For Megan Volpert, that song was “Straight Into Darkness.” During a particularly dark part of her life, the song came through her headphones, and Petty can be heard singing…
“There was a little girl, I used to know her
I still think about her, time to time
There was a moment when I really loved her
Then one day the feeling just died…”
In “Straight Into Darkness: Tom Petty as Rock Mystic,” Volpert dives deep into the meaning of this song and its fit into the rest of Petty’s work. Forty years after the release of the “Long After Dark” album, the celebration of a rock icon through a series of essays brings together musical, historical, rhetorical and sociological scholarship on a forgotten song. Volpert’s analysis is both incredibly personal and applicable to anyone who was touched by Petty’s music.