Tom Petty – Jammin’ Me

I remember I had the album this was on…Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) and I was disappointed. I always liked this song though. The album did not live up to Southern Accents the previous album.

Although this is a 1980s song…Steve Jobs, Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and Vanessa Redgrave are singled out…as well as events in the world…the idea behind it is more relevant today than 1987.

I’ve always thought this song was about information overload on our senses…being overwhelmed in the disinformation age…and this was 1987! How about now?

Mike Campbell, the guitarist for The Heartbreakers, wrote the music for this and gave Petty the demo. Tom held it for a while and didn’t do anything with it until one day when he was working with Bob Dylan. They came up with some lyrics by picking words out of a newspaper and off the television. Tom pulled out Mike’s demo, and they inserted those words over the track. The song is about the deluge of information and marketing messages that can prove overwhelming.

This song peaked at #18 in the Billboard 100, #41 in Canada, and #38 in New Zealand in 1987. It was written by Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Mike Campbell.

From Songfacts

Many of Petty’s songs start as demos written by Campbell. Mike also wrote the tracks for Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” and “The Heart Of The Matter,” and helped Petty produce this album. 

In 1986, the band toured with Bob Dylan in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, which led to Dylan’s contribution on this song. In 1988, Petty and Dylan played together in The Traveling Wilburys, a band whose other members were Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Roy Orbison.

In the lyrics, Petty mentions various places and events that were in the news and getting constant media exposure. Actors Vanessa Redgrave, Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy also show up.

Jammin’ Me

You got me in a corner
You got me against the wall
I got nowhere to go
I got nowhere to fall

Take back your insurance
Baby nothin’s guaranteed
Take back your acid rain
Baby let your T.V. bleed

You’re jammin’ me, you’re jammin’ me,
Quit jammin’ me
Baby you can keep me painted in a corner
You can look away, but it’s not over

Take back your angry slander
Take back your pension plan
Take back your ups and downs of your life
In raisin-land

Take back Vanessa Redgrave
Take back Joe Piscopo
Take back Eddie Murphy
Give ’em all some place to go

You’re jammin’ me, you’re jammin’ me
Quit jammin’ me
Baby you can keep me painted in a corner
You can walk away but it’s not over

Take back your Iranian torture
And the apple in young Steve’s eye
Yeah take back your losing streak
Check your front wheel drive

Take back Pasadena
Take back El Salvador
Take back that country club
They’re tr yin’ to build outside my door


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

44 thoughts on “Tom Petty – Jammin’ Me”

  1. My least favorite album of his- someone stole my copy and it took me a while to get a replacement copy- but being a completest months later I did…. This was a good tune though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m the same way with things also…If I have one of something I have to have them all. After Southern Accents I was expecting more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes he got back on track after that with Full Moon Fever and Into The Great Wide Open. This one was I think his only complete dud.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I recall him saying that being with the Wilbury’s was a great help as far as his songwriting went. I think he was struggling with things at this point- with Let Me Up.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah. I didn’t care for this album that much. It was OK, but not up to Petty’s standards. I actually like Mike Campbell as much as I liked Tom Petty. He is one of my favorite guitarists. He’s so versatile. Like Mick Ronson, another one of my favorites.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Agreed on Campbell. Kind of unsung as a guitarist. Listening to his playing on packing up the plantation really blew me away back in the late 80s


    1. He does…and he does it in a lethal way…Murphy was not amused but I was.

      You are right! It does sound like Get It On…I never noticed that before.


  3. never knew Bob Dylan had a hand in this one, but looking at the lyrics now, it could very well have been one of his songs instead of Petty’s. Gotta admit though, like other people here, kind of find it to be one of Petty’s lesser singles and probably , the bits I’ve heard, his least impressive album. but everyone strikes out now and again, at least he came back strong next time up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The album didn’t have much else…this was the highlight. I did like this song and the video is really inventive for this time.


    1. Yea it was pretty bad except for this one. I do like this one song.
      This wasn’t a huge hit but at the time they played it quite a bit… I hardly hear it now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great pick Max.
    I liked Petty but I hate to say it I was more of a Greatest Hits guy in regards to his stuff but I still need to get a copy of Full Moon Fever at some point on vinyl. Love that one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. BTW, now that you remind me, I meant to reply to comment. Believe it or not, I had considered “Itchycoo Park” but already had various other tunes from 1967 and didn’t want the post too heavily focus on one year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. All the songs you had fit perfectly… I really got into the Small Faces with Steve Marriott last year so it’s still fresh in my mind.
        Sky Pilot was an inspired choice. I had that single in the late seventies.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have to say I really dig the original Animals, especially the sound of Alan Price’s Vox Continental – can’t get enough of it!

        Burdon’s post-Animals period kind was a late discovery. I’ve since really come to enjoy it, especially his psychedelic phase. San Franciscan Nights, Good Times, Monterey and Sky Pilot are all great tunes!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. San Francisican Nights I had also! I did like the original animals and along with Price I also like Chas Chandler’s bass. They had as dirty of a sound as the Stones. Burdon’s voice is special.

        The Eric Burdon and the Animals are different but good all the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. He is a surivor no doubt…speaking of him and knowing you are a Beatle fan…have you ever heard that the “eggman” in I Am The Walrus is supposedly about Burdon? John gave him that nickname…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I bought this on cassette as a youngster. Might have been at release. This track was such a great start to the album that I sort of forgave the average nature of the rest of the tracks. What a tune. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we did…we also took her to Wal Mart to pick up our ordered groceries. It was nice to drive a few miles Lisa! Who know I would get so excited driving again?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awesome! I moved some big stones around and now they are all in the right places around the driveway. I pulled a bunch of dead stuff out of the beds. The plan for tomorrow is to move two dwarf lilac trees to a sunny area before they bud out. Neither one is doing well where it’s at.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You were productive! Great that you are getting things accomplished. If my work is slow like today I’m going to try to do some home projects.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh. I do. It’s just not one of my Petty faves. I like “Don’t Come Around Here…”, too but, it’s not a fave. It’s just me. I’m weird. I have these divisions of like in my head…a ranking of sorts. 😝🙃

        Liked by 1 person

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