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The Penguin Discography: Mary Jane's Last Dance

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Mary Jane's Last Dance
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Tom Petty

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Date Performance 1993-00-00
Running Time 4:33
Performers Tom Petty (Lead Vocal), Tom Petty (Guitar (Lead Guitar At The End)), Tom Petty (Harmonica), Mike/Michael Campbell (Lead Guitar), Ben(mont) (M.) Tench(, III) (Harmonium), Ben(mont) (M.) Tench(, III) (Piano), Howie Epstein (Bass Guitar), Howie Epstein (Background Vocal), Stan Lynch (Drums), Chris Trujillo (Percussion), Rick Rubin (Produced By), Tom Petty (Produced By), Mike/Michael Campbell (Produced By), Jim Scott (Engineered By), Richard Dodd (Mixed By)
CommentsRecorded at: Ocean Way, Hollywood, CA. Mixed at: Gone Gator Two (MCA Records) "There was a period during Full Moon Fever," Petty says, "where Jeff was in England and Stan came over, and Mike and Stan and I were playing and I got on a roll where I was improvising songs. I must have done twenty or so in one afternoon. Sometimes I can get lucky and really go stream of consciousness and all kinds of shit comes out. We actually have a video of 'Mary Jane' going down, except there was no chorus. But most of the words came out, though they may have been tidied up some later." "When we were going to do the greatest hits I was mid-way through Wildflowers and contractually I had to do two tracks for the greatest hits album. I was actually really annoyed about it and didn't want to stop what I was doing. I said, 'I hate the whole idea that you have the Greatest Hits and then you have two new things on the end.' Rick Rubin said, 'Well, I think we should stop and you go away and write something specifically for the Heartbreakers and then we'll bring all of them in, we'll go to another studio, and we'll have another session.' He got hold of that tape and went through it and he said, 'I really like this but you need to write a chorus for it.' I sat down that evening and the first chorus that came to me, at least the tune and the chords, was the one we kept. But I wasn't singing those words. I was singing 'Indiana Girl' or something really bogus. I think we even cut it with me singing those words. Later on when I started listening to it I thought, 'Now I've got to take the lyric up a bit to where it's something a little more meaningful.' I struggled around with it and finally arrived at 'Mary Jane's Last Dance.' It made much more sense to me. I still think it's one of the better Heartbreakers singles." On record and even more in concert, "Mary Jane's Last Dance" gave Petty a chance to stretch out on lead guitar: "I got to play a lot on the record which I don't usually, because Michael's so good that I feel intimidated. He's been encouraging me to play solos and that was one where I had this lick in there and he was playing it in slightly different syncopation. I said, 'No, no, it's like this,' and Mike said, 'Look, there's no need you teaching me, why don't you just do it?' And when it came to the solo he just said, 'You should do it, you're doing fine.' So he let me have the solo at the end and he did the nice one in the middle. That record really came out well. It was our last session with Stan. We had very happy sessions, those last sessions. I think he felt good because he was leaving on a real high note. This was the biggest album we ever had as it turned out. It brought in a whole other generation of people. And the funny thing was how hard I fought against putting anything new on it. Rubin will never let me forget it that I complained about that so much. But I'm really glad I did it now." The promotional music video was directed by Keir McFarlane.
Appears On
Playback (1995)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Playback (1995)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

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