The Story Of “Here Comes My Girl” By Tom Petty
It Wasn’t The Easiest Song They Worked On
“Here Comes My Girl” is a single from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1979 breakthrough album “Damn the Torpedoes.” Petty wrote it with guitarist Mike Campbell but it was no easy task. Just like “Refugee,” “Here Comes My Girl” began as a demo on a 4-track recorder in Campbell’s home. He gave the tape to Petty and the iconic rocker was impressed.
In an interview with SongFacts in 2003, Campbell said: “It’s very similar to “Refugee” – those two were written the same week. I made some demos and Tom liked those two. “Here Comes My Girl” was interesting because we had the chorus and Tom wasn’t sure how to do the verse, he kept trying to sing it different ways and he finally came across sort of half-talking it, and that’s when the song seemed to come to life.”
Petty explained on Paul Zollo’s book Conversations With Tom Petty that they “religiously” followed the arrangement in the demo but then, he faced a problem. He admitted, “I struggled with that song for a little while.”
Still, he didn’t give up and just kept going. It was then that he found a way to work around it. He recalled, “I felt, ‘I have to learn this thing. I’m not going to let it get away from me. And then I got the idea for the narration. And once I started that, it started falling into place.”
The narrating concept isn’t new and even Petty himself acknowledged that the idea might’ve been sparked by Blondie. But he was also inspired by other groups like The Byrds and Rolling Stones. Petty then concluded, “But wrapping it all up into one bundle, you sort of come up with something that’s original in itself.”