Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes:
Gainesville will always figure larger in Tom Petty’s story than the Los Angeles to which he relocated almost forty years ago. It’s more than a backdrop. Something connects a man to the hometown he pushes against to get going in the first place. And Gainesville was made for rock and roll. The University of Florida’s remarkable postwar growth aligned with the music’s golden years. Rock and roll was on the radio, played live in a network of clubs and at frat houses, coming out of cars, everywhere. The right equipment could be found at Lipham Music, where the local bands could hang out so long as their gig money found its way to the cash register. Gainesville was its own story. In so many ways, the town wasn’t part of the Florida that would carve its image into the popular fantasies of postwar America: the white sand beaches, acres of amusement parks, the limitless promise of space travel; no, the Florida to which Gainesville belonged was nothing but Georgia with a few miles tacked on and a university thrown in.