I have to tell you, for my money, it doesn’t get much better than Tom Petty’s 1985 song “Don’t Come Around Here No More” from the album Southern Accents. The song came from Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. According to this website, he mentions in his book and in an interview he did with Howard Stern, that this song was inspired by Stevie Nicks, who had recently had a breakup with Joe Walsh. During a substance filled night Stewart spent with Nicks, she said of Walsh or maybe he was just interpreting her feelings of Walsh, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”. The song was originally intended for Stevie’s album, but they ended up giving it to Petty.
God I love Tom Petty. John and I are huge fans, although I’m not sure he would even put this song in his top ten Petty Songs. For me, it’s bar none not only the best Petty song, but one of the best songs of all time, and by far the best music video of all time. I love every element to this song. Starting with the awesome drum programming, the electric sitar, maybe also a real sitar on the left channel. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how the electric sitar hum was created that plays on the right channel (listen to a CD quality recording of it with headphones). To me it sounds like a mix of a few guitar pedals/filters, and possibly this thing?
There’s a great live Petty concert from his hometown of Gainesville Florida, with a guest appearance on this song and a few others by Stevie, that has been playing on Palladia or HD Net, can’t remember which. I keep watching very closely to see if I can tell what kind of guitar Campbell is playing. From what I can make out, I think it’s a Coral Electric Sitar, like the one pictured above. Wish I had enough fun money to buy guitars like this, if only to play 2 songs with. This would be a fun one to own.
The lyrics are downright amazing as well, sometimes simplicity can be killer – if chosen and place correctly. The way he utters out lines with disdain like “I Don’t Feel You Anymore”. What a great line, it says so much without having to say much at all. This is a great breakup song, it’s moody, reflective, but also somewhat empowering to the protagonist who is doing the “kicking out”.
Anybody who grew up in the MTV era knows this video, in my opinion the best video of all time. Alice In Wonderland theme starring Petty as Mad Hatter. I believe they caught some heat for the ending of this video, and had to shoot an alternate ending.