tom petty

Don’t Come Around Here No More

Very sad news about Tom Petty. He was a favorite of just about everybody. I had the opportunity to see him live a half dozen times since high school, AND just this past June — where he looked and sounded like it was the Wildflowers tour 1995.

My favorite Tom Petty song is Don’t Come Around Here No More. It’s bizarre Alice in Wonderland music video freaked me out when I was kid in the mid 80’s.

(Like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke) Petty had an alluring weirdness with his sneering voice and stone(d) face delivery.

What I like about ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ is the juxtaposition of a major (happy) chord progression with profoundly negative subject matter.

I always felt like Petty was taking the lyrical position of a women who’s fed up with her sociopathic, alcoholic boyfriend.

I also luxuriate in the production value of Don’t’ Come Around Here No More. It’s a huge departure from The Heartbreakers’ usual minimalist, essentialist instrumentation. I put it up there with U2’s With or Without You, and Seal’s Kiss From a Rose.

The genesis of Don’t Come Around Here No More was a romantic encounter that Tom Petty’s Southern Accents co-writer and producer, David A. Stewart (Eurythmics) had with Stevie Nicks at a party.

In a radio interview, Stewart explained that he woke up at 5am to find Nicks in his room trying on Victorian clothing and described the entire scenario as very much reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. Later that morning, she told her previous love interest, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, “Don’t come around here no more.”

Gear Used

For Don’t Come Around Here No More I used my modified Eric Clapton Strat straight in to my Vox Ac10 amplifier. My EC Strat is modified with MojoTone 58 QuietCoil pickups. I prefer a Strat and I record for YouTube so a noiseless pickup is essential. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to Play Don’t Come Around Here No More (fingerstyle guitar)

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The inspiration for this style of guitar playing comes from John Mayer’s Michael Jackson Memorial tribute. He has an R&B fingerstyle vibe going that I tried to capture on the pre-chorus section of Don’t Come Around Here No More.

I would qualify this song for intermediate to advanced guitar players. You’ll have to use your left-hand thumb to fret the bass notes in the pre-chorus (1:03) of the video. I’ve also indicated the use of your thumb in the guitar tab by placing a T below the relevant chord shapes.

If you’re not used to doing the ‘over the top’ thumb thing can feel impossible. However, if you stick with it, and give it a few days, you’ll get it.

My order of play, in accordance with the guitar tab is Intro, Chorus — Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus — Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, End.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Don’t Come Around Here No More is played in standard tuning.

Don’t Come Around Here No More (fingerstyle guitar)