I was a fan of Tom Petty’s Damn The Torpedoes when it came out in ’79 and have always admired his ability to write a great song, even when I don’t like it haha.
“Into The Great Wide Open” is one of those that I don’t like so much but I can’t help but admire because the story is good. It’s like Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane”, it drives you crazy but you can’t help but like it because you get attached to the characters and their story. And of course it has a great hook.
I wanted to write a ‘coming of age’ story with “It’s Alright, It’s OK” only after starting with two characters, I decided to let them go and make it about all of us.