Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer brings back a 1989 Tom Petty song

The trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 was recently leaked a little early, but that’s not the only surprise. A somewhat unusual musical selection accompanies our first glimpse of Rockstar Games’ next open-world game: Tom Petty’s “Love Is a Long Road.”

The song shown in the trailer originally appeared on Petty’s 1989 first album, Full Moon Fever. It was also the B-side of the far more well-known song from that album, “Free Fallin’,” released as a single in the UK. (Before it became a cutesy derisive word for a song that wasn’t anticipated to become a top 40 success, that’s what the name “B-side” meant: a song that was physically on the opposite side of a record.)

It’s entertaining to see all of the groundbreaking elements for Grand Theft Auto that the video teases, including a playable female character and new social networking applications within the game, combined with a lesser-known song by an iconic rock musician from the past. The lyrics, which depict a passionate relationship—”Yeah, we were desperate then / To have each other to hold / But love is a long, long road”—are perhaps more important for us to focus on than the Tom Petty element of the song. It sounds a little like how the main characters, Jason and Lucia, could be felt in what seems to be some very serious hijinks a la Bonnie and Clyde.

This game will be revolutionary. Along with it, it also gives us a sense of nostalgia. We felt the same kind of nostalgia when we heard Petty’s distinctive groan in this trailer as when we used to visit my parents and hear our dad playing the guitar in the basement. And yeah, that’s kind of how we feel about going back to the Grand Theft Auto universe. Furthermore, Tom Petty was a Floridian! That just works with the game.


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