ⓘ Heavy Petty
Heavy Petty is a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band that formed in 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. The band members are lead vocalist and guitarist Jason Hedges, bassist Jon McCravy, drummer Logan Fischer, keyboardist Stu Strome, and lead guitarist and backup vocalist Daniel App.
Heavy Petty was formed by Jason Hedges, Daniel App, and Jimmy Kinzer in Gainesville, FL. Jason Hedges grew up in Gainesville listening to artists such as Don Felder, The Eagles, Stephen Stills, and Tom Petty. Hedges father went to high school with Tom Petty. While attending school at Gainesville High School, Hedges became deeply influenced by his fathers music taste. He began playing music when he was 20 years old, citing Petty as a major source of inspiration because he felt Petty understood him.
The band name is a play on the phrase "heavy petting." They formed in 2010 and played their first gig on Valentines Day of that same year at High Dive then known as Common Grounds. The group planned at first to perform a single tribute show in honor of the Gainesville native Tom Petty, but after the show they got multiple requests from organizers who offered them gigs.
In an interview, the band reveals that although they never personally met Tom Petty before his death, the talented musician did hear about the tribute band in his honor. He gave Heavy Petty his blessing so long as they "never sounded any better than he did."
2. Major concerts
Heavy Petty has been performing as headlining acts since 2012 at intimate venues across the U.S. The band has held multiple shows in Gainesville, FL; Orlando, FL; Ventura, CA; Athens, GA; and Seattle, WA.
The band has been a recurring act at the city of Gainesvilles "Free Fridays" concert series since August 2012. It is known as the regions longest-running and largest free outdoor concert event and runs from May through October at Bo Diddley Community Plaza.
Heavy Petty headlined the city of Gainesvilles annual Downtown Countdown concert on New Years Eve in 2015. It was held in the downtown parking lot due to Bo Diddley Community Plazas closure for renovations.
Following the death of Tom Petty, the band played a tribute show at First Magnitude Brewing Company on October 20, 2017 -- what would have been Pettys 67th birthday. Over 1.000 people were in attendance to celebrate the legacy of the late musicians October 2 passing.
On November 11, 2017, Heavy Petty performed at a Clay County benefit concert at the Thrasher-Horne Center to raise money for local Hurricane Irma victims. The lineup featured Johnny and Donnie Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special, and Bobby Ingram from Molly Hatchet. Other supporting acts included The Curt Towne Band and Pinto Graham.
The band also headlined the Southern Fried Sundays 12th anniversary show at Wills Pub in Orlando on January 21, 2018.