John Mayer made quite an impression on the university crowd that heard him speak last week.
The Grammy winner shared a number of personal anecdotes and overall was "very articulate and charming" and seemed "very happy," according to Oxford student Arabella Golby. She tells E! News that Mayer was also quite "friendly" and even signed an autograph for her even though his appearance didnt technically include mingling with fans.
Golby says that, during his talk for the Oxford Student Union (footage of which is somehow not online), Katy Perry's boyfriend opened up about past rejection in his career, his duet with his girlfriend and his pivotal move to Montana after Los Angeles got to be too much for him.
"Moving to Montana saved my life. every month keeps getting better and better," Golby recalls him saying.
"He said, he was sick of feeling scared of riding his bike in L.A. and feeling like the paparazzi was always following him," she says. "He loved 'how quiet and peaceful' Montana was."
And while the world at large may not think that Mayer hears the word no very often, he said that it indeed has happened.
"One time a producer told him, 'There's no hits on here. You need to write more songs,'" Golby recounts. "He went home and cried in the car because he had spent so much time on the songs and thought they were good.
"He tried to write some more songs, but he didn't like them as much as the ones he wrote originally. He kept the original track and just went for it. I think the album was Continuum." Mayer then "continued about the importance of staying true to who you are...He wants to appeal to everyone by having different genres, rather than just one."
"He was saying how number-ones don't really mean that much to him," Golby continues. "He'll never be that upset about not getting [a No. 1 song]. To him, it was more about longevity and having a career rather than number-ones. "When he had a song that got No. 2, he got a cake with a No. 2 on it."
"It's more impressive when someone has a career" and John said that when people only produce No.1 hits, "people are performing for what people want them to do, not what they want to do. He continued on his theory that it's better to have longevity in your career, not just number-ones."
Yes, despite its ubiquity, "Your Body Is a Wonderland" only climbed as high as No. 18 on the pop singles chart in the U.S. But for the record, Mayer has had three No. 1 albums, Heavier Things, Battle Studies and Born and Raised.
Talking about his duet with Perry on "Who You Love," Mayer said that he didn't plan on it, it just sort of happened, Golby says.
"He didn't write it for Katy and him to sing, but it felt right," she says.
Mayer also dished a bit about the friendship he struck up with Steve Jobs, describing how he called Apple up one day and asked to speak to its cofounder.
"John told Steve, 'I really love my Mac,'" Golby recounted the humorous-sounding anecdote. "He was constantly thinking up ideas, that he thought Steve would like. John would email Steve his new ideas. He spoke about an idea he had for a new laptop that he thought about for a few months and Steve replied, 'No we're not doing that, because we'd sell 12 of them.'
"John said about Steve Jobs that he admired him greatly, and he was a 'good friend.'"
It sounds as if Mayer made himself a whole roomful of new friends last week.