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Don't Come Around Here No More

by

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

After Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers toured in 1983, they took some time off, and Petty started working with Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics. This was the first song they wrote together, and the psychedelic sound was a big departure from Petty's work with The Heartbreakers. Southern Accents was going to be a Tom Petty double album produced by Stewart, but ended up being a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers single album, with Jimmy Iovine producing some songs and Stewart producing others.
Stewart tells the full glorious story in The Dave Stewart Songbook, but here are the highlights: Eurythmics had a huge hit with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" and became a phenomenon in the United States. They played the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, and Stewart met Stevie Nicks backstage after the show. She had broken up with Joe Walsh the day before, so she took Stewart home with her and they had a romantic encounter. The next morning, Stevie kicked him out, and Stewart flew to San Francisco for his next gig. After the show, he used a Portastudio to create a track using a drum machine, a synthesizer and a sitar. Reflecting on the last 24 hours, Stewart says: "I really liked Stevie and she seemed vulnerable and fragile when I was leaving that morning. I was thinking about that and the situation she was in and I started singing, 'Don't come around her no more.'"
A few days later Stewart was staying with producer Jimmy Iovine, who was working on Stevie's Bella Donna album. Stewart played him his demo, and they started writing the song for Stevie. Stewart didn't know that Nicks and Iovine were once a couple, and when she came over to record the song, tensions boiled over and she left in a huff. Iovine decided to give Tom Petty the song, and had him come by, where they finished it up. Petty and Nicks had worked with Iovine on the duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," which went on Stevie's album, so it was only fair that Petty got this one.
The video used an Alice In Wonderland theme, which was Stewart's idea - it reflected how he felt coming to Los Angeles. It was directed by Jeff Stein, who used a black and white tiled background and oversized, elaborate costumes starring Tom Petty as the Mad Hatter. Stewart appears in the beginning of the video playing the sitar on a giant mushroom. At the end, the girl becomes a cake and is eaten by the band, something that caused enough of a stir that they created a version where she doesn't get eaten. The video was a huge hit on MTV, helping introduce Petty to a younger audience and building anticipation for his next videos. (Read our interview with Dave Stewart.)
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Comments (19):

The drum machine at the beginning (and throughout) is a Linn drum machine. (Correct me if I'm wrong).
- Johnny, Pomona, CA
This song was inspired by Dave Stewart while Stevie Nicks was at his house. Stevie was dating Joe Walsh at the time, she was in Dave's room wearing some Victorian type clothing at the time ( a little high) and Joe was looking for her. She said to Joe who was on the other side of the door of Dave's room looking for her "Don't come round' here no more".
He wrote the drum track half there and half on the plane "flying to L.A." added the Sitar and liked it and had to record it.
Thus the rest is true... it was for Stevie but tempers flared and Tom had a better idea for the rest of the song.
She really DOES sing background vocals on this, I have the test pressing...
- Curtis, Woodbridge, VA
I love the song It's my favorite and the music Alice In Wonderland video.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
Masterpiece...when they do this live it sends chills down my spine.
- john, Grand Island, NY
Nate, Tom Petty's album that this song is on, Southern Accents, lists Stevie Nicks as harmony vocals for this song. So yes, she did sing on this one (she did not appear in the video, but is on the original audio recording track.) And at Tom Petty's concert in San Diego back at the time, in the 80s (think it was Oct 86? after this record was released in 85,) Stevie made a surprise guest appearance (totally zoned!) and this is one of the 3 songs that she sang live back-up on, believe it was even the first in the set. (She has also performed it many times herself solo in concert since the 80s.)
- Annie, San Diego, CA
The phrase "mad as hatter" originated because hat bands used to be made out of mercury and having it wrapped around your head will make you insane.
- G, Potomac, MD
On Dave Stewart's recent interview with Howard Stern, he explained why he wrote this song. Stewart had a one-night fling with Stevie Nicks, right after she broke up with Joe Walsh. Nicks was very vulnerable at the time & Walsh kept trying to get back into her life. Stewart overheard Nicks say to Walsh "Don't come around here no more"
- Jenn, New York, NY
Actually, if you see the DVD documentary that was made on the Heartbreakers' history, this song began life as a track Dave Stewart was writing for Stevie Nicks.

Tom visited his buddies in the recording studio while they had only worked out that rolling drum part and the chorus.

He convinced them to 'part with it' ... what a clever man!
- Ian, Melbourne, Australia
Dave Stewart plays the electric sitar on this song. It's such a trippy, eastern-sounding effect that really adds to the overall weirdness of the tune.
- Bubba Zanetti, Austin, TX
Mike Campbell used an Ibanez Iceman for the guitar solo.

Petty played piano on this song although you can barely make it out.

Petty completely drunk through most of the Southern Accents sessions...his drawl is worse than ever.
- Jose, Lodi, NJ
I touched that hat in the rock hall. Before they put it in the glass case. I had to jump as it was about 7-8 foot from the floor. When I went back to the hall I laughed to myself and wondered if they put it behind glass because everyone had touched it.
My father and I go to see Petty every other year at blossom. Hooray for 9 dollar tall boys of coors light.
- michael, Lorain, OH
I love this song and though it came out when i was born in 85 i have always loved it....what is funny is that this song is the only way while i was a child was the only way my father was able to put me to sleep and stay asleep.....



and though it is an awsomely twistid video i do not see why ppl have an attitude bout his creativity....

and i myself do belive in this video he has the pyscho personality that is just so appealing for him
- Lil, akron, OH
Tania, know the feeling, I played this over and over when I finally ditched my psycho ex in 2001 and she wouldn't leave me alone... Great song, great theme, great video...
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
Not only is the video a reference to Alice in Wonderland, but also to the art styles of M.C. Escher, whose art is very trippy.
- Patrick, Tallapoosa, GA
"Stevie Nicks sang back up on this. Tom had originally planned to give this song to Stevie for her album at the time. He ended up singing it for fun one day and changed his mind."

I think you're getting this song confused with either "Insider" or "You Can Still Change Your Mind". Stevie Nicks didn't sing backup on "Don't Come Around Here No More".

And Dave Stewert of the Eurythmics did not direct the video -- it was directed by Jeff Stein. Dave Stewert co-produced Southern Accents, the album this is from.
- Nate, New Paltz, NY
Stevie Nicks sang back up on this. Tom had originally planned to give this song to Stevie for her album at the time. He ended up singing it for fun one day and changed his mind.
- Chris, Downers Grove, IL
A lot of women had a problem with the video for this song, because of the cake scene at the end; they thought it was glorifying violence against women. However, it wasn't meant in that way at all. No one seemed to pick up on the much more controversial underlying theme of the video-- Alices trip to Wonderland, while high on LSD.
- Jacquie, Sparks, NV
This song accurately describes how I felt when I asked my husband to move out. It would be my honor to shake Mr. Petty's hand for this gem.
- Tania, Brooklyn, NY
The hat is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH
- Deana, Indianapolis, IN
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