Tom Petty’s Florida Hometown Fans Vote on Honors

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Update: Regarding the survey described below, the results are in! Nearly 2,000 Gainesville residents voted for their choice, with the majority saying that an annual concert, statue or park would be the most appropriate way to honor Petty.  As the Gainesville Sun reports, city commissioners will make their decision at an upcoming meeting. Here is our original story…

On Oct. 2, 2017, the residents of Gainesville, Fla., lost a beloved musician and hometown hero, Tom Petty. In the months since his passing, residents have requested that the city find a way to publicly honor Petty in a lasting and meaningful way. To fulfill this request, said the city in a press release posted on its website, “We are seeking feedback from the community.

The Strategic Initiatives and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) Departments have taken initial feedback and reviewed the options for memorializing Petty, the announcement said.

Six viable opportunities presented themselves:

renaming a city street;

renaming a city park or facility;

adding a statue to a city park or facility;

hosting an annual concert or music festival;

proclaiming his birthday, Oct. 20, as Tom Petty Day or

dedicating the month of October to his musical legacy and celebrating the local music culture

“The response to Tom Petty’s passing has been very strong, which is understandable given the great love this community has for him. He has made a lasting impact on our culture, and the city wishes to help remember his legacy in a meaningful way,” said Steve Phillips, director for PRCA.

Related: The story behind Petty’s “American Girl”

The survey requests that participants select their top three choices; there is the option for additional feedback for other ideas. The survey may be accessed here, and closes Monday, April 16.

The survey results will provide guidance for the city to move forward with planning and budgets. The proposed timeline is to have the selected project ready or in progress by October, to commemorate the anniversary of Petty’s passing.

Petty died Oct. 2, 2017, one week to the day after completing a 40th anniversary concert tour with the Heartbreakers. During his career, he earned three Grammy Awards: in 1989, for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal as a member of the Traveling Wilburys; in 1995 for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “You Don’t Know How it Feels” from Wildflowers; and Best Long Form Music Video for “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” He was nominated for 14 others.

Watch Tom petty cover the Byrds’ “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”

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  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 29 March, 2018, 00:05

    Man, I miss this guy!

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