We are hoping this dispatch reaches the outside world to a friendly savior. As we scratch this note on one of our remaining brown leather jackets, it is Day 5,476 of being locked inside the bottom floor of John Mayer’s Beverly Hills compound.
We, Gavin DeGraw and James Blunt, are the songbirds of the early aughts, the boys (now regrettably, men) who brought light, twinkling melodies to your ears in Paneras, movie theater lobbies, and your Mom’s Honda CRV on the free-for-one-month Sirius radio. When Mayer felt us coming for the charts, he acted quickly, and we have been paying for it with our sanity ever since.
Each day begins the same. We open the small window above the Murphy bed and begin brewing a piping hot pot of Early Grey Tea. Then, it’s time for scales to keep the vocal cords as nimble as possible, which James leads with grace and quiet power. Every other week, we rotate jamming to our respective debut albums for Lionel, our pet mouse. When we noticed him scamper under the couch a few years back, we captured him, and he provided us with both a newfound audience and genial critic.
Mayer nabbed Gavin first. Who could blame him? Gav Dog’s sweet, gravelly croonin’ on “I Don’t Want to Be” was reminiscent of a peppier Nirvana, sending women into a frenzy and lighting up dive bars with its snarky, upbeat lyricism. Gavin’s sheepish about this, but The Grateful Dead also had his name on the shortlist to play upcoming tours. They noted they especially loved the way his conductor hats sat askew his long hair, a tricky feat to achieve. Gav, kind soul that he is, attended the Heavier Things tour to support John and joined the J-man after the show for a glass of Pinot Grigio. Right when Gavin looked down to swirl his pour and release the esters, John strangled him with the E string he broke while shredding to “Daughters.” Gavin woke up in the basement with the taste of white grapes still in his mouth, but now his hat was embroidered with “JM is the Supreme Ruler.”
Sweet, self-conscious James was next. Once “You’re Beautiful” took off, James kept seeing John pop up in his day-to-day life. Whether he was at the grocery store or the library, it didn’t matter, John was there and challenging him to a feat of strength. AfterBack to Bedlam charted in the U.S. and U.K., James took his mother to a nice dinner at Tavern on the Green in Central Park to celebrate. Lo and behold, John is there, and makes a big show of coming over to say “hello.” He publicly challenges James to arm wrestling, and they end up spilling Ms. Blunt’s lobster risotto all over the floor and her sequined, Talbots wrap dress. Despicable. When Blunt left his hotel room later for a cigarette, Mayer pounced and knocked him on the head with a Grammy. Blunt woke up in our top bunk bed, already dressed in chiffon pajamas bejeweled with “Your Body is a Wonderland.”
While our accommodations are not uncomfortable, (we have Nerf guns to play with and padded floors) we yearn to be on stage again. Both of us miss singing about pours of whiskey, falling in love, and corduroy pants that fit just right. We can’t help but believe our spark was snuffed out before we truly had the chance to light up the world.
The only highlight of our week is when John comes downstairs to play an acoustic set. It’s a complicated feeling given he is our captor, but we are ultimately fans of his stuff. When he rips into the bridge of “Dreaming with a Broken Heart,” it’s like doing ecstasy, but he’s been spending an increasing amount of time practicing his stand up. I don’t know how much longer we can laugh at bits about Eddie Vedder.
We understand if you can’t use resources to rescue us. Just know we miss you dearly, and we hope you play us on your iPod Nanos from time-to-time.
The Coffee Shop Boys
P.S. James checked out a copy of Junebug from Blockbuster before he was taken. We apologize profusely for those late fees, and we are willing to work off whatever has accumulated. Also, that Amy Adams? A real star.