One Week After His Passing, 90,000 Fans Start Singing Tom Petty Classic In Chilling Unison
Kristin Danley 10/12/2017
The world of rock and roll was dealt a devastating blow with the loss of Tom Petty. While he may be gone, his fans will make sure that he will not be forgotten.
Florida Gators fans paid tribute to the legendary Tom Petty at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, which is the rocker's birthplace. In fact, he worked as a groundskeeper at the University of Florida before he was discovered and rocketed to fame.
During a game between the University of Florida and Louisiana State University, fans from both sides joined in unison to sing "I Won't Back Down." People from both sides of the turf captured the incredible moment on camera and shared it on social media where it's gone viral.
Tom, who was born in October 1950 and slipped away from this earth October 2017, was known for more than his catchy tunes. He was a singer-songwriter, played multiple instruments, and worked as a record producer. His first band was called the Epics which evolved into Mudcrutch. Tom co-founded the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys and eventually became the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
As an artist, Tom recorded hits both collaborating with his band and as a soloist. During his career, he sold more than 80 million records worldwide, catapulting him to the top of the chart as one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2002, Tom was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His vast accomplishments in the rock and roll industry aren't surprising, especially since he was inspired to pursue this career path after meeting Elvis Presley when he was just 10.
His uncle was working on the set of Elvis Presley's film Follow that Dream in a nearby town and invited Tom to the set to watch. Now a superfan of Elvis, when Tom first laid eyes on the Beatles when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, he knew he wanted to be in a band.
Tom said seeing the band was something that really resonated with him. One of Tom's first guitar teachers was Don Felder who also hailed from Gainesville. Don ended up becoming a member of the Eagles.
Sadly, Tom went into cardiac arrest early on Oct. 2 and later that night, he passed away at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. Watch the Tigers and Gators fans as they join together in a tribute to Tom.