.

Guitarist Big Jim Sullivan Dead at 71

Musician was said to have played on 55 Number One singles

October 4, 2012 8:40 AM ET
Big Jim Sullivan
Big Jim Sullivan
Rob Monk/Total Guitar magazine via Getty Images

Big Jim Sullivan, an acclaimed session guitarist who played with David Bowie, Tom Jones, the Kinks and Marianne Faithfull, has died at home in England, the BBC reports. He was 71 and had suffered from heart disease and diabetes.

Sullivan was one of the most in-demand session players of the Sixties and Seventies. He claimed to have played on more than 1,000 songs, including 55 Number One singles, with credits including Bowie's "Space Oddity," Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger," Petula Clark's "Downtown," the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," Faithfull's version of "As Tears Go By" and Jones' "What's New Pussycat?" 

Born James Tomkins, Sullivan began playing guitar professionally when he was 16. He was the backing guitarist when Eddie Cochran died in a car crash while on a tour of England with Gene Vincent in 1960. Sullivan also gave guitar lessons to future Deep Purple founder Ritchie Blackmore and was a member of Jones' touring band from 1969-74.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com