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Scott Thurston
Born January 10, 1952 (1952-01-10) (age 58)
Genres Rock, proto-punk
Instruments Guitar, keyboards, harmonica, bass, piano, lap steel guitar, ukulele, vocals
Years active 1973-present
Associated acts Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Iggy and the Stooges

Scott Thurston (born January 10, 1952) is an American guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and session musician.

Musical career

Raised in Medford, Oregon, Thurston started out as a session musician. He has played with Jackson Browne (1985 to 1996), The Cult (1991), Melissa Etheridge, Glenn Frey, Hokus Pokus, Iggy Pop And The Stooges (from 1973 till the end, again with Iggy Pop in 1977 and 1979), Jump, Nils Lofgren, The Motels, Ron Asheton's The New Order, Bonnie Raitt, and John Trudell.

Thurston later became a professional songwriter, penning tunes for (and sometimes with) Jackson Browne, Iggy Pop, and The Motels.

James Williamson of Iggy and the Stooges has said, “I was over at Capitol Records and as I was going out I was watching this guy recording and it was Scott Thurston with this other band. He was cool, I could hear that he was a great piano player, so I got his contact info and I said, 'You wanna play with us?' When we put the band Iggy and the Stooges back together, I asked him if he wanted to play with us, and he said, 'Sure,' and the rest is history."

Williamson went on to say that he didn’t even play much on Iggy Pop’s New Values album: "Actually, I only played guitar on a couple of things. Scott played almost all the guitar. He’s a very talented guy. He’s a very good guitar player and a very good keyboard guy. He’s just a very good musician."

Thurston joined Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for their Touring The Great Wide Open tour in 1991, which turned into a permanent spot for Thurston in the band’s lineup. Thurston plays acoustic and electric guitar and bass guitar; lap steel guitar; ukulele; harmonica; keyboards; and since Howie Epstein’s death, he exclusively sings harmony vocals.

Tom Petty said, "I was trying to get him out of the corner over there, because he always saw himself as a sideman—'I’m a Sidebreaker'—and he tried to stay over to the side. But we love him, he sings great with me, and we want him out there with us. He’s a good buffer between the rest of us. When we’re fighting or have some cliqueishness, he’s good at getting in there and saying, 'Let’s look at it this way,' because Duckhead, as we call him, is neutral. He doesn’t come from Florida, wasn’t there when this or that happened.”[1]


  1. ^ Rolling Stone, July 8-22, 1999


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