Although it’s been almost a year since Tom Petty died at age 66 on Oct. 2, 2017, his legacy, music and hometown love live on. Petty’s compilation album An American Treasure was released via Reprise Records on Friday and features 63 songs, including the previously unreleased song “Gainesville.” Named after his hometown in Florida, “Gainesville” was recorded alongside The Heartbreakers during the Echo album sessions in February 1998, and its music video premiered Monday (Oct. 1).
The video is a collage of nostalgia for Florida folks. It opens with vintage footage of Gainesville homes, the city-limits sign and the downpour familiar to anyone who knows the town as “Rainsville.”
Petty sports long blond hair and wire-framed sunglasses when he first appears. While the montage continues with the townspeople enjoying the swampy countryside, it soon cuts to footage of Tom Petty and the band.
The video centers the rest of its attention on the comfort of the large North Florida town's small-town feel. It gives viewers glimpses of the nature, people and locations iconic to Gainesville, like the 34th Street Wall, Paynes Prairie and the University of Florida. The space between these shots is filled with footage of the band playing and chilling.
While Petty celebrated his hometown with the song, Gainesville continues to celebrate Petty in other ways. Through tribute concerts, events and dedications, his name will live on everywhere -- but most of all in the place he was raised. Watch the video below.
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