Being a Coral Reefer is no cake job,
though—although Parrothead Nation has a
ceaseless tolerance for “Margaritaville” in
D, the tropical shirt-wearing faithful have a
collective palette that favors many styles of
music including country, reggae, soca,
various Latin influences, bar room
rock, jazz, vaudeville—you name it. It’s
no wonder, then, that Buffet’s band
is one of the tightest outfits on tour.
The Reefers each have their own litany
of solo work; chart-topping producer,
writer and session player credits;
Grammys; and of course, fans.
Having been Buffett’s lead guitarist for
20 years of albums and tours, not to
mention the dozen solo projects under
his belt (some under the name PM),
Mayer now finds himself described
as a musician’s musician. This isn’t a
surprise, considering the fact that he’s
the kind of player who does session work
with chop monsters like Dave Weckl, but it’s
worth mentioning that such a title is also the
result of much more. Mayer was influenced
by another world of music as a missionary kid
growing up in India. He also studied formal
theory and composition at Webster University
where he went on to teach jazz guitar.
Peter (left) with frequent guest Coral Reefer
Sonny Landreth and Jimmy Buffett
We recently had the chance to chill with
Mayer backstage at a Buffett show, where he
chatted gear and gigs with us before taking
us through his entire rig.
You play with some killer musicians, man.
I imagine that has an effect on your own
approach as a player.
It does. I’ve scaled back my ego—I say that
in kind of a funny but humble way. I’ve
worked with Weckl and different people
where it’s all about chops and really knowing your neck and all that stuff and I’m
very thankful for that experience. I’ll be
honest with you, when I got into this band
20 years ago, there were times when
they’d say, “Hey, we don’t need so much
on that,” and, “You can lay off there.”
And I kept trying to just push, push.
But after awhile it starts to make sense.
I’m playing with guys like Mac [McAnally]
and Jimmy [Buffett] and maturing and
meeting more players like Joe Walsh.
Sonny Landreth plays with us all the time.
I watch him and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, man!
It’s in the hands.” It’s all about the hands. But
yeah, being humble was huge. I eventually
learned to pick up the song verbatim as sim-
light compact adjustable
light compact adjustable
A revolutionary concept in guitar tremolos
Direct replacement with no drilling
emmo.lcoos mto double acting
Log on to to learn more