The Petty Archives
  • 1991-10-22_Gainesville-Sun

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Petty to be first on city's walk of fame
Gainesville Sun - October 22, 1991

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be asked to put their hands in wet concrete to create Gainesville's version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

City commissioners Monday approved a plan to turn a sidewalk along W. University Avenue into a memorial to former residents who have achieved fame, starting with Petty and his band.

The rock 'n' roll superstar was born and raised in Gainesville. He assembled his first group, the Sundowners whole attending Howard Bishop Middle School. He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1968.

The memorial in front of the downtown Florida Theater would include gold stars and handprints.

Its creation was requested by local musician Barry Sides and Gainesville police spokeswoman Lt. Sadie Darnell, Petty's cousin.

Darnell and Sides hope to make handprints of Petty and his band this weekend while they are in town for a Saturday night concert. Eventually, they will help form a committee to choose other famous former residents to be added to the walk of fame.

An earlier plan to honor Petty by renaming the downtown plaza "Petty Plaza" was rejected by the commission.