Mary Jane's Last Dance guitar lesson
Tom Petty wrote this song in 1993. If you look at the original video is a bit of a bizarre journey. Tom plays a morgue's assistant and takes a corpse who is played by Kim Basinger. He dresses her up, makes dinner for her, they watch TV together, they dance, and all the time she is dead. At the end she opens her eyes.
The words seem to have drug overtones but Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell said, “...when it gets to the chorus he had the presence of mind to give it a deeper meaning. My take on it is it can be whatever you want it to be. A lot of people think it's a drug reference, and if that's what you want to think, it very well could be, but it could also just be a goodbye love song."
I love songs that have no clear message and the listener can imagine whatever they want the song to be.
The chords are simple. Am, G, D, Em, A - all open position chords. But then we can use half barre chords up the neck all the way to the 12th fret in some parts.
The use of hammer-on chords are tricky and so this song is a good exercise in working with those on the open G and D chords.
In the lead section there is a signature double stop riff that just can't be left out but most of the intricate guitar work in the original recording I skipped over making my own arrangement instead. This song has many layers as a band arrangement but you have to simplify when playing solo.
I did use a looper during the solo section so that you can hear the main chord progression in the background while the double stop riff and lead is playing.
There is also a backing track starting at 17:31 until 19:05 just in case you want to practice the lead section yourself.
Let me know if you have any questions!