It's common knowledge that Taylor Swift writes songs about the men she dates, but that didn't stop John Mayer from having a brief fling with the then-19-year-old in 2009, and then dumping her cruelly — at least according to her song "Dear John." So then why is he now acting surprised that she used their romance to inspire one of the best songs off her 2010 album Speak Now? In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Mayer complains how "really humiliated" he was by the country superstar's song. "It made me feel terrible," he says. "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."
Whether or not he deserved it is debatable. Mayer, 34, is notorious for loving and leaving — just ask Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Love Hewitt, two ladies the singer has wrote his own songs about. And if Swift's "Dear John" is true to reality, he wasn't any better with her. "Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone/Don't think I was too young to be messed with?/The girl in the dress cried the whole way home/I should've known," is the chorus of the ballad. In one of the verses, Swift is much more direct with her aim at her ex: "Well, maybe it's just me and my blind optimism to blame/Or maybe it's you and your sick need to give love then take it away."Swift. (Denise Truscello/WireImage)
In the Rolling Stone interview, Mayer adds that he was even more upset that Swift, now 22, didn't give him a heads-up that she planned to skewer him on her album. "I never got an e-mail. I never got a phone call," he says. "I was really caught off-guard, and it really humiliated me at a time when I'd already been dressed down. I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you've ever been, someone kicked you even lower?" Yet when asked about the chorus, in which Swift sings that he was too old to "mess with" a teenager like her, he suddenly doesn't "want to go into that."
Mayer and Swift were never spotted out in public together, although the rumors were rampant that something was going on between the two musicians behind the scenes after they worked together on his song "Half of my Heart" from his 2009 album Battle Studies, which was released in the wake of his second split with Aniston. Mayer told MTV News at the time that the song had a Tom Petty-Stevie Nicks feel (they collaborated on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" in 1981), and he wanted Swift to be his version of the Fleetwood Mac singer. "I thought, 'Well, if this is going to be my love letter to that style of music, who's going to be the Stevie Nicks in this equation?'" he said. "And I thought, 'This Taylor Swift girl is going to be around for a long time.'"
Although he praised her at the time, now he's singing a different tune. About "Dear John," which Swift never released as a single, Mayer whines, "I think it's kind of cheap songwriting. I know she's the biggest thing in the world, and I'm not trying to sink anybody's ship, but I think it's abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, 'Wait till he gets a load of this!' That's bulls--t."
For her part, Swift hasn't responded to Mayer's complaints. Just hours before his quotes were released on Wednesday morning, she took to her Twitter page to connect with her fans to say, "It's been a wonderful week in the studio. I'm so excited about so much."
Perhaps she's crafting her response in a new song?