Tom Leadon Dies at 70 — Remembering the Late Musician Family & Early Days
Tom Leadon was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who is best known for being a founding member of the Southern rock band Mudcrutch, along with Tom Petty was no more with us. Tom Leadon died at the age of 70 cause of natural death.
Leadon has also worked with various other musicians and bands, including the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Johnny Rivers. He was a talented multi-instrumentalist who played guitar, bass, and drums throughout his career and has been active in the music industry since the 1960s.
Legendary music gem, Tom Leadon has passed away at the age of 70
Tom Leadon, a renowned singer, and guitarist passed away on March 22, 2023, at the age of 71. Leadon is best known for co-founding the band Mudcrutch with Tom Petty in the early 1970s and participating in a well-publicized reunion in 2008. The announcement of his death was made public on Monday, March 27, 2023. The official statement from Petty’s fan club cited “natural causes” as the explanation for Leadon’s passing, but did not provide further details.
It reveals that the news of Tom’s death was confirmed by his brother, who posted a statement on Facebook on behalf of the family. In the statement, the family expressed their profound sadness at Tom’s passing, but also their love and gratitude for his life. The statement included Leadon’s full name, Thomas Joseph Leadon, and noted that he resided in both Nashville, Tennessee, and Gainesville, Florida. The family stated that Tom passed away peacefully and that he was 70 years old at the time of his death.
Tributes to Him were Shared on Social Media by His Closest Friends
Mike Campbell, a fellow member of Mudcrutch, took to Instagram to express his sorrow at the passing of Tom Leadon, whom he called his “deepest guitar soul brother.” Campbell reminisced about the countless hours they spent playing acoustic guitars and teaching each other new things. He spoke highly of Tom’s kind and generous spirit and stated that he would always miss him. Campbell ended his tribute by wishing his old friend a peaceful rest.
Tom Leadon was a well-known American musician who co-wrote the song “Hollywood Waltz” for the album “One of These Nights” and was a member of the group Silver, which had a hit with “Wham Bam” in the mid-1970s. He was also a founding member of Mudcrutch and continued to play guitar for the group after its reformation in 2007.
Tom Leadon had a famous older brother, Bernie Leadon, who was a former Eagles guitarist and banjoist. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Tom left Mudcrutch in 1972 and moved to Los Angeles. He then played bass in Linda Ronstadt’s band before joining the country-rock group Silver in 1976. The following year, their hit song “Wham Bam” reached the top 40.
Tom Leadon’s legacy lives on through his music and the memories of those who knew him. He will be remembered for his talent, his kind spirit, and his contributions to the world of music.
Tom Leadon’s brother Bernard Leadon is also a Musician
Bernie Leadon is the only brother of the late Tom Leadon. He was five years older than Tom and was born on July 19, 1947, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He and Tom both grew up in a musical family and He began playing guitar and banjo at a young age.
In 1971, Leadon, along with Frey, Henley, and Randy Meisner, formed the Eagles. Leadon played guitar, banjo, mandolin, and various other instruments for the band, and contributed vocals to many of their songs. He also wrote several of the band’s early hits, including “Witchy Woman” and “Earlybird”.
Leadon was an integral part of the Eagles’ sound, blending elements of country, folk, and rock into a unique and influential style. He played on the band’s first four albums, which included such classic songs as “Take it Easy”, “Desperado”, and “Hotel California”.
Despite the Eagles’ success, Leadon left the band in 1975 due to creative differences and a desire to pursue other musical interests. He went on to release several solo albums and collaborate with other musicians, including Gram Parsons, Linda Ronstadt, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
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Leadon’s contributions to the Eagles’ legacy have been widely recognized, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other original members of the band in 1998. He also reunited with the Eagles for their 1994 “Hell Freezes Over” tour and subsequent album.
Tom Leadon Parents and Early Career Before Fame
Tom Leadon’s parents were both musicians. His mother played piano for the church choir while his father, an aerospace worker, sang in it. Tom was born on September 16, 1952,in Rosemount, Minnesota, a farming community near Minneapolis. In 1957, his family moved to San Diego before settling in Gainesville, Florida in 1964, where he eventually met his future bandmates in Mudcrutch.
As the fourth of ten children, Tom began his career as a musician, songwriter, singer, and performer in Gainesville during the late 1960s. His first performing band included a young Tom Petty, who lived a few blocks away from the Leadon family. They changed their name to Mudcrutch and performed at various venues in North Florida before signing with Leon Russell’s Shelter Records. Tom Leadon left the band before they changed their name to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
During his early career, Tom shared the stage with many notable musicians, including Johnny Rivers, the Eagles, the Beach Boys, Martha Reeves, Linda Ronstadt, James Jamerson, and Big Mama Thornton. He was a member of the Silver band, which released an album in 1976. Tom rejoined Mudcrutch when Tom Petty reformed the band in 2008 and again in 2016, collaborating on two major label albums that reached number ten on the Billboard charts. He also continued to write songs and perform with his own band, The Bayjacks.
In addition to his music career, Tom pursued a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida and taught guitar. He was a beloved guitar instructor in Brentwood, Tennessee, for many years and had a large circle of friends. Tom was known for his quick wit and storytelling abilities, and he cherished his relationships with his family, close friends, and fans.