At a small, candlelit table inside Gino's Italian Cuisine, blues-guitarist/emotive crooner John Mayer sat across from his girlfriend of six months, Jeanine Beasley, clutching a small object wrapped in shiny blue paper and topped with a silver bow. Staring into his ladies' eyes, reflecting on the pitch-perfect days that led to this, their 6-month anniversary, Mayer presents the thin gift. Watching her hands gently pull the blue wrapping away, he beams. Her heart aflutter from the thoughtfulness of her companion, Jeanine begins to slide away the last bit of cover as she says, “John, you shouldn't have...done this.”
She sees her expression change from cheer to confusion in the reflection of John's gift: a clear jewel case containing a Memorex disc inscribed Songs From Me, By Me, 4 U.
While debating what he should give to his beloved at the half-year mark, Mayer says he “searched deep inside his heart” for the perfect token of his affection. The end result was a mix-tape featuring sixteen songs, all previously performed and recorded by Mayer himself.
“At first,” says Mayer, “I considered writing a batch of new songs dedicated, specifically, to Jeanine. Then I realized that those songs already existed. The songs on that blank CD are for her.” He added, “It just happens that another twelve million people know the lyrics to them.”
“It was cute in a way,” Mayer's now-ex-girlfriend recalls. Mayer opened the “album” with his biggest hit, Your Body Is a Wonderland. “What girl doesn't love that song? But by the time I got to track 4 it was apparent that every song was his and, to be honest, I just—I don't think he really thought it through very well.”
Sources close to the couple admit that after Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, Come Back to Bed and Back to You, the mix-tape seemed to dissolve into a list of Mayer's chart-topping hits and personal indulgences. Some even went so far as to call it a “last-minute slapdash.”
“I mean what's the hidden meaning in Love Song For No One?” a bitter Jeanine asked. The answer seems clear.
Mayer continued her sentiment, saying, “In retrospect, I'm Gonna Find Another You, was probably a poor choice of inclusion. Overall, though, the point of my gift was to show her all the different sides of me. It's like, yeah, I can be a sentimental dude and completely soak you with your own tears by singing Daughters. But right after that I'm going to finger-pick some little blues ditty that's going to make you think 'Wow, this dude's just a legitimate, technically-proficient blues musician.' Ya know? And I think that's the sign of a really great anniversary present.”
Jeanine considers it differently. “It's pretty obvious that he just wanted me to listen to a lot of his music. I think he was starting to get jealous of all the Jack Johnson records I owned.”
Two weeks following the couple's anniversary, the relationship suffered a broken string and subsequently lost its tuning. Jeanine decided that their harmonies no longer mixed or layered in a pleasing way. All vocals in the matter were severed, leaving only the final rasps of a disheartened Mayer to echo through the walls of Jeanine's inner sound stage.
Since then, Mayer's record company has started production on a greatest hits collection entitled “Songs From Me, By Me, 4 U.”