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Video: That time Tom Petty played the roof of the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach

  • Before a tour in support of their 1985 album Southern Accents, Petty and the Heartbreakers chose to return to their home state to do some press and film a performance for an MTV documentary of the same name.
  • Petty, who spent most of the visit in his room, had broken his hand while recording the song Rebels, and this was to be one of the band’s first public performances since.
  • “He loved the Don CeSar; they always stayed there,” DeYoung said of Petty.
  • OBITUARY: Tom Petty was the scruffy Florida boy who helped us feel – – MAKING THE CASE: Hearbreakers as the greatest American rock band ever – – With the Gulf of Mexico in the background, the band played about 45 minutes, rolling through a handful of hits and covers, including…
  • Watch the entire Southern Accents documentary, which features a tour of Gainesville by Petty and the band, below.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played the Tampa Bay area countless times over the years, usually at enormous arenas, amphitheaters and performing arts halls.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played the Tampa Bay area countless times over the years, usually at enormous arenas, amphitheaters and performing arts halls.

But there is one local show that stands out for the sheer oddness of its venue: The rooftop of the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach. After Petty’s untimely death Monday at age 66, it’s a performance worth revisiting.

Over the decades, the historic Pink Palace has attracted figures like Al Capone to F. Scott Fitzgerald to presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Franklin D. Roosevelt. but it’s also got quite a robust rock ‘n’ roll history. Past guests include Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake and Mariah Carey. Barry Gibb once filmed a video there.

Before a tour in support of their 1985 album Southern Accents, Petty and the Heartbreakers chose to return to their home state to do some press and film a performance for an MTV documentary of the same name. Petty, who spent most of the visit in his room, had broken his hand while recording the song Rebels, and this was to be one of the band’s first public performances since.

“It’s pretty healed up now, and we haven’t really put it to the test yet to see how long I can play,” Petty said in the doc. “I can usually play an hour, a little more. It aches a little…

Video: That time Tom Petty played the roof of the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach