Petty wrote this after his first group Mudcrutch moved from Florida to Los Angeles in 1974. The song finds him warning (or at least asking) a girl not to dump him, as he has a friend who recently had his heart broken. Not one of the group's more meaningful songs, Creem magazine called it a "throwaway romp."
Many listeners enjoyed this romp, making it one of Petty's most popular songs.
Tom Petty strongly considered giving the song to The J. Geils Band because he thought it had their sound. (Petty and the Heartbreakers had opened for the J. Geils Band on tour). However, the band turned him down as they were already deep in the mixing process for their album and producer Jimmy Iovine persuaded Petty and his bandmates to record it themselves. They were glad they did as it reached #10 on the Hot 100, becoming the group's first Top 10 hit.
When Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers made their first appearance as musical guests on Saturday Night Live November 10, 1979, they played "Refugee" and "Don't Do Me Like That."
Subsct from Ny,nyIt's really a great lesson in rudimentary songwriting with verse A, verse B, chorus, bridge, back to the verses and finishing with that chorus. Simple, effective, with a subject that resonates with all young men on the verge of being let go. And yes, don't we all know that feeling. Excellent tune, easy enough that everyone always remembers the lyrics after all these years. Bravo!
Jaykay from Worldwide If you all read Petty the biography by Warren Zanes you may draw the same conclusion as I. This song is about his father's relationship with his mother.
Ken from Louisville, Ky"Don't do me like that" is an old Southern expression, meaning either "Don't try to fool me" or "Don't mistreat me". So it's hardly surprising that Florida native Tom Petty would write a song around it.
John from Grand Island, NyDamn The Torpedoes was one song short from completion. Tom asked the band if they had any song in mind they should record, someone suggested this song from his Mudcrutch days so this song almost never made it to vinyl, its funny how stuff works out.
Jim from Long Beach, CaTP wrote this with his first band Mudcrutch in 1974. The he recoreded it solo in 1979..
Jami from Redding, CaGeesus all these years I thought the lyric was listen honey can't you see maybe you would marry me. I obviously need to get out more. I still love this song though.
Vernon from Trinidad, Wi, OtherCuriously enough, Tom Petty got into the Top 10 three times. Once with the Heartbreakers (this song), once with Stevie Nicks (Stop Draggin' My Heart Around) and once solo (Free Fallin') although I guess technically the Stevie Nicks one included the Heartbreakers too.
Mary from Phoenix, AzWow. Y'all are saying this doesn't get enough airplay and that it's underrated, but they play it here in AZ on KSLX all the time. And on ThePeak.
Cricket from Moscow, Idthis song rules! this one and 'you're so bad' don't get enough airplay
Kendall from Thomasville, GaI agree with you Leon, as a matter o fact, I believe that it is one of the most underarted songs of any group in these days
Tracy from Rogers, OhMy son who is 4 goes around singing Don't do me like that all the time and people find it so cool that a kid his age enjoys music like this. Anyways thought it is cool myself.
Snake from Custer , Sdthe Mudcrutch Version of this song can be found on the boxed set "Playback"
Leon from Waterbury, CtI love this tune and it's one of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' most under-rated songs.
Walk The Moon vocalist Nicholas Petricca got the idea for "Shut Up and Dance" when he and his girlfriend were taking forever to get drinks at a Los Angeles club bar. Petricca was getting frustrated, so his girlfriend told him to, "Shut up and dance with me!'"