Tom Petty’s estate has released his track “Leave Virginia Alone” from his 1993 recordings for Wildflowers. The release of of the song was joined by an accompanying music video, which had been directed by Mark Seiliger and Petty’s daughter, Adria Petty and features actress Casimere Jollette from Netflix’s forthcoming Tiny Pretty Things in the role of Virginia. The upcoming Wildflowers & All the Rest will be released on October 16.
“We were very resourceful about trying to create a character that could be assigned to anyone,” Adria Petty said in a press statement. “That’s why Virginia in this video is very mysterious but she has her little glimpses of characters. We really worked to cast someone authentic – that felt like they were really feeling their feelings and someone that you could believe. We really wanted the song to do the heavy lifting in this video, and sort of step out of the way and just give it something to breathe with.”
The music video follows the character of Virginia, who dances ballet and models in the black and white film. Petty’s peaceful voice is joined by upbeat drums and guitars, Petty asking for Virginia to be left alone as he describes the trials she finds herself facing. “She’s not like you and me,” Petty says. The lyrics describe a beautiful girl whom many adore, however none take the time to truly get to know her. Virginia acts out the video, smiling in front of cameras as she models while pushing every item off her makeup counter and drinking whisky when she’s alone.
“The one idea that kept coming back to both of us is that we really want Tom to be narrating the story,” Seliger said in a press statement. “We really want to hear his voice as he runs you through this journey that this woman is having.”
Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers had initially been a 25-track album, however when Petty’s record label suggested the album be cut down, Petty agreed so that it would be more affordable for his fans. Back in September, Petty’s Wildflowers track “Confusion Wheel” was released, as the first unreleased single from the upcoming album. Petty’s estate had also released home recordings of the songs “Wildflowers” and “There Goes Angela (Dream Away).”
The remainder of the Wildflowers tracks remained dear to Petty towards the end of his life, with Petty commenting that the release of the complete album was at the top of his priorities. Petty had hoped to tour Wildflowers, including Stevie Nicks, Steve Winwood and Eddie Vedder, playing all of the unreleased material after the album was finished through. Famed producer Rick Rubin had worked on the album with Petty, the two meeting on a flight and getting along. In 2019, the late singer’s estate released a compilation album called The Best of Everything, which was filled with some of Petty’s best work from both his solo career and with the Heartbreakers.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz