Fans launch petition to build Tom Petty statue in Gainesville

Tom Petty performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa in 2014. Eve Edelheit
Tom Petty performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa in 2014.Eve Edelheit

It didn't take long for the tributes to flow in Monday for the late, great Tom Petty. Many fans tweeted their respects before the legendary Florida rocker had even officially died. One put up a mural overnight.

Now fans have started a push for something more permanent. Someone has launched a Care2 petition to erect a statue of Petty in Gainesville.

"Tom Petty was the classic American songwriter and deserves a statue built in his honor in his birthplace of Gainesville, Florida," the petition states. "His tragic death at the age of 66, following his triumphant final U.S. tour, has his fans in shock. This would be an appropriate way to celebrate and memorialize the influential, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician."

Never mind that there's no concrete plan outlined for where the memorial would go, or who would pay for such a thing, or what authority Care2 users even have to demand something like this. It's such an appealing idea that within hours, the petition had already gotten nearly 2,200 signatures, out of a goal of 3,000.

Aaron Viles, manager of organizing for Care2, said they were still trying to reach the person who'd launched the petition Monday afternoon (before Petty actually died, it should be noted). But he said this was a drive they knew they wanted "amplified and elevated and shared with our community," so they alerted the news media on the petitioner's behalf.

"Tom Petty's a guy that everyone loves, right?" Viles said. "The petition total has grown a ton just in 24 hours. I think it shows that people care a lot about Tom Petty and his legacy. He just meant a lot to a lot of people."

Of course, some devoted fans were already on this well before Petty died:

Petty himself probably wouldn't have minded.

Click here for details on the petition.


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