The city of Gainesville, Florida has always been a part of Tom Petty, and now the late rocker is a part of Gainesville.
Hundreds of fans turned out on Saturday to watch Northeast Park officially become Tom Petty Park. It’s a block from his childhood home and he spent a lot of time there as a kid. The ceremony was held on what would have been Petty’s 68th birthday. Among those making the trip for the occasion was Petty’s daughter, Adria.
“Gainesville is an extraordinary place, and if you listen to my dad’s music here it has a different meaning,” she said. “Florida is a really beautiful, really complex place and it fosters a lot of intelligence, a lot of compassion, incredible manners, incredible decency, and it’s something to be really proud of – that my dad was from Gaineville.
Petty wrote about growing up in northern Florida in a song we just recently heard for the first time. “Gainesville” is a previously unreleased track that appears on the new box set An American Treasure.