Singer, Tom Petty‘s hometown of Gainesville, Florida has honoured the songwriter by naming a local park after him. Petty died in October 2017 at the age of 66. It was announced earlier this year that the rock icon passed away from a drug overdose. The ceremony happened on Saturday, Oct 20th, which would have been Petty’s 68th birthday.
According to the NME, Petty’s daughter, Adria, and his brother, Bruce, were in attendance at the event and talked to fans, sharing memories of Petty’s youth.
The Gainesville Sun reported that Bruce Petty talked about how he and Tom grew up in the park. “We played as kids. My cousin reminded me the other day of my remark that it was a sanctuary, and it really was,” he continued. “It was a place for us to escape and be kids and have fun. The fact that we are doing this today and the part that we played in it makes it so much more special.”
Adria Petty added, “Gainesville is an extraordinary place and if you listen to my dad’s music here, it has a different meaning. The idea of the air smelling good and the trees are green — there is nothing like this park to really illustrate that. ‘Gainesville’ has been blasting in my head since I landed… It’s a very important town to Florida. Florida is a really beautiful and complex state and (Gainesville) fosters a lot of intelligence and compassion and incredible manners and incredible decency.”
The Bayjacks with Tom Leadon played some of the icon’s classic hits, while local artists created a Tom Petty Mural at Sidney Lanier Center, Petty’s former school. A new career covering album set of Petty’s music called ‘The Best of Everything’ will be out on November 16 th via Geffen Records/UMe.
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