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Inside Move: Heartbreakers taking a hard line

Petty's sticking it to scalpers

One of Tom Petty’s hits should be his official theme song when it comes to scalpers: “Don’t come around here no more.”

After 800 Madison Square Garden tickets allocated to Petty’s fan club found their way onto ticket Web sites and into the hands of ticket agencies, Petty’s management, promoter Live Nation and the Garden canceled all the ducats. Petty’s management also eliminated the corresponding individual club memberships.

A new set of tickets for the June 20 concert will be made available soon through an Internet-only sale. Club members who purchase the tickets will have to pick up their tickets at a special fan club will call window on the night of the show.

While scalping has plagued the industry for decades and some acts have instituted systems to stem the resale tide, this is a rare instance in which an artist has fought back after the fact.

U2 announced earlier this year that it would cancel tickets purchased via the fan club and then listed online for premium prices. U2 and Petty fan clubs have clauses in their club memberships barring resales of tickets.

Many of the Petty tickets listed on the Stubhub Web site Wednesday for the Garden show were in the $90-$300 range, though one prankster was seeking $9,000 a ducat in an unspecified location. Petty tickets for a show in the Boston area were mostly listed for between $100 and $200.

Petty had a similar scalper problem with a St. Paul, Minn., concert and about 400 tickets were canceled and then put on sale a second time.

Tony Dimitriades, manager of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, posted on the Petty Web site: “We don’t claim to have completely eliminated all reselling activity on these or any other shows, but this is definitely a step in the right direction and a major strike on behalf of the good guys.”

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