Tom Leadon, co-founder of Tom Petty's early band Mudcrutch, dies at 71

Tom Leadon, co-founder of Tom Petty's early '70s band Mudcrutch, passed away March 22 at the age of 71, Variety reports.

The news of Leadon's death prompted Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, who was also a member of Mudcrutch, to pay tribute to his bandmate on social media.

"Tom Leadon was my deepest guitar soul brother," Campbell shared. "We spent countless hours playing acoustic guitars and teaching each other things. A kinder soul never walked the earth. I will always miss his spirit and generosity. Sleep peacefully my old friend."

Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, who also played in Mudcrutch, paid tribute as well, writing, "Tom Leadon. I am out of words. But i will never be out of love."

Petty and Leadon formed Mudcrutch in Gainesville, Florida, in 1970. Leadon left the group in 1972 and moved to Los Angeles, where he played with Linda Ronstadt and was in the country rock band Silver. In 2007 Petty and Leadon reunited and a reformed Mudcrutch, with Campbell and Tench, released a self-titled album in 2008. They also went on tour to support it. They released a live EP, Extended Play Live, featuring songs recorded on the tour.

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