This song has a funny story to me. I may be posting it mainly for this reason.
In late high school, a very good friend of mine was very much into classical guitar. He played it and he wasn’t particularly good, but he had a passion for it. One spring, for his birthday, his girlfriend got him two tickets to see John Mayer live. My friend was a pretty avid John Mayer fan. Oddly enough, his partner wasn’t too jazzed on seeing him live, so she asked me if I would go with him. I obliged out of love for a good friend, not so much out of a desire to see ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’ performed live among a throng of pre-teens.
We got to the show, held just outside of the Bay Area, and it started off just as I’d thought: we were sandwiched between two groups of teenage girls, one with their faces painted and the other brandishing a sign with their unrelenting love for John Mayer documented on it, and the music was pretty predictable up to this point. Then, about halfway through the show, something different happened. John Mayer started playing old blues songs, and near the end of his set he did a very interesting bit where he re-enacted a conversation between two lovers using high and low notes on his guitar. Much to my surprise, I kinda became a fan after that.
So after getting back home from the concert, I asked my friend to burn me some John Mayer stuff. He lent me a few of his CD-Rs, a mish-mash of album tracks, covers and live recordings. I remember there was a live version of a song I later learned to be called “Comfortable,” and it had this extended intro where it sounded like maybe he was improvising or playing something different altogether. That tidbit always stuck with me.
Fast-forward to spring of 2009. I was in Los Angeles, specifically at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA. Indie production powerhouse Mochilla had organized a trio of concerts that would make music nerds cream: three master composer/arrangers performing their classics with a full orchestra, the show opened by equally masterful turntable maestros. This was the finale — Brasil’s Arthur Verocai. The composer was performing, in full, his debut LP from the 70s that was initially dismissed; but proceeding decades have recognized it as the groundbreaking gem it always was.
After a rousing performance of about half of the LP, there was an intermission. Returning from the intermission, Verocai came out center stage, dressed in all black and toting an acoustic guitar. He played an instrumental number not from his debut, a track is subdued and in stark contrast with the high energy, multi-instrument performance that preceded it. The song is called”Filhos,” a composition Verocai made for Ivan Lins, another Brasilian musician.
I was too caught up in the moment to recognize it. Some time after these performances, Mochilla was able to commit each night to vinyl and CD, crystallizing a set of historic performances. I was at a friends place, tearing the shrink wrap from the Verocai vinyl. I put the needle on the record and went about my business. When the record got to the last track, I pretty instantly recognized it as the acoustic instrumental number Verocai played after intermission. I liked it, so I run the needle back a couple of times. Then, suddenly, in mid-conversation it strikes me — this is the same song I heard as an intro on that John Mayer CD-R years prior! I don’t quite recall exactly what happened after I realized this, my mind was elsewhere, marveling at the way music can affect time and memory.
So yeah, that’s pretty much it.