• † The Rev †

    James Owen Sullivan (February 9, 1981 – December 28, 2009),more commonly known by his stage name The Reverend Tholomew Plague, often shortened to The Rev, was an American musician, best known as the drummer for the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold . He was also the lead vocalist in Pinkly Smooth, a side project where he was known by the name Rat Head, with fellow Avenged Sevenfold member, guitarist Synyster Gates and the drummer for Suburban Legends from 1998 to 1999. Sullivan grew up and lived in Huntington Beach , California . The Rev was found dead on December 28, 2009, at the age of 28.


    The Rev obtained his first pair of drum sticks at the age of four and received his own drum set at the age of eleven.In high school, he started playing in bands. Before leaving to join Avenged Sevenfold as one of the band's founding members, Sullivan was the drummer for the third wave ska band Suburban Legends. At the age of eighteen he recorded his first album with Avenged Sevenfold titled Sounding The Seventh Trumpet . His early influences included Frank Zappa and King Crimson. The Rev said in a Modern Drummer Magazine interview that "I was raised on that stuff as much as rock and metal."

    Later in life he was influenced by drummers Vinnie Paul, Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo , Lars Ulrich, and Terry Bozzio. He even had a "visual influence", Tommy Lee, on which he commented that "I never thought I'd have one of those."Sullivan's signature ability which he called "the double-ride thing, just for lack of a better definition, because no one does it," is a technique that can be heard on tracks such as "Almost Easy", "Critical Acclaim", and "Crossroads" in which Sullivan doubles up at a fast tempo between the double bass and ride cymbals.

    The band won the MTV Music Award for Best New Artist in 2006, beating out Rihanna, Panic! At The Disco, Angels & AirwavesJames Blunt and Chris Brown , where The Rev gave his acceptance speech.

    The Rev was also a vocalist, songwriter, and pianist for Avenged Sevenfold. His piano-playing can be heard on the tracks "Warmness on the Soul", "Seize The Day", "Fiction" and "Save Me". His vocals are featured in Avenged Sevenfold's "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Brompton Cocktail", "Critical Acclaim", "Crossroads", "Gunslinger", "Lost", "Scream", "Afterlife", and "Fiction". He used his knowledge of the guitar and piano to write the songs "Almost Easy", "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", "Welcome to the Family", "Save Me", and "Fiction". He also contributed to the making of "Critical acclaim" and "Lost".

    Avenged Sevenfold also announced that they will be releasing a demo version of "Nightmare" including The Rev on an electric drumset and his vocals.

    At the second annual Revolver Golden God Awards, The Rev won the award for Best Drummer beating out Christ Adler of Lamb Of GodBrann Dailor of MastodonDave Grohl of Them Crooked Vultures and Dave Lombardo of Slayer. The award was presented by Joey Jordison of Slipknot and Vinnie Paul of Pantera , with the latter winning the award the previous year. His family members and Avenged Sevenfold  received the honour on his behalf.


    « My life is kinda like a story that if I told you about it you wouldn't believe. It would seem like fiction. That's me. »

    « Every fith grader's favorite band is Metallica. »

    « One day dude, I'm just gonna get off the bus, and i'm gonna run, i'm gonna run into the wood and i'm never gonna come back! And when I come back, I'm gonna be the knife master. »


    • Four of his favorite bands were Metallica, Rancid, Transplants and Slayer
    • His influences were Vinnie Paul (Pantera), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) who has played behind the drums with the group "in its place" in 2010, and Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph (both Slayer) .
    • He was reportedly arrested at least 10 times by police for incidents such as fights in bars or killing a pigeon Amsterdam9.
    • As a drummer he was sponsored by DW, Evans, Pro-Mark and Sabian.
    • The Rev was in a Catholic school where he befriended Matthew Sanders, then both were returned.
    •  He was nominated for a Golden Revolver God & his family in 2010 won the "Best Drummer" in his memory
    • When he was young, Jimmy lived for a time in the garage of his best friend Brian Haner Jr  



    Sullivan's body was found in his home on December 28, 2009 at the age of 28. His death was reported as due to natural causes. The results of the autopsy performed on December 30, 2009, however, were inconclusive. On June 9, 2010, the cause of death was revealed to have been an acute polydrug intoxication due to combined effects of oxycodone (Ozycontin), oxymorphone (a metabolite of oxycodone), diazepam (Valium), nordiazepam (a metabolite of diazepam) and alcohol.

    On January 5, 2010, a private funeral was held for Sullivan, and a day later he was buried in Huntington Beach, California.

    His drum kit is now on display at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.


    The Rev used Drum Workshop (DW) drums, and is noted for having a triple-bass drum set-up (although he only operated the first two on the left and center of the kit). He also used DW 9000 pedals, and a DW Super Rack to mount his drums. He also used Sabian cymbals; although he had a set of Zildjian cymbals which he used in the studio. He used Pro-mark Natural 5B drum sticks, and Evans drum heads.


    With Suburban Legends

    • Origin Edition (1999)

    With Pinkly Smooth

    • Unfortunate Snort (2001)

    With Avenged Sevenfold

    • 1999 Demo (1999)
    • 2000 Demo  (2000)
    • Sounding TheSeventh Trumpet (2001)
    • Warmness On The Soul (2001)
    • Waking The Fallen  (2003)
    • City Of Evil  (2005)
    • All Excess (2007)
    • Avenged Sevenfold (2007)
    • Live In The LBC & Diamond In The Rough (2008)
    • Nightmare (2010) (Posthumous)

                                 Tribute To The Rev

      I don’t know how to start this or know where to begin. First I would like to thank all the fans for their support through the passing of Jimmy. It has been comforting to see his fans, our fans, and everyone in general give their support. Jimmy was my best friend, as he was best friends with many other people including the members of Avenged Sevenfold. He was hands down the greatest person I have ever known. I told him I loved him everyday. He demanded your love and was never afraid to give it back. I have walked side by side with Jimmy, everyday, for the last 18 years of my life. I have no memories before Jimmy, and it’s going to be damn hard to move forward without him here. It still doesn’t seem real. He was my best friend, songwriting partner, band mate, confidant, and most importantly, he was my brother. The crazy thing about Jimmy was that everyday was a crazy story. We have told our favorite Jimmy stories for the last 2 weeks and never have we repeated ourselves. This guy was magical. The out pour of art from his soul was unlike the world has ever seen. Unless you spent a day with Jimmy, or 18 years, it’s impossible to explain, so I’m not going to try. He inspired people in different ways. He wasn’t just a drummer, he honestly didn’t care so much for the technical side of drums, cause he could play anything he wanted. He was all about creating beautiful songs, original fills and hopefully touching people with his art and mind. He told all of us for years, including his parents, that he knew two things in life. He wanted to be a rockstar, and that he wasn’t going to live past 30 years old. He was right on both accounts, but I know Jimmy, and if he knew how much pain this would cause for the ones he left behind, he would have done anything he could to stick around a little longer. Jimmy gave so much and in the end it was his time to go. All my reasons for wanting him to stay are selfish and I know he is in a better place then this, so in a way I’m joyful that my best friend is now at peace. He made it to the other side first and I can’t wait to hang with him again. I have so much to say but can’t find the words so I will wait until time can allow me to find a way to express myself. As for the rest of us, it has become clear what we need to do. We had just finished writing a record with Jimmy. I can’t promise what the future holds because right now it’s too painful to think about, but we know we need to record and put out this record in honor of Jimmy, for Jimmy. He would call me every night to talk about songs and tell me “this shit is gonna change the world.” I agreed with him, unfortunately I didn’t know it would be on these terms. Please be patient with us for we cannot imagine how hard this is gonna be to get through, we just know we have to do it for his legacy. After that, who knows? But I know Jimmy will help us make that decision when the time comes. I love you Jimmy and I feel like the luckiest man in the world to have known you and spent 18 years of my life with you. Rest in Peace my friend.

      M. Shadows

      In memory of the rev (  hand of M.Shadows)

      Syn & Zacky Taking an order


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