The unexpected and tragic death of Mac Miller is a loss that many people are still coming to grips with even all these weeks later. From fans, family, friends and musical collaborators, the outpouring of grief has been tremendous. Among those who was touched by Miller in life was guitarist John Mayer, who recently appeared alongside many of the rapper’s other musical contemporaries like Travis Scott, Schoolboy Q, Chance The Rapper, Vince Staples and many more at a recent blowout gig in his honor in Los Angeles.
In a new interview with Complex, Mayer opened up about his association with Miller, and shared a touching story about how he ended up on his song, “Small Worlds” on his most recent album Swimming. “I started talking to my manager about splits — I gotta start making a living playing on people’s stuff. For years, it would be, like, a really fun sidenote,” the guitarist explained of his propensity to guest on other people’s songs.
Then an opportunity to work with Miller came up. “I got to Mac’s house and he played me this thing he had just worked on that morning, and I went, ‘Give me a guitar. I’m in.’ I think it had something to do with him having worked on it that day—it was still wide open and fresh.”
Mayer apparently had such a blast working with Miller on the song, he refused to ask for any compensation, and even declined a feature credit. “We had such a great time and laughed, and I said to him, ‘No cash. No credit. I’m just happy to do it, man.’ He said, ‘Hey, can I…’ I said, ‘I don’t want people talking about me. I want people talking about your record.'”
Speaking about Miller’s death specifically, Mayer explained why this case, in particular, has been so hard for himself — and for the community — to process. “I just wish it wasn’t fatal. I just wish figuring out your life didn’t take your life away from you. I don’t have an answer for how to fix that, but once you get old enough to understand how valuable life is, you look at people and go, ‘I just wish you could work this out.'”
You can watch footage of John Mayer’s tribute to Mac Miller at the recent all-star show at the Greek Theatre below.