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John Mayer

Fame Pictures, Inc

In response to Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton's supposition that extra laws aren't needed to quell the paparazzi crush, now that certain starlets are behaving themselves these days, John Mayer says nay.

"I don't sit before you today to ask that you ban the paparazzi. I'm asking you to regulate it, officialize it, tax it, legitimize it," the much-photographed Grammy winner Thursday at a City Hall meeting convened to discuss the only-in-L.A. issue.

"I don't want to beg the city of Los Angeles to give me 1987 back.," Mayer said, per a copy of the testimony posted on his website. "I love being a famous musician in 2008. I embrace technology, but I also believe in thoughtfully adapting it to fit within a societal framework…

"Sadly, the very real and present risk associated with being pursued as a celebrity pales in comparison to the daily, imminent danger to the public at large," he continued.
"The person being followed knows there is wanton carelessness behind them. The pedestrian crossing the street, or the car expecting to have the right of way does not. A severe accident occurring from this kind of vehicular pursuit is not a theoretical possibility, but a situational certainty."
A law requiring an "acceptable filming distance" between the slavering wolves, er, hardworking shutterbugs and their targets would be one way to go, Mayer suggested.
"Regulating the paparazzi won't bring an end to modern day media coverage, just as the newly enforced hands-free law hasn't stopped people from talking on cell phones while they drive. It's only an adaptive measure put in place to respond to some of the ways that living in a technological free-market can compromise personal safety."
Of course, his eloquent speech was made so much better by the fact that a horde of paps were clustered outside Los Angeles City Hall to catch Mayer on his way out. And, presumably, follow him home.