and perform with Keith Urban on CMT’s Crossroads on Tuesday, 26 January 2010. Taylor then showed up in the audience of the taping of that performance, fully aware that it would make the news—and which she would also then reference in the same issue of Rolling Stone.
TAKING IT TO ROLLING STONE
Taylor Swift told Rolling Stone for that 4 February 2010 issue, for which John appeared on the cover, that she had moved into her own place in Nashville and referenced a romantic agenda: she had installed a moat that “may possibly have koi fish in it”--a reference to John’s tattoo’s, within the same issue that John states that he was still in love (and was obsessed with) his two former girlfriends, Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson, perhaps even over-stating it for a reason.
But Taylor spoke of a “human-sized bird cage” that was not of her imagination as she told RS, but was taken from John’s Twitter from March 2009 about Stevie Nicks, Taylor then having lifted the bird reference from Stevie’s “Rhiannon,” which she then also performed at the 2010 Grammys on 31 January 2010, the same week as the Crossroads taping and the Rolling Stone articles, clearly trying to make the John Mayer references and her designs on him public at the same time John was making it very public that he wasn’t involved. Taylor also told the magazine that she had a Keith Urban song, “If Ever I Could Love” “that’s totally on repeat for me.” John had just performed that with Keith Urban on Crossroads.
John’s Battle Studies Tour then began in February 2010 with the media storm about Jessica and Jennifer around him, and him vowing to keep his distance from anything in the press. By the 1st of June, he released the “Half of My Heart” video, a song he had written while he was with Jennifer, with the video being about leaving a wedding and the disappointed guests. In the “Half of My Heart” video, he also reads a note with the line Taylor had sung in the song, “I can’t stop loving you.” He then leaves the note on the bar, and goes out to take a taxi, leaving it all behind.
The week after the “Half of My Heart” video premiered with John’s personal intentions stated, Taylor again publicly tried to get photographed talking to him at the CMT Awards on 9 June 2010 where John was performing again with Keith Urban.
By the time Taylor stepped in front of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, a seat-filler had taken John Mayer’s place. (Photos by Jason Merritt/Term/Getty Images).
A week later John remained kind, to put a kind ending on her feelings, and agreed to publicly present Taylor an award at the 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photos by Jemal Countess/WireImage/Getty Images). He spent the summer of 2010 on his Battle Studies Tour, going live on Periscope when he was home in NYC, showing his state of mind and determination to stay dedicated to the music, and that he was alone.
By September Taylor took to the press and Rolling Stone again, with no private communication to John, only unanswered caustic public overtures at her shows. She appeared in an article in the 30 September 2010 issue dressed like John in his apartment from his “Who Says” video (“it’s been a long time since 22” which she would take for “22”), taunting him just before releasing to the public the plagiarized “Dear John” on Speak Now which was taken from my writing to John on-line. (Some of the posts that were taken as lyrics are still available on Archive.org.) For a textual example of the plagiarism on Speak Now, I live in New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” which Taylor turned into “I was enchanted to meet you,” while publicly slamming him in “Dear John” with my written words twisted as caustic and untrue. On the album for her persona she used words like “wonder struck” when I had used the word “wonderment,” just to name a tiny portion of what she plagiarized.
After her appearance in Rolling Stone in September 2010, because she was still tracking John by social media, after years of him being prolific and hilarious on-line in blogs and Twitter, John deleted his entire social media in order to retreat and go quiet. He completed his Battle Studies Tour and went home to NYC to make Born and Raised for the next two years. Two years later, in spring 2012, when John came out with his “Shadow Days” single on 27 April, Taylor immediately did a public overture about him, a commercial with Cover Girl with the tag line referencing his song, trying to force his Shadow Days to not be over publicly. By fall her photoshoots for Red matched John’s photos for “Shadow Days.”
John’s artwork for the single “Shadow Days” in April 2012 showed him blacked out with protective cactus around him.
Because John had referenced Joni Mitchell in the lyric “Joni wrote Blue in her house by the sea, I have to believe there’s another color waiting on me, to set me free” on Born and Raised, Taylor entitled her album Red, and replicated Joni’s album cover, just as she had done with Faith Hill’s.
Other original sources taken for Red were Olivia, a book done in highlights of only red where the character dresses in red with black and white stripes, sings, paints, puts on red lipstick, and carries her cat, written and illustrated by Ian Falconer, with Taylor selling it as a public persona after reading about it in my writing to John.
Taylor plagiarizing illustrator and author Ian Falconer's Olivia to make herself into John's "Something Like Olivia" from his Born and Raised (2012). Copyright 2000 Ian Falconer; Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, a Caldecott Honor Book.
Right after the release of Born and Raised in May, in June 2012 John made a public statement to Rolling Stone about Taylor’s songwriting telling them ”that he was ‘really humiliated’ by “Dear John.” “It made me feel terrible because I didn’t deserve it. I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.” The article then repeats, as the press and public have done since Taylor forced the false public narrative created with the song in October 2010, that the two had previously been romantically linked. John’s statement within the article about the “cheap songwriting” was likely his knowledge of the plagiarism and the caustic twisting of the words, not to mention the pressure created by the public believing her in forcing a public relationship. As the creator of “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Belief” and “Where the Light Is,” it wasn’t what he knew about himself and about music.