googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Worst Rock Music Video Ever

The Worst Rock Music Video Ever

    I like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as much as the next guy, in fact, I actually wore my finger to a nub calling into radio station KLOS to win a pair of Petty concert tickets to his show at the Forum. But his Last Dance With Mary Jane music video is an excellent example of the power of the music video, the power to ruin a perfectly good song.
    Last Dance With Mary Jane was recorded in 1993 and appeared on the Wildflowers album and could be interpreted as a drug song as “Mary Jane” is well known slang for marijuana. But in the music video Tom Petty is shown as a hospital orderly who develops an infatuation with a young woman in the hospital morgue portrayed by beautiful Kim Basinger, a big star for a music video. He absconds with her for a date at the end of which he dumps her body into the ocean. Funny note; the Wikipedia entry for the music video describes the woman as “unconscious”, not dead. I guess it’s just too gruesome for some people to admit but hospitals usually don’t keep unconscious patients in body bags.
    Unless I’m in a particularly weird mood, hearing Last Dance With Mary Jane on the radio still creeps me out even though I’ve listened to the lyrics closely and they have absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter of the video. I even went so far today as to turn it off when it came on just because I didn’t want the images from the music video in my mind. This video makes me feel like “Little Alex” from A Clockwork Orange who was conditioned to react to the sound of his beloved Beethoven by becoming violently ill.
    Another case of conditioned reflex ruining an otherwise enjoyable musical experience for me I actually did to myself. Back in the 70s I read the book Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi about the Charles Manson murders of actress Sharon Tate and others. Manson used the Beatles, particularly their “White Album” (The Beatles) in his defense and I made the horrible mistake of playing my cassette tape of the White Album over and over again, I had an early auto-reverse cassette deck, while reading the book late at night before I went to sleep. This had a terrible effect as to this day listening to the innocuous White Album has an underlying sense of dread to it that wouldn’t otherwise have been there. I’m truly sorry I listened to the White Album while I read Helter Skelter and I’m sorry Tom Petty made the Last Dance With Mary Jane video. At least, I’m sorry I ever watched it.


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