John Mayer Cryptically Shared “Please Be Kind” Message Ahead of Taylor Swift Speak Now Release

John Mayer's recent Instagram post contains a message Swifties think is in response to Taylor Swift's release of Speak Now (Taylor's Version), which includes the track “Dear John.”

By Hayley Santaflorentina Jul 07, 2023 9:06 PMTags
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Long were the nights that John Mayer has had to answer for "Dear John."

And on the eve of Taylor Swift's Speak Now (Taylor's Version)'s release, which features a re-recorded version of the track, it looks like the song's accepted subject had a message for Swifties.

John took a moment to reflect on three nights of Dead & Company shows—his band with several surviving Grateful Dead members—at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado. At the end of his July 6 carousel of images was a shot of drones spelling out the words "Please be kind" above the stage. 

And though the "Gravity" singer made no indication that the image was intended as a message, Taylor's fans seemed to think it was related. One user commented, "The last slide is very speak now coded," while another added, "ITS TIME JOHN #speaknowtaylorsversion."

As for why fans seem convinced John was sending a subtle message? Well, the "Heartbreak Warfare" singer and Taylor dated from 2009 to 2010, when they were 32 and 19 respectively. And "Dear John," which was originally released in 2010, has long been rumored to be about the now-45-year-old.

The song includes the lyrics "Dear John, I see it all now, it was wrong / Don't you think nineteen's too young / To be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so?"

Since then, many of Taylor's fans have taken to directing angry and sometimes threatening messages his way. 

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In fact, November 2021 John shared a screenshot of a DM a fan sent him on Instagram that implied they hoped he'd die.

"I've been getting so many messages like these the past couple days," he replied to the message, per the screenshots. "I'm not upset, I just tend to have a curious mind and feel compelled to ask. Do you really hope that I die?"

And when the fan apologized and expressed that they never thought the artist would even see the message, John replied, "There was some healing today! It's 100 percent okay. Go forth and live happy and healthy!"


So in an attempt to curb future incidences, Taylor had a message for fans ahead of her album's re-release.

At the Minneapolis stop of her Eras Tour on June 24, Taylor—who first announced the release date of the album at a show the previous month—performed the breakup song for the first time in more than a decade. 

And after expressing appreciation for the friendships fans are forming during her tour, Taylor had a request. "I was hoping to ask you," she said, the moment captured in a TikTok video, "that as we lead up to this album, I would love for that kindness and that gentleness to extend onto our internet activities. Right?"

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for VEVO

She added, "I'm 33 years old. I don't care about anything that happened to me when I was 19 except for songs I wrote and the memories that we made together."

And while Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is the third of the six albums she's rerecording following the sale of the albums' masters, the Grammy winner made it clear that revisiting the old albums did not include reopening old wounds.

"What I'm trying to tell you," she concluded in Minneapolis, "is that I am not putting this album out so that you can go and should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I might have written a song about 14 million years ago. I do not care. We have all grown up. We're good." 

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