Tom Petty: “Don’t Do Me Like That” Could Have Been A J. Geils Song

Author: Jim Johnson

Tom Petty almost gave away his first Top 10 hit!

Peter Wolf, whose current band opened for The Heartbeakers this summer, tells Rolling Stone The J. Geils Band was offered “Don’t Do Me Like That” — and turned it down.

Tom and Peter became friendly when Petty opened some 1977 shows for the Geils band. A couple of years later, Wolf received a cassette of “Don’t Do Me Like That” — along with a note from Tom saying, “This would be a cool song for you… [T]he [Geils] band can really do something with it.”

But Wolf and his buddies had just finished recording an album, so they passed on the offer. Peter then jumped ahead to this past summer when the guys were chatting in Petty’s dressing room: “I said, ‘Tom, I gotta tell you, “Don’t Do Me Like That”… And he goes, ‘Oh, yeah! Whatever happened?’ I explained the whole thing — we were in the mix process or something. And he said, ‘I gotta thank you for that. When you didn’t end up doing it, everybody talked me into putting it [out].'”

Tom Petty would have turned 67 today (Friday).

Though this is the first time Peter Wolf has mentioned it, we heard a similar story from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench about a year ago.

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