Tom Petty's Band Hated the first draft of 'Mary Jane's Last Dance'

News 30/12/2020

Mike Campbell (Heartbreakers guitarist) said the band used to hate Tom Petty's early draft of 1993's "Mary Jane's Last Dance". He recalls:

What's funny is that when Tom wrote this song, when he first showed it to me, the chorus was 'Hey Indiana girl, go out and find the world'. It was a completely different chorus and we all hated it. A few days later, Tom came in a sang, 'Last dance for [sic] Mary Jane'

Apparently, the band thought this particular track was the "most misunderstood" in their catalog, given the many interpretations of the title.

Most songs tend to morph and grow when you go through life. Some people interpret it as a dance, and others interpret it as [about] marijuana. I love that it can be interpreted in many different ways by the listener.

Campbell alluded that Petty laboured to complete the lyrics and true enough. Petty told Paul Zollo in the 2005 book 'Converstations With Tom Petty" about it:

I really struggled with the words right up to the last minute. I was actually doing the vocal, and I was still sitting there going, no wait, then I'd sit down and write and kept polishing to where I was almost confused, by the time I was finished, and hoping it was right.