Sometimes when I hear a song I remember the first time I heard it, such as if I'm in my car playing the radio for some reason or out somewhere and wherever I am happens to be playing music and they play the song. I'm sitting inside to listen to So Dirty the Flamingos, on my couch, but I feel like "Before the Misfits" is a song which I could have heard for the first time on the radio because it has that kind of rock appeal about it.
While this brings out ideas of Bob Dylan, it also brings out some more thoughts on The Wallflowers, which is interesting because of the line "She's driving home with one headlight"-- even though if I had to pick a popular song by The Wallflowers to compare this with it could be the "Sixth Avenue Heartache" one because it has that slower "Everyone sing along now!" vibe.
I definitely can imagine this being performed in a bar, but perhaps also in the time of the old west. There are very real genres of rock music created just by Tom Petty and this song certainly falls into one of those as well, oddly enough because of my thinking of The Wallflowers I feel connected in the sense that this song could be most related with Tom Petty's album "Wildflowers".
Though the song tells the story of a bartender and you might not also be a bartender or have children or other aspects of the world, the idea behind it is that there are things which hold us down in life and sometimes we feel trapped. It's (hopefully) normal to have those thoughts of "If not for ___ I'd leave this town" and it's not even something you'd actually act on just... dreams. This song is a nice reminder of that, a nice escape that we all sometimes wish we could get but likely wouldn't ever take.