These facts are courtesy of Kathy Megyeri and her favorite book, All About Florida from Cliff Road Books.

Florida is famous for many things: oranges, gators, manatees,
Walt Disney World and hurricanes. But did you know the state has
spawned a variety of boomer musicians too? Here are just a few of
those rock stars, leaders of the youth counterculture movement back
when hippies roamed the Earth.

Jim Morrison

Rock singer, songwriter, poet, filmmaker, director, actor and leader of the rock band, The Doors, was born in Melbourne in 1943.

During one point in his life, he lived with his grandparents in Clearwater and attended St. Petersburg College. He cofounded The Doors in the summer of 1965 in Venice, California and became famous in 1967 with the No. 1 single Light My Fire.

He is best remembered for his lyrics and his wild antics but is considered the most influential front man in rock music history.

He was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and ranked 47 on Rolling Stones’ list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

He died at the age of 27 in Paris from a possible heroin overdose but no autopsy was ever performed.


Don Felder

Of Eagles fame , Don was born in Gainesville in 1947 and is a musician, songwriter,
record producer, guitarist, singer, and player of the mandolin, banjo and keyboards.

Although best known for playing with the Eagles until 2001, he also played with Stevie Nicks, the Bee Gees, Foreigner, Styx, Stephen Stills, and Grand Funk Railroad.

In addition, he also worked on albums with Dianna Ross, Barbra Streisand and Andy Gibb while he gathered musical, film and TV credits.

He has detailed his life in his autobiography, Heaven and Hell: My Life in The Eagles (1974 to 2001).


Tom Petty

The Heartbreakers is an American rock band known for hit singles like American Girl.

Petty was born in Gainesville in 1950 and attended Gainesville High School.

By the 1970s, he was on the forefront of the heartland rock movement alongside artists like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger, favoring the straightforward classic rock sound and lyrics based on blue-collar issues.

To this day, Petty and his Heartbreakers band continue with sold out performances.


Stephen Stills

Stephen spent his youth in Tampa and Gainesville, attending schools in St. Petersburg
and in St. Leo.

He dropped out of the University of Florida to pursue a musical career in the ‘60’s.

Stills played with many bands and met Neil Young in Canada. Cosby, Stills, Nash and
Young followed.

He performed at all three U.S. rock festivals in the ‘60’s: Woodstock, Altamont and the Monterey Pop Festival.

He is a superb guitarist and nicknamed “Captain Many Hands” because of his versatility
on so many instruments.

His love of sailing keeps him moored in Florida.


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