With all good songs in the rock and roll pantheon, there are always songs with meanings that are endlessly speculated about. “Hotel California”, by the Eagles, is one such song. So is “Mary Jane's Last Dance”, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty’s song has been around since 1994, and it charted well, both in America and overseas. Kim Basinger played a primary character in the video with Petty, and she apparently still believes that it was and is one of the best things she’s done in her long and varied career.
Petty’s guitarist Mike Campbell remarked about the song ,”In the verse there is still the thing about an Indiana girl on an Indiana night, just when it gets to the chorus he had the presence of mind to give it a deeper meaning. My take on it is it can be whatever you want it to be. A lot of people think it's a drug reference, and if that's what you want to think, it very well could be, but it could also just be a goodbye love song."
We all like assigning personal meanings to songs that impact us on one level or another. This song is one of those songs that could mean a number of things to any number of people. Taken as a cannabis reference though, it’s one of those songs I wouldn’t mind listening to next time I practice my ritual. It’s just good music, and sometimes that’s what it’s all about.