“Little Girl Blues”
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
“If you be a good little girl, you’ll get what you want.”

((( dream lover )))

dave hogerty

Everything would be wonderful, Betsy used to tell her friends, if she could just talk to Tom. JUST OVER THE TELEPHONE.

Over the edge in love
By Diane Julin

Alligator Staff Writer

Betsy Marcus is the first to admit she is “obsessed” with Tom Petty. She is absolutely over the edge, gone crazy, in love.

The day she found out Tom was married — a secret he kept from the public until recently — she jumped up and down on his picture screaming’ “hypocrite, hypocrite.”

She’s forgiven him though, for leading her on. Just get her on the subject of the blond rock ‘n’ roll superstar and you’d swear she’s talking too fast to get a breath between the words.

She even looked up Tom’s father Earl, who lives in Gainesville, and now she calls him regularly long distance from Orlando.

Everything would be wonderful, she used to tell her friends, if she could just talk to Tom. Just over the telephone.

One night while visiting Earl, the 16-year-old Winter Park high school student with dimples and braces had her dream come true.

Tom called, and Earl put her on the phone.

A few minutes later it was over and Betsy was crying. Her friends, Sherry and Debbie, thought they were tears of happiness.

Nope. She was full of regrets.

“I’ve told my friends I’d just like to talk to him over the phone and that would be enough,” she said, after the tears had let up a little. “But then I talked to him and it wasn’t enough.”

Betsy said she’s dreamed about meeting Tom and having him fall in love with her. “But that’s not a fantasy I indulge in,” she said, matter of factly. “I know I’m just one of millions like me, and there’s no way I’ll ever be special to Tom.” Though Tom has been special to Betsy ever since she bought the Heartbreakers’ first album in January 1980. It was the picture of him on the cover in a black jacket that caught her eye.’

“He looks like this little punk,”‘ Betsy said.

Before long, she’d bought the rest of the Heartbreakers’ albums. Then she was into bootlegs, singles, posters, magazine articles, buttons… she was hooked. And in love.

“It just seems like Tom could be somebody from my high school. He seems so much like me. He expresses so many feelings (in his songs) that I’ve felt.”

Betsy was “devastated” when she found out Tom had a wife (Jane, a Gainesville girl who lived in the neighborhood). Some of the songs are hard to listen to now, said Betsy. because she knows Tom wrote them for “her.”

But if Tom is happy being married: then Betsy says she’s happy for him. If she can’t have him, at least she can have his music.

“The music is magic,” Betsy said. “It should be enough for anybody.”

“American Girl”
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
1976 “She could hear the cars roll by out on 441, Like waves crashing on the beach.”

((( looking for love )))

Shelter Records

1976 — Soon after moving to Los Angeles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their first record, and spread their Gainesville sound far beyond North Florida. Petty’s place in Southern Rock was well rooted, but in California, he had found a sound of his own.

Hollywood Swingin’
1978 FM Tom Petty made a brief appearance in the movie FM, taking part, as himself, in an on-air interview at the Los Angeles radio station who’s staff is fighting for artistic freedom, against a bottom-line, corporate take over. The film is more dramatic, but similar to WKRP in Cincinnati, a popular television sitcom at the same time.
1980After performing in the movie FM’s concert finale, Jimmy Buffett and Linda Ronstadt both would do shows at Florida Field. Ronstadt with Livingston Taylor opening, and Buffett opening for The Eagles.

october 7, 1981
vol 75 no 32
Meet Earl, Tom’s father, still living in the small NW Gainesville house where Tom learned to play.
Before Tom Petty led The Heartbreakers, Tom’s band Mudcrutch was in the middle of the Southern Rock revolution. The Gainesvillhe Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, Sea Level, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Blackfoot, The Dixie Dregs … All the best in North Florida and Georgia, not to mention Gainesvillians Don Felder of the Eagles, and Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
Ten Years After, Tom Petty’s performance at the Second Annual Halloween Ball in 1971 is legendary. Tom and his band (Mudcrutch), took the stage at Midnight, and played ’til dawn. He had set the standard for all Halloween Balls to come. Those, that for 10 years have added to UF’s most notorious lore.