Chronic Cover Songs for 420: A Band in Heaven Tears Up Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance"
Editor's note: If you grew up in South Florida, you've lived a delightfully half-baked existence. You've definitely smoked the stickiest crippy and the worst Jamaican schwag. County Grind got all stoned and thought, why not ask these toasty South Florida musicians to give us a taste of their favorite pot-inspired songs in preparation for 420? This Chronic Cover series introduces you to both songs about weed and local talents. For the full list, click here.
We couldn't have smoked up a better idea for a grand finale to our Chronic Covers Songs series than this grimy cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Mary Jane's Last Dance." The good times ultimately come to an end; with every high comes a low, a crash, a climax. This number was written by Gainesville's Americana rock pride, Tom Petty. When Ates Isildak, frontman for West Palm Beach distortion-heavy dream pop unit the band in Heaven confirmed that his sludge-fueled band had chosen "Mary Jane's Last Dance" as its contribution to our compilation, our mind yelled: "Bingo!"
The local scene's most mind-bending group covering arena rock's most renowned stoner (those who have attended a Tom Petty concert will attest to the voluminous amount of homegrown smog that permeates the air during the musician's set)... we couldn't have scripted it better if we tried.
Although Petty has never gone on the record about the song's theme, and even though he throws in some nonsense about an "Indiana Girl" and "those Indiana Nights," every pothead worth his weight in kind bud knows what this 1993 classic is about. It's a goodbye love song, a kiss-off to the giddy, overindulgent psychotropic times. And to end this series, the Band in Heaven exceeded our expectations by delivering a cover that is as filthy as a Pink Pussycat stripper on a three-day coke binge, with its heavy-handed use of reverb. It's delicious white noise, a tidal wave of feedback over Isildak's vocals -- which are as ethereal as we have ever heard them.
You could say it's what Tom Petty would have sounded like if he were backed by dissonant early '80s duo Suicide rather than the Heartbreakers. A heavenly end to our 420 homage, indeed.
If you want to catch these foot-pedal abusers in action, they will be playing this Saturday at Radio-Active's daylong Record Store Day party. Or if you really want to get down, you can watch them play with their divine distortion rock patriarchs, the Jesus and Mary Chain, at Raleigh, North Carolina's Hopscotch Festival in September.
For now, consider earplugs, and crank this hefty cover. We bid you adieu.
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