How Drake and a ''Six-Day Hangover'' Helped John Mayer Stop Drinking

The singer gets candid about his struggles, drinking and what he wishes he could've taught Mac Miller

By Cydney Contreras Nov 12, 2018 10:48 PMTags
John MayerCourtesy Complex/Emman Montalvan

This year, John Mayer celebrated two years of sobriety and it is all thanks to Drake

"It was Drake's 30th birthday party, and I made quite a fool of myself," John explains to Jerry Lorenzo, designer of Nike Air Fear of God collection, and Joe La Puma in an interview for Complex. "It took me weeks to stop doing this every morning I woke up."

Then, six days after what he describes as the "most amazing last-night-of-my-life-drinking," he still felt the remnants of a hangover. "That's how big the hangover was. I looked out the window and I went, 'OK, John, what percentage of your potential would you like to have? Because if you say you'd like 60, and you'd like to spend the other 40 having fun, that's fine. But what percentage of what is available to you would you like to make happen? There's no wrong answer. What is it?' I went, '100.'"

And from that day on he stopped drinking. Instead of spending his days drinking or recuperating from a nasty hangover, he went on "four tours, I was in two bands, I was happy on airplanes." Not that it was all sunshine and daisies from the get go. At first, he admits it was "boring" since there were no longer these "high highs," but bit by bit things got better. Now, he says, "Every morning I wake up and go: 'I get another one of these [days].'"

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And he wishes that Mac Miller, who he collaborated with on Small Worlds, would've learned the lessons he did before he tragically died of an overdose on Sept. 7. "I just wish it wasn't fatal. I just wish figuring out your life didn't take your life away from you," he says. 

But after everything he has gone through, Mayer understands that drinking is a very "personal" thing for every one. "It is just so particular to your own spirit and psychology that it's almost impossible to develop one way of explaining it to someone else. You have to fight really hard to look at it from a critical point of view," the 41-year-old explains. "Because it's constantly pushed on you and every Friday and Saturday on social media there is enabling that is going on for drinking."

He adds, "If you look at drinking the way you look at anything else, which is risk reward; 'what am I giving up?' 'What am I getting?'"