The singer surprises students with a performance at a prom, and then browbeats the Beatles

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 19, 2004 03:00 PM

Students at Pennsylvania’s Pennsbury High witnessed a surprise guest at their prom last weekend: singer John Mayer.

Mayer’s mini-concert – he sang three songs – was the result of two years’ work on the part of senior class president Bob Costa and a book by author Michael Bamberger titled Wonderland: The Story of a Prom, about a year in the life of the school and the students’ quest to have the “Your Body Is A Wonderland” singer at their year-end dance.

Mayer’s publicist got word of the book and arranged for the surprise show, reports the Associated Press.

“Go be amazing people, and I’ll see you again,” the Room for Squares and Heavier Things Grammy winner told the students.

And while that good deed has gotten the 26-year-old musician some good press, his comments in an about-to-be-published first column for Esquire magazine is having the opposite effect.

In his musings for his “Resident Rock Star” column, due in the June issue, Mayer opines of the White Stripes: “I like them, but I don’t see how they’re in any way a manifestation of the blues.”

Possibly worse, of the Beatles, he writes: “I’ve missed too many episodes to follow the plot.”

Explaining his remarks to AP, Mayer says the comment only means that he’s too young to have grasped the Fab Four’s music. But that hasn’t stopped him from being criticized for the quip.

“People are saying it’s sacrilege,” says Mayer. “It is not saying that the Beatles are terrible, and it’s amazing to me now that people are ready to go for your throat – or give you a high five.”