Greg Mathes (front man, vocals & guitar):
Long-time Tom Petty fan, Greg was repeatedly told how much his on-stage voice actually sounded like Tom. In 2014 he formed GWO with the goal of bringing Petty's amazing catalog of hits to venues that the Heartbreakers don't typically tour.
Greg revamped GWO in 2016 to more closely match the sound and vibe of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, while continuing to build on his vocal similarity to Tom. "The closer we can match the sound and overall performance of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the more we can build fan enthusiasm for Tom and his band. Our greatest accomplishment is hearing that someone who wasn't familiar with Petty's music saw us and has since become a huge Tom Petty fan."
Steve Walker (lead guitar & vocals):
Filling the critical role of Mike Campbell for GWO, Steve is also the owner and "A1" of his location recording and concert sound company, Point Source Sound. Steve has been a player in the Sacramento area music scene since 1999, supporting scores of local and national artists in a wide variety of the area's festivals and venues. Originally from St. Louis, Steve came to California in '77 and worked as an audio technician and mixer in the film industry until coming to Sacramento in '82. For six years and until 2004, he was the guitarist and producer for the band Sage Daily. He is enthusiastic to be returning to the lighted side of the stage as a member of Great Wide Open. With the middle name Campbell, Steve finds a touch of fate in the opportunity to take on the parts of Heartbreaker lead guitarist Mike Campbell.
Ron Figura (keyboards & vocals):
Ron's 3-plus decades of experience on keyboards has run the musical gamut. Prior to co-founding GWO with Greg and Chris, Ron toured both locally and nationally, playing almost every genre of music imaginable. From Funk, R&B and Jazz to Top 40, Power Pop, Classic Rock and even New Country, Ron has done it all. He brings his vast experience to bear, nailing all of Benmont’s keyboard nuances that complete that “Heartbreakers” sound.
Scott Southard (bass guitar & vocals):
Scott got his start at the age of 13, playing upright bass in Dr. William Jacoby’s Strolling Stings. Since then, he has been a veteran of numerous northern California bands. A vocal harmony freak, Scott fronted and supported Americana, bluegrass and rock bands including “Folkenstein”, “Kerosene Kondors”, the “Steven Bates Band”, and “After the Beatles”. In addition to GWO, Scott currently also fulfills the role of Paul McCartney in the Bay Area's tribute to the Beatles, the "Sun Kings".
Chris Malone (drums & vocals):
Above and beyond just keeping the beat for GWO, Chris' percussive and vocal contributions are key, and always spot-on. Chris took up the drums in the early 1980s, being heavily influenced by the likes of Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland, and John Bonham. Following a long hiatus, he got back into serious playing in the early 2010s, and has been very active on the local music scene in that time. The opportunity to co-found a truly authentic Petty tribute band was too good to pass up, and he jumped at the opportunity. Apart from being a foot shorter than Stan Lynch and 200 pounds lighter than Steve Ferrone, Chris' resemblance to the drummers of Tom Petty is uncanny!