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Formed in Gainesville, FL, in 1970, Mudcrutch were essentially a precursor to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, with a then 17-year-old Tom Petty on bass, Mike Campbell and Tom Leadon (the brother of ex-Eagle Bernie Leadon) on guitars, Benmont Tench on keyboards, and Randall Marsh on drums. Popular on the Florida bar circuit, Mudcrutch relocated to L.A. in 1974 and was offered a recording contract from Leon Russell and Denny Cordell's Shelter Records, but the band splintered before any significant recording was completed, although Petty remained under contract to Shelter as a solo artist. In time, the band drifted back together, this time with Petty and Campbell on guitars, Tench on keyboards, and a rhythm section of Ron Blair on bass and Stan Lynch on drums. Calling themselves Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, they assumed Petty's solo contract with Shelter Records and released the self-titled Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers LP on the label in 1976. The rest, as they say, is history. In the summer of 2007, Petty, Campbell, Tench, Leadon, and Marsh reunited as Mudcrutch and recorded an album, the self-titled Mudcrutch, which was released a year later in 2008 on Reprise Records. The band followed the album with a limited tour. The EP Mudcrutch Extended Play Live was also released in 2008, featuring four songs done in concert performance. Mudcrutch reconvened in 2015 to begin work on a second album. The resulting 2 appeared in May of 2016. ~ Steve Leggett

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1970 in Gainesville, FL

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '00s, '10s