Brian Valentine — perfect name, right? — had a deeply romantic idea for his wedding reception: Book Tom Petty. He’d been engaged, after all, at one of Petty’s concerts in 2010.
Valentine, a senior vice president at Amazon, found a booking agency called Lund Live which claimed to work on behalf of Petty, along with acts like Ludacris, Kansas and Run-DMC. Owner Chris Lund then allegedly asked for a 50-percent deposit for the date, which came to some $165,000. A pretty steep fee, but we’re talking Tom Petty — in person — here, right?
Only Lund didn’t work with the rock star. Valentine got nowhere with follow up calls to the contacts Lund allegedly provided, and Valentine eventually grew wise. When he got in touch with Petty’s manager, Valentine learned that they had heard neither of Lund nor about any date for a wedding reception.
Valentine went to the FBI with the fake contract, and Chris Lund was taken into custody last week on charges of felony fraud. (The Smoking Gun has posted the complaint here.)
Valentine, 52, and Gianna Puerini, 39, wed last month. But what about, you know, the reception? Petty’s management worked in a stop at the Valentine nuptials in Seattle, where somehow we’re sure that the old Heartbreakers favorite “Don’t Do Me Like That” was a big hit.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Tom Petty. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS – MOJO (2010): It’s been eight years since the last Heartbreakers album was issued (The Last DJ), although Petty gave us the “solo” Highway Companion in ’06 and the 3/5th’s Heartbreakers one-off group Mudcrutch in ’08. Still, Mojo means a new batch of recordings with his best backing band, and that’s well worth our attention. This one has been labeled their “blues” record, and while there are blues songs in it, like DJ, Petty & Co. don’t stick with the theme all the way through. That’s OK; this is killer group that sounds good playing anything and Petty writes like he’s still got the hunger. And frankly, he was and still is one of the great rock singers of all time, because of his ability to convey the right attitude without even trying.
MUDCRUTCH – MUDCRUTCH (2008): Mudcrutch was the ancestor band to Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers that was fronted by Petty and included future Heartbreakers Benmont Tench, and Petty’s steadfast lead guitar sidekick, Mike Campbell. The lineup also included drummer Randall Marsh and early on, Tom Leadon on second guitar (Tom is Eagles co-founder Bernie Leadon’s brother). This Jacksonville, Florida bar band never laid down more than a handful of tracks before breaking up in 1975 with Petty forming a band from its remnants that made rock history. Nostalgia getting a good hold on Petty, he called back Marsh and Leadon and got the old band together again for a record and tour. Petty even made room for Leadon by getting back on bass and ceded a little bit of the lead vocals to him. As before, it’s still mostly Petty’s band, although there’s more of a cooperative spirit than you might expect with a superstar in their midst.
TOM PETTY – WILDFLOWERS (1994): “Wildflowers,” Tom Petty’s second-ever recording without the Heartbreakers, at least in name, was his most personal yet. No where is that clearer than during the record’s heartfelt centerpiece “It’s Good to Be King,” with a memorable orchestral arrangement by Michael Kamen of Pink Floyd fame. Petty uses his slow, self-conscious drawl to great effect during “It’s Good To Be King,” recalling grandiose dreams of youth during a precisely melancholy chorus: Can I help it if I still dream from time to time? A sharp, incisive guitar solo follows, almost like a rebuke, before this crescendo of swirling string-fueled emotion — first euphoria and then, finally, certain realism. We age, and our dreams change.