Gernhard biographer Bill DeYoung finds little new in Petty bio

CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times (2015)
Bill DeYoung, the St. Petersburg native and author of a book about the May 1980 Skyway disaster, at the rest area on the north side of the Skyway Bridge, Tuesday, 5/5/15, near where a memorial to the victims will be unveiled Saturday, 35th Anniversary of the bridge collapse. De Young is behind the memorial which was installed just south of the the Blackthorn Memorial.
CHERIE DIEZ | Times (2015) Bill DeYoung, the St. Petersburg native and author of a book about the May 1980 Skyway disaster, at the rest area on the north side of the Skyway Bridge, Tuesday, 5/5/15, near where a memorial to the victims will be unveiled Saturday, 35th Anniversary of the bridge collapse. De Young is behind the memorial which was installed just south of the the Blackthorn Memorial.
Published October 5 2018

Bill DeYoung

DeYoung is the author of Phil Gernhard, Record Man, a biography of a record producer with ties to St. Petersburg whose hits included Stay and Snoopy vs. the Red Baron. When we caught up with him recently, DeYoung explained his interest came out of his belief that Gernhard "contributed more to popular music than anyone in bay area history. I thought that needed to be recognized and documented."

DeYoung is also the author of Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bayís Signature Bridge. He will be a featured author at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on Nov. 17.

Whatís on your nightstand?

Petty: The Biography, by Warren Zanes. Iím prepping for my next book project.

Have you learned anything from Zanesí book?

Not really. I spent more than a decade writing reams of stuff about (Tom Petty and) the Heartbreakers when I lived in Gainesville. So there arenít too many surprises left.

But would you recommend it?

If youíre interested, sure. Otherwise, get the first album from í76.Thatís all you really need to know about who he was.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer

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