Don't you just hate when you shell out $330,000 to book Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to perform at your wedding, only to find out you've been scammed? Yeah, we felt like that too when we overpaid to book Kajagoogoo and ended up with Haircut 100 instead... anyhow, from the true-life files of The Smoking Gun comes this amazing story of Brian Valentine, a deep-pocketed Sr. VP with Amazon.com who actually had the financial means to book Petty to play at his wedding.
Valentine and his fiancé Gianna Puerini got engaged at a Petty concert in 2010, and as a gift to his bride-to-be, Valentine wanted to have Tom and the Heartbreakers perform for their guests. He found a website called lundlive.com (no longer active), run by Chad Christopher Lund, which claimed he could book such artists as Run-DMC, Kansas, Ludacris and Tom Petty, among others.
Lund told Valentine he had "talked Petty's management down" to a mere $330,000 for the gig. In his rarified universe, Valentine thought that figure sounded reasonable, so he signed a contract, then wired off a 50% deposit -- $165,000 -- into Lund's bank account.
After a series of red flags, Valentine finally figured out something was amiss and tracked down Petty's real manager, who confirmed that Valentine "had been defrauded." Valentine hired a private investigator to go after Lund, and then called the FBI.
Two happy endings resulted: a) On August 2, Lund was arrested in Illinois on federal charges, and b) a deal was worked out with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who showed up and performed a full set at the couple's July 21 Seattle wedding!
Photos of the show (including this one shown) are posted on the Facebook page of wedding planners True Colors Events, along with this comment, "After over a year and a half of working with an absolutely incredible couple in complete secrecy, it was beyond amazing to surprise the guests of their wedding with these amazing performances." One member of Petty's road crew told The Smoking Gun, "The guy and his wife were the nicest people in the world."