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My 40-year relationship with Tom Petty was filled with serendipitous events and stories. I hope you enjoy them.
Jon Scott was born in Memphis, TN. Following his dreams, he became a DJ in 1967 at America’s most powerful rock station, WMC-FM 100.
In 1974, he realized another dream and went to work for MCA records as a promo man. The very first record that he was given to promote was from a band called Mudcrutch; a single named "Depot Street". Jon liked what he heard and got the record played at a station in Nashville. However, the label dropped Mudcrutch at that time and Jon moved on to do promotions for artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, Elton John, Steely Dan, John Mellencamp, Billy Thorpe, Jimmy Buffett and many others.
Along the way, he moved to ABC Records, where he met Tom Petty. Coincidentally, Tom had started out in Mudcrutch. The coincidences and serendipity with Tom and Jon did not end there as a series of events occurred that altered the careers of Jon as well as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Here's the video of the 'shout out' Tom gave Jon at his very last concert at The Hollywood Bowl September 25, 2017.
Six weeks before our record was going to be dropped from ABC Records, Jon Scott went to radio stations with a vengeance and got our record played and on the charts. Because of that, we are forever grateful to him.
It doesn’t matter how good your record is, you gotta have somebody behind it. It doesn’t matter how good it sounds, if you don’t have a promotion guy behind it, you’re in trouble. But there's this one promo guy named Jon Scott who went on a one-man mission to radio stations and he broke that first Tom Petty record.
We would not be listening to Tom Petty on the radio had it not been for you Jon Scott.
If you’re really lucky, your band will find it’s champion. The key man who opens the doors. For The Heartbreakers, it was Jon. He climbed in the van with us and did the repetitive, heavy lifting that got our music on the Radio. I cannot thank him enough for being there when we needed him. There’s no Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers without Jon Scott"