The Petty Archives

Reviews: 'Great Wide Open' has message worth hearing
By Amy Fisher
Florence Times Daily - November 13, 1991

Music videos give us images to watch along with the music we love to hear.

The portray the singers and musicians of the songs engaging in live performances or lip-syncing along to a seldom-related story line.

Even though I am a big fan of music videos of all kinds, few actually have a complete story that goes with the lyrics of the song, start to finish.

However, there is an exception. The video for "Into the Great Wide Open," by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is almost like a mini-movie.

A single from the compact disc of the same title, this video stars Johnny Depp along with other famous faces, including Tom Petty and the members of the Heartbreakers band.

Although the musicians are also featured separately, the events of this video basically follow the lyrics of the song.

The song is about a boy named Eddie and his start and finish in the music business. Johnny Depp, who has television and movie credits, shows Eddie's eagerness for fame, his corruption by it and his almost inevitable downfall.

To me this song, written as well as performed by Tom Petty, should serve as a kind of warning to young people who are planning to hastily enter the music industry today.

The warning being that it is very easy to become corrupted by the fast-paced music scene if you are even able to get into it at all.

To return to the song itself, "Into the Great Wide Open" is a great song for any listener because of its easy, laid-back style.

As far as the video, I praise the creators behind it.

I recommend to music video fans that they watch this video at least once, just to see its message.

Every time after that can be because it's a great video to a great song.