The "Donnie" in this song is almost certainly a reference to Donny Hathaway, who was a famous singer/songwriter who killed himself by jumping out of a hotel window in 1979. Hathaway had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia episodes days before he committed suicide, saying that people were out to hook his brain up to a machine to steal his music and kill him. Hathaway had his greatest success with duets he performed with Roberta Flack, including "Where Is The Love?
" and "The Closer I Get To You
." In "What a Catch, Donnie," Flack is referenced in the lyrics, "Miss Flack said I still want you back."
Pete Wentz has admitted to depression and his own suicide attempt. In this song, he could be drawing parallels between his life and that of Hathaway - a successful artist whose demons killed him. The relationship between Hathaway and Flack could be symbolic of that between Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump. In the middle of the song, the lyrics are: "I will never end up like him, behind my back I already am. Keep a calendar this way you always know." It's like Pete is saying to Patrick, "I'll never try to kill myself again." Then, for the chorus: "All I can think of is the way, I'm the one, no, you're the one who gave up on you." It's as if Patrick would reply, "I won't give up on you if YOU don't give on you."
Tom - Massillon, OH