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John Mayer Seemingly Asks Fans to ‘Please Be Kind’ Hours Before ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’ Release

John Mayer Seemingly Asks Fans to Please Be Kind Hours Before Speak Now Taylor's Version Release
John MayerBroadimage/Shutterstock

John Mayer is seeing it all now that his ex Taylor Swift has rereleased her 2010 album, Speak Now.

Hours before Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) dropped on Friday, July 7, the 45-year-old musician seemingly sent a pointed message to fans via Instagram. Mayer shared a slideshow of pics from his recent Dead & Company concerts in Colorado — and the final photo had Swifties rushing to the comments section.

“The afterglow is still shining bright,” Mayer captioned the Thursday, July 6, carousel, which included a snap taken from the crowd of the words “Please Be Kind” written in purple lights in the sky.

The timing of the upload wasn’t lost on Swift’s fans. “Speak not💜💜💜 stream speak now (taylor’s version),” one social media user commented, while another teased, “Would’ve could’ve should’ve turned ur comments off💜.”

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A third fan joked that it was a “bad day to be posting the color purple” — the same color that defines Swift’s Speak Now era.

Swift, now 33, briefly dated Mayer after they collaborated on his 2009 song “Half of My Heart” — and the whirlwind relationship has remained the subject of backlash due to the pair’s age difference. When they were linked, Swift was 19 and Mayer was 32.

John Mayer Seemingly Asks Fans to Please Be Kind Hours Before Speak Now Taylor's Version Release 3 Taylor Swift
John Mayer and Taylor Swift Jason Szenes/EPA/Shutterstock

When Swift dropped the original version of “Dear John” after their split, it wasn’t hard for fans to decode that Mayer was the John in question. “Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with?” she sings.

Mayer slammed Swift’s breakup anthem in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, confessing that the song made him “feel terrible.” He claimed he “didn’t deserve” to be the target of Swift’s songwriting, adding, “I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.”

Despite calling Swift’s writing tactic “cheap,” Mayer penned his own cryptic tune that appeared to respond to “Dear John” on his 2013 record, Paradise Valley. “You’re like twenty-two girls in one / And none of them know what they’re runnin’ from,” he sings in “Paper Doll,” seemingly referring to Swift’s 2012 song “22.” (Mayer also includes a reference to a red scarf, which fans believe alludes to Swift’s Red ballad “All Too Well.”)

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Earlier this year, Mayer revisited “Paper Doll” during a concert in Sacramento, California. “I wonder if people don’t like it because it sounds a little pissed off. I don’t really like ‘pissed off’ as a song,” he said on stage at the April show. “There’s something about it that’s a little bitchy.”

One month later, Swift officially announced Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) was on the way as she continues to rerecord her old music in her battle for ownership of her masters. In June, she performed “Dear John” for the first time since 2012 during an Eras Tour stop in Minnesota — and prefaced the song with a call to action for her fans.

John Mayer Seemingly Asks Fans to Please Be Kind Hours Before Speak Now Taylor's Version Release Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

“I get to stand on this stage every single night of this tour and watch some of the most beautiful things happen,” she began during the acoustic portion of her set. “I watch you guys make friends with each other. I watch you bond. … I was hoping to ask you, as we lead up to [Speak Now] coming out, I would love for that kindness and that gentleness to extend onto our internet activities.”

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Swift went on to explain the reason for her rereleases, asserting that “any artist who has the desire to own their music should be able to.” Before beginning the surprise song, she reminded concertgoers that the purpose of updating her old tracks wasn’t to start drama.

“I’m 33 years old. I don’t care about anything that happened to me when I was 19, except the songs I wrote,” she said. “I’m not putting this album out so that you can go and should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I might have written a song about 14 billion years ago.”

Her declaration came after the release of the song “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” from her 2022 album, Midnights, which fans also believe is about her rocky relationship with Mayer.

Mayer isn’t the only one of Swift’s famous exes to inspire a Speak Now song as Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner and more were some of her muses for the 2010 record. Lautner — about whom Swift wrote “Back to December” — previously hinted that Mayer should brace himself ahead of the rerelease.

“I think it’s a great album. Yeah, I feel safe,” he quipped in a May interview, adding, “Praying for John.”

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