Mayer Hawthorne Gets You Up Close And Personal With Rock and Roll History Inside The Hard Rock Vault

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[Photo by Tina Craig/Seminole Hard Rock]

 Considering the immortal rock legends that Hard Rock has worked with over the years, it must feel pretty damn good to be tapped to work with these guys. “I was super humbled that Hard Rock decided to make me their first Artist of the Month,” Mayer told us before kicking off the program with a live performance. “Number one, not number two! I’m all about moving the music forward always, and being the first person to do anything is what I’m all about.”

A music buff even in his early years, Mayer is no stranger to the Hard Rock Cafes. “I remember going there with my parents and having some chicken tenders and checking out all of the guitars in the cases. I wouldn’t even get to the table, I’d just be running around looking at James Brown‘s cape, Mick Jagger‘s shoes and Keith Richard‘s guitars. It was like heaven to me.” And as every kid knows, you couldn’t leave without getting some swag to show to your classmates. “We always wanted a Hard Rock t-shirt. Man, you weren’t s–t if you didn’t have a Hard Rock shirt!”

The Hard Rock franchise, famous world-wide for preserving rock ‘n’ roll relics for all to enjoy, is becoming a friend to more and more contemporary musicians. They’ve recently launched their own record label to break up-and-coming bands into the mainstream, and now the new Artist of the Month program will give musicians exposure by playing the video for their latest single every 90 minutes in each of their 138 restaurants worldwide. All totaled, that’s over 1,000 times a day! Not a bad deal.

The video currently taking the cafes by storm is for Mayer’s single “Her Favorite Song,” a track that funks you up before lulling you down with a rhapsodic chorus that hits you like whiff of perfume on a summer sea-breeze. Our prediction? This silky smooth cut will take on the ubiquitous “Blurred Lines” for chart topping ’70s-tinged pop supremacy. The video is just as memorable, giving a hilarious take on the popular truism that all men are dogs by showing a nightclub totally populated by canines.

Although it’s always risky filming with animals, Mayer had nothing but praise for his furry co-stars. “They always tell you, the number one rules of making videos or films is don’t ever work with kids and don’t ever work with pets. But these dogs are pretty incredible. There are no special effects in post! Everything you seen them doing on the screen is how it happened. These dogs were blowing me off the screen.”

But they sure as hell can’t blow him off the stage! Mayer and his musical brothers in “the County” capped the day off with a killer live performance in the front of the Hard Rock offices!  He starts things off with “Backseat Lover” the opening track on his latest album, and then gets folks singing along with the anthemic “Hey, ho” chorus of the Pharrell-produced “Stars Are Ours.” He obviously does the obligatory (and sizzling) run-through of the new single, before ending the set with the track “Reach Out Richard,” written in honor of the man who made him fall in love with music: His father. Surrounded by decades of musical history, it’s a fitting personal tribute, and more than a little touching.

“We’ll be here every week, right?” he jokes as he unplugs after his set. “Mayer Mondays in the lobby.” We’d come back for that!