Songs Of Summer Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Double Whammy

In all my self back patting yesterday for starting a calendar for the blog, I completely forgot to do Songs Of Summer. Here’s two Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker videos to make up for it.

This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen (or at least remember seeing) the video for “Into The Great Wide Open.” My history with Petty is actually kind of funny. My buddy Chad was in one of those BMG music clubs in high school and they were having a huge box set sale, so on a whim I had him grab me the Tom Petty Playback set, which eventually came in and blew my mind. I instantly fell in love with Petty including this song which I’m sure I heard here and there on the radio or possibly movie soundtracks. I know I reference driving when it comes to a lot of these songs, but that’s just where my mind goes when I think about summer. In the winter, driving’s no fun because you’re constantly worried about sliding off the road, having a tree branch fall on your car or some idiot who doesn’t know what he’s doing crashing into you. In the summer you don’t have to worry about that (as much). Anyway, this is a great story song, with a good video (though very of-it’s-time) to go along with it that makes me think of taking a trip down Route 66.

“Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” however, I remember very vividly from 1994 when the video came out. It’s such a weirdly wonderful thing starting in a morgue and ending with Mary Jane (played by Kim Basinger) opening her eyes under water. It’s so creepy and I remember it giving me the willies when I was a kid. I was 11 at the time and hadn’t yet been exposed to the massive number of horror movies I would go on to experience, but I still compare all similar scares like that one back to “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” Aside from those memory’s it’s a fun song to sing along with your friends while hanging out (or driving!) and exemplifies why Petty’s one of the better story song writers around.

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