Comin' Back To Me

Album: Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
Play Video


  • In a 2018 interview with Shindig magazine, Marty Balin said that he wrote this song after smoking a joint with Paul Butterfield.

    "I was in my room and I tell you, I couldn't find my legs," Balin said of that smoke session. "I got up and went to the guitar. Bam! In five minutes the song came out."

    Balin rushed to the studio where he found Jerry Garcia and Jack Cassidy. He asked them to play and asked the sound engineer to start the tape. They did the song in a single take.

    Balin didn't think any more of the song, because it was so soft that it couldn't be played live, but it went on to become one of Airplane's fan favorites.
  • When performing this live with Jefferson Starship, singer Marty Balin almost always introduced the song with a reference to the Surrealistic Pillow sessions, mentioning Jerry Garcia as having played the guitar parts on the original studio version.
  • Grace Slick played the recorder on this. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Hot Springs, CA, for above 2

Comments: 12

  • Ted Sutton from Lexington, ScI fell in love with this song in the late 60s. Always thought it was a sad song until I reunited with my teenage girlfriend after not seeing her for 49 years. We fell in love again and we both feel this song describes our happiness of finding each other again in our late 60s. It is now a beautiful and happy song for Ted and Maggie. Never to old to fall in love again with your long lost love!
  • Dave From Montclair Nj from Montclair NjWhat a beautiful beautiful song... and to discover the back story as told by Marty Balin. Marty getting high with Michael Bloomfield and Marty constructs the song ... Come back to the studio and Jerry Garcia and the rest of Jefferson Airplane except for Jorma happens to be there and they record. In one take. And this song is placed in the epic Surrealistic Pillow. I'll stop now, I am just repeating what you already know. Thank you...
  • Keith from Kansasthis song was also used in the movie The age of Adeline with Blake Lively (2015). I had nearly forgotten this song and when i heard it, it brought back a flood of memories from days passed.
  • Apsa from AfricaEkristheh said it all !
  • Ed from Lebanon, NhA wonderful cover version was made by Richie Havens ... who died today (on Earth day) of 2013.
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnThis song in and of ITSELF makes 'Pillow' a joy to listen to.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesA sadly restful song for a rainy Sunday afternoon in early autumn.
  • Jessica from Gardiner, MeThis is my favorite song of all time. I think it is so beautiful. IMHO, I think it is about unrequitted love.
  • Darren from Winnipeg, MbThis song was also in "Flashback" with Keiffer Southerlund and Dennis Hopper.
  • Victoria from Tacoma, Wa"It was a story about a breakup I was going through, and that situation where it's gotten into your head too much. Partially because somebody else is telling you that you're only hearing what you want to, and that puts you in a little bit of a tailspin."
  • Victoria from Tacoma, WaYou came to stay, live my way, scatter my love like leaves in the wind.
    You always say you won't go away but I know what it always has been.
    If only both Marty and the girl had been able to communicate, his feelings for her are clear in the song, she loved him too. Her life was never the same.
  • Barry from Greenville, NcGreat song! It was featured in "Without Limits," a 1998 film about the late legendary runner Steve Prefontaine.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Ralph Casale  - Session Pro

Ralph Casale - Session ProSongwriter Interviews

A top New York studio musician, Ralph played guitar on many '60s hits, including "Lightnin' Strikes," "A Lover's Concerto" and "I Am A Rock."

How The Beatles Crafted Killer Choruses

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Maxi Priest

Maxi PriestSongwriter Interviews

The British reggae legend tells the story of his #1 hit "Close To You," talks about his groundbreaking Shabba Ranks collaboration "Housecall," and discusses his latest project with Robin Trower.

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)Songwriter Interviews

The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Paul Stanley of Kiss, Soul Station

Paul Stanley of Kiss, Soul StationSongwriter Interviews

Paul Stanley on his soul music project, the Kiss songs with the biggest soul influence, and the non-make-up era of the band.