I’ve been a pop culture junkie since I was a wee one. I was never allowed to watch MTV, which means, of course, I watched it all the time. I was allowed to watch Nick Rocks, the video show on Nickelodeon. So every time my parents caught me watching MTV I told them it was Nick Rocks. And yes, I was a child when MTV literally showed videos during waking hours.
The Alice in Wonderland inspired video for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Don’t Come Around Here No More” had a lasting impression on me:
I know what you’re thinking, yes, that IS Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics as the Caterpillar at the beginning. He co-wrote the song. But, back to the subject at hand.
This song was released in 1985. I was 7 or 8 at the time. I think we can all agree that Tom Petty is a unique looking man. He’s very pointy. His voice, combined with his pointy-ness, and his Mat Hatter persona in this video seriously bugged me out. The whole video has a creepy, surreal vibe that disturbed me.
But, the thing that bothered me the most is when Alice is turned into a cake at the end. I was worried this may happen to me.
Was I worried I may turn into a pig baby? No. Nor was I worried about about becoming small enough to use a doughnut as a life preserver because that would be delicious. Somehow, the cake thing was what got my mind turning. This just seemed the most likely of all the scenarios presented.
And ultimately, this is was what worried me the most: I truly hoped that if and when I was turned into a cake, that everyone would be neater about cutting me up and serving me. Look at that mess! Tom’s serving all-icing pieces and all that cake is crumbled on the table. I can only hope my Mad Hatter and checkerboard ladies show some mercy on that front.
I did grow to love Tom Petty. He’s one of the most represented musicians on my iPod. And I also love the song, but I can’t hear it without thinking of messy cake.