“He was hands-down the best particular person I have ever identified,” wrote Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows in an emotional statement following The Rev’s passing in December 2009. “I advised him I beloved him day-after-day. He demanded your love and was by no means afraid to present it again.
“He was my greatest pal, songwriting companion, bandmate, confidant and most significantly, he was my brother… The loopy factor about Jimmy was that day-after-day was a loopy story. Now we have advised our favorite Jimmy tales for the final two weeks and by no means have we repeated ourselves. This man was magical…”
Born James Owen Sullivan on February 10, 1981, The Rev (quick for The Reverend Tholomew Plague) left an almighty affect on the world of contemporary metallic in his tragically quick 28 years on earth. Not solely a mastermind drummer, Jimmy introduced an thrilling, influential aptitude to Avenged Sevenfold by way of his songwriting and different musical abilities, placing a resounding stamp on the studio albums that he was a a part of (2001 debut Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, 2003’s Waking The Fallen, 2005’s Metropolis Of Evil and 2007’s Avenged Sevenfold – plus components of 2010’s Nightmare which contained a few of his remaining recordings).
A beloved member of the band, followers and friends alike additionally immediately warmed to Jimmy away from his expertise in Avenged.
“The Rev has extra tales about him than every other particular person I know,” Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden told Kerrang! of his friend. “Tales we couldn’t inform in a church, tales that sound like exaggerations however they aren’t. The Rev is rock’n’roll by way of and thru. One of many greats. A kind of souls that comes alongside so hardly ever and simply touches each single particular person round him.”
Right here, we replicate on simply a few of the many causes The Rev completely dominated…
1. He was ridiculously gifted – whilst a child
Whereas most people who find themselves fortunate sufficient to be proficient at something usually want the correct gear to hone their craft, when a younger Jimmy picked up the sticks earlier than he was even a teenager, he rapidly grew to become very skilful on what was basically a toy set from a Sears catalogue (“A critical mail-order drum package – a piece of crap,” The Rev advised DRUM! magazine in 2007). He would be taught the likes of Metallica at first and even transcribe Lars Ulrich’s materials with relative success, earlier than creating his abilities and shifting on to every part from punk to prog to funk. By the age of 13, this is how good he was…
2. Regardless of being extra “superior” than his future bandmates, he nonetheless fortunately joined A7X
M. Shadows modestly recalled how he and guitarist Zacky Vengeance have been recruiting members for Avenged Sevenfold again within the day, eyeing up superstar-in-the-making and fellow schoolkid Jimmy however pondering that he was most likely too good for them already. “After we have been beginning our band, we actually needed him to play however he was enjoying with guys in highschool and older, and we have been in seventh and eight grade,” the frontman later advised Louder. “He had no time for us as a result of he was to this point superior, musically. He was enjoying Pantera and Slayer observe for observe. We didn’t even know tips on how to get the supply observe on the guitar. However as soon as we obtained critical and have been attempting to do our factor, he was like, ‘Okay, let’s simply play collectively and see what occurs.’” All of it labored out fairly nicely ultimately, huh?
3. And he even conjured up his personal signature transfer (that made him seem like a “fucking octopus weirdo”)
“I name it ‘the double-ride factor’, only for lack of a higher definition, as a result of no-one does it,” he defined to DRUM!. Principally, it signifies that The Rev would double-up on two kick drums and two trip cymbals on the similar time (if, like us, you continue to do not know what that even actually means then pay attention out for it 25 – 27 seconds into Virtually Simple). “It is vitally onerous to maintain your self on the bells with out having the ability to look,” Jimmy continued. “You’ll be able to’t have a look at the 2 locations on the similar time. My proper hand naturally can discover the trip by itself, so I have to take a look at the bell on the left, and also you additionally should deliver it over to hit the snare, so it will get a bit onerous — and that’s if you begin wanting like a fucking octopus weirdo. It’s superior.” Yup, onerous agree.
4. The Rev was an incredible songwriter
Whereas a fast Google search of ‘The Rev songwriting credit’ will throw up an infinite checklist of Avenged bangers (Virtually Simple, Unholy Confessions, Bat Nation, Chapter 4, A Little Piece Of Heaven, Second Heartbeat… we may go on), what that doesn’t solely present is simply how nice an affect he had on a compositional stage. Not solely did Jimmy ship his personal drumming aptitude with each tune he helped deliver to life, by the band’s 2007 self-titled ‘White Album’ he would even contribute away from the package, bringing in piano concepts, lyrics and vocals, and guitar riffs in some circumstances – which is much more spectacular contemplating he was in a band with Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance…
5. And a memorable vocalist
Avenged would most likely sound like a a lot completely different band have been it not for M. Shadows’ distinctive voice, however so too with out the vocal interaction between the frontman and The Rev. On the likes of Important Acclaim, Afterlife and A Little Piece Of Heaven the drummer supplies some really killer sing-alongs, whereas he took centre stage beneath the stage identify Rathead in avant-garde metallers Pinkly Clean – additionally that includes A7X bandmate Syn Gates. Although their solely album – 2001’s excellently-titled Unlucky Snort – isn’t extensively out there (YouTube is your pal there), Syn did state back in January 2019 that he may discover a approach to revisit the mission someday and get that music on the market correctly. “It was simply this loopy, clown-goblin metallic, Danny Elfman-influenced stuff and it was so enjoyable,” he recalled fondly. “I can’t discover the masters. I hear that there’s really an unpleasant hearsay that some have surfaced, and if I can discover these then I’m going to remaster it and provides it to you guys.”
6. He had a triple-bass drum package… as you do
Whereas it could have been outstanding to have the ability to write, ‘Sure, The Rev grew a third foot and that’s why he wanted three’, the leftover bass drum was basically simply there to look badass – which it very a lot did. (Bonus data: the ultimate package that Jimmy created additionally had 11 cymbals and 7 toms… which appears cheap, proper?) Following the drummer’s dying, two completely different kits have been donated to the Onerous Rock Café to be displayed – one from the 2008 Style Of Chaos tour, and one other that was utilized in Avenged’s movies for Afterlife, Virtually Simple, Expensive God and Nightmare (see under).
7. His again tattoo was superior
Getting your surname printed on the again of a sports activities jersey? Fairly normal. Going one step additional to truly tattoo that by yourself again? It’s solely one thing The Rev would do. Certainly, Jimmy had a large ‘Sullivan’ on his pores and skin with the quantity 0 beneath, together with many different memorable tatts just like the phrase ‘Fiction’ down his torso, and a pair of handcuffs round his neck. “Jimmy had ‘Fiction’ tattooed on his chest as a result of he stated if anyone was following his life, they’d assume it was fiction – it’s too good to be true,” his mom Barbara advised Revolver. He father Joe, in the meantime, revealed of his son: “I used to be type of hoping he wouldn’t have any tattoos. He went the longest time with no tattoos, after which someday he got here house and on the one inside forearm he had this tattoo of a coffin stuffed with eggs and the Easter Bunny laying lifeless on prime of it… We have been hoping he’d keep clear. As a result of as soon as he comes house with one, one appears silly. You gotta have a bunch of them… Then I assume he got here house someday with these handcuffs on his neck.”
8. Stallion Duck. At all times Stallion Duck
Avenged Sevenfold’s 2007 All Extra DVD is a nice deep dive into the band, their historical past and the personalities of every member. However the spotlight has obtained to be the second The Rev chases a large ‘Stallion Duck’ round a pond. “He’s not afraid in any respect!” he yells. “That’s the most important fucking duck I’ve ever seen in my life.” It grew to become such an iconic second that ‘Stallion Duck’ even has its personal City Dictionary entry.
9. His persona was infectious
Even a decade later, the tribute montage in Avenged Sevenfold’s 2011 video for So Far Away will deliver a lump to your throat. From throwing a whole pint of Guinness over himself to twiddling his drumsticks like a whole rock star to easily simply goofing round along with his bandmates, Jimmy’s disposition appeared to brighten anybody’s day and it’s so clear to see. ‘I really like you, you have been prepared…’ M. Shadows laments as footage of their fallen pal performs out. A stunning however completely heartbreaking tribute.
10. He unknowingly taught his bandmates to be higher individuals
After Jimmy’s passing, M. Shadows revealed to Loudwire that A7X needed to do every part they might to honour their pal. “Due to the nice qualities that he left, everyone seems to be attempting to select up on them,” the frontman stated in 2011. “There are a lot of issues that he did that everybody’s type of doing on the tour bus now to make it possible for his legacy lives on with all of us. It’s a actually cool factor – as cool as it may be for shedding your greatest pal… Simply small issues, he would keep up till 7am within the morning, consuming beers with our driver Merle, simply sit there and inform tales all night time. I observed a lot of us are doing that now, staying up and hanging out and simply watching the highway and getting loopy up there. Jimmy would collect us throughout and play his iPod and sing till 7 within the morning and go loopy, and I discover that we nonetheless try this. We get the iPod out and play a few of Jimmy’s favorite songs – play some Mr. Bungle and Oingo Boingo – and get loopy. Simply enjoyable stuff like that that, that he used to at all times do, put your arm round your pal and drink some whiskey and have a good time.”
(Pictured under: M. Shadows’ The Rev tribute hand tattoo)
11. Jimmy was a real pal to all
“It appeared like he’d go days with out sleeping as a result of there have been pals to see,” Joe advised Revolver. Barbara added: “There are actually 30 guys to give you genuinely look you within the eye and genuinely have been his greatest pal. We had individuals telling us that he was the one particular person to go to them in jail. We had individuals from airways calling us, saying they knew him as a result of he took the time to speak to them since he flew so a lot.”
12. A Little Piece Of Heaven. That’s it. That’s our remaining cause.
Positive, we’ve already coated each factor that The Rev contributed to this iconic 2007 metallic masterpiece – songwriting, vocals, drums, piano – however it’s onerous to consider a higher instance the place all of these issues got here collectively so rattling completely. From the double-bass drums thundering together with the orchestra to Jimmy’s maniacal laughter within the background as M. Shadows sings ‘Virtually laughed myself to tears’, A Little Piece Of Heaven is eight minutes of standout second after standout second. If we’ve obtained to select one for the sake of this checklist, although, it needs to be The Rev’s twisted yelp of, ‘Will need to have stabbed her 50 fucking tiiiiimes!’ Probably the most gruesomely good sing-along ever.
Posted on February ninth 2021, 2:50p.m.