How Chrissie Hynde Wrote ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ for John McEnroe
Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde recalled how “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” a song inspired by her friend and tennis star John McEnroe, included a melody she “nicked” from an airline announcement.
The 1986 track appeared on the band’s album Get Close after she’d found inspiration while aboard a plane, as she told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I wanted to write a song for John because I’ve known him for a long time and he’s always getting in trouble – so I heard,” Hynde said. “Because I never watched him play tennis particularly, because I’m not really a tennis fan. I hate to admit it because I don’t think he likes that very much. He used to say, ‘Can’t you just pretend you’re into athletics when you’re with me?’”
“He loved playing guitar," she continued. "He’s a big music person, which is how I knew him, because he used to come to our shows and he was friendly with the band and stuff. I had in mind that I was going to write this song for him to do. Years later, when I was on British [Airways], I heard an announcement – because I did write some of that song on a plane – and I think I nicked one of the top-line melodies from the overhead announcement: ‘Dong-dong-dong-dong … Welcome to British Airways.’ So … fuck them too!”
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