Image Above: Tom Petty receiving a distinguished achievement award from University of Florida First Lady Chris Machen
I Won’t Back Down is one of the best-known songs written and performed by Tom Petty, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend and leader of the Heartbreakers, who died suddenly this past October 3rd. Like all of his music, it resonated for me, and it’s not a stretch to say that the Heartbreakers have been the sound track of my life.
Gainesville, Florida has been my home for nearly all of my adult life. I love this town, the people, the beauty of the environment and the University of Florida. Tom was our native son: He and two of his band mates from the Heartbreakers grew up in Gainesville, developed their sound here and still have family here. Tom’s first cousin Sadie Darnell is our current sheriff.