"I wasn't trying to cover the entire South and its story," Petty said of Southern Accents. "I was trying to use it as a jumping-off place." The narrator on the album's towering opening track traces his own wild ways back to the South's deep-seated rebel spirit. Petty wrote the song on a visit home to Florida and spent a year on it in the studio. The Southern Accents sessions were so difficult that at one point he punched a wall in frustration, injuring his hand. "I nearly blew it there," Petty said later. "I almost didn't play anymore."