Don't Come Around Here No More

Album: Southern Accents (1985)
Charted: 50 13
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Songfacts®:

  • After Tom Petty and 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 and 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.)
  • MTV ordered a shot of a grinning Petty while Alice gets served edited out of the video before they would air it. "They said it was just too lascivious," he told Billboard. "They were like, 'Well, you can do it, but you can't enjoy it that much.'"
  • Louise "Wish" Foley plays Alice in the video. At the casting call, she was dressed demure, like Alice would, while the other girls auditioning (mostly models) were to the nines. Foley went on to land roles in the TV series Santa Barbara and Family.

Comments: 26

  • Responsibly Curious from Youngstown, OhioThinkin' that the back vocals for " Don't come around here no more" are Marilyn Martin. Sounds like the incredible voice in "Gimme Shelter" but I know it's not, though they're both phenomenal!
  • James Russell from Apex, NcThere are different sources that give a different viewpoint on this song. Whose view or story do you believe?
    There seems to be a train of thought that Stevie Nicks sang backup on this song. Wikipedia article on the song and personnel
    do not list Stevie Nicks. Though one of her main backup singers on her records and concert performances is listed: Sharon Celani. If you go back to "Southern Accents" the album that "Don't Come Around Here No More" comes from Wikipedia list 50-60 additional personnel and once again Stevie is not listed. Of course Wiki's articles can not be accurate at times. Once again who do you believe. Maybe look at the original Album cover. I know that some albums do not go into all the nuts and bolts about whom actually were involved in making the record album.

    The original idea of the song was David A Stewart from Eurythmics. I think that the Eurythmics had performed a show in Los Angeles. Stevie Nicks had been at the performance and invited David back to her place because she was having a party. Stewart did not know who Stevie was but went to the party anyway. At some point in time Stewart became tired and went to a room in the house to go to asleep. I think he chose Stevie's room. When he woke up she was trying on Victorian Clothing (One source states that this reminded Stewart of Alice in Wonderland). They ended up having a tryst and Stewart left her house late morning.
    Before he left, Joe Walsh had came by to look for Stevie and she uttered the words that became the title of the song.

    At some point in time David Stewart was involved with TP&H record album "Southern Accents". The album had many producers and the main one was Jimmy Iovine. Who had been a lover and record producer for Stevie Nicks. Stewart had been thinking about this song and he played a demo that he had worked up. Jimmy Iovine begin to work on the song and it was originally going to be a part of Stevie Nicks album Rock a Little. But they decided that since Tom and Mike Campbell had given Stop Dragging My Heart Around to Stevie Nicks they would take this song instead.

    At some point in time David Stewart remarked that him being in Los Angeles reminded him of "Alice in Wonderland". Which I find kind of strange that he would feel this way. I guess the 1980s LA music scene was more hedonistic than the 1980s London Scene.

    One last bit of trivia. Not related to the song but to David Stewart. Sometime after David bought a house in Greater LA area. The Traveling Wilbury's used his house as a practice sessions and his recording studio to record Traveling Wilburys Vol 1.
  • Jack Trout from Mount Shasta, CaliforniaThat is not Stevie Nicks in the background, the singer is a mystery, extremely talented should be acknowledged.
  • Mary from OhioClearly the female backing vocal was not performed by Stevie Nicks. It doesn't sound anything like her. I'd like to know who it is, though.
  • Chris from Germany I'm sure that the video helped the success of the song a lot. The video is a masterpiece and i have seen it in 1991 on MTV as a small kid and is still remember it. in 1985 it had a lot of airplay on MTV and so it made it a hit. US Hot 100 Top 20.
  • Megan Parsons from MiamiAnd I mean hipster in the less pejorative way possible. This is one of modern music's most influential figures and one of my all time favorite musicians
    https://acouplepillsaday.blogspot.com.co/2016/11/buddy-holly-blue-days-black-nights-look.html
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with the girl in this video, including what she's doing now and never-published pics: http://noblemania.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-girl-in-video-dont-come-around-here.html
  • Johnny from Pomona, CaThe drum machine at the beginning (and throughout) is a Linn drum machine. (Correct me if I'm wrong).
  • Curtis from Woodbridge, VaThis 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...
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love the song It's my favorite and the music Alice In Wonderland video.
  • John from Grand Island, NyMasterpiece...when they do this live it sends chills down my spine.
  • Annie from San Diego, CaNate, 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.)
  • G from Potomac, MdThe 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.
  • Jenn from New York, NyOn 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"
  • Ian from Melbourne, AustraliaActually, 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!
  • Bubba Zanetti from Austin, TxDave 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.
  • Jose from Lodi, NjMike 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.
  • Michael from Lorain, OhI 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.
  • Lil from Akron, OhI 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
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesTania, 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...
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaNot 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.
  • Nate from 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."

    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.
  • Chris from Downers Grove, IlStevie 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.
  • Jacquie from Sparks, NvA 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.
  • Tania from Brooklyn, NyThis 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.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InThe hat is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH
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