In high school, Leadon was a member of the Epics in Gainesville, Florida, where he met Petty. Petty played bass and Leadon was the lead guitarist. Soon after forming Mudcrutch, with Randall Marsh on drums, the group added a second lead guitarist, Mike Campbell. Leadon and Campbell shared lead guitar solos during Mudcrutch's live shows in and around Gainesville, and also on their recording of "Up in Mississippi".
Leadon left Mudcrutch in 1972 and moved to Los Angeles, following in the footsteps of older brother Bernie, who had recently formed the Eagles with Randy Meisner, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley. Leadon also played bass in Linda Ronstadt's band, and in 1976 joined the country-rock band Silver, who had a top 40 hit the same year with "Wham-Bam".
In 1975, the Eagles recorded one of Tom Leadon's original songs, "Hollywood Waltz", and released it on their One of These Nights LP. The final version of the song is credited to Tom Leadon, Bernie Leadon, Frey, and Henley. Later that year Buck Owens released his own version.
In 2007, Petty reformed Mudcrutch and recorded a CD with Leadon, Campbell, Marsh, and Benmont Tench. The CD was released on April 15, 2008.
In his memoir, Conversations with Tom Petty, Petty credits Leadon with inspiring him to move to L.A. to try to make it as a musician.
- Dean, Bill (2008-04-29). "Mudcrutch reunites for album". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- Light, Alan (2008-04-23). "Tom Petty revives his old Mudcrutch band". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- "Song Lyrics: Hollywood Waltz Lyrics: Eagles". Country Music Television. 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
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