James Owen Sullivan (February 10, 1981 – December 28, 2009), known as The Reverend Tholomew Plague shortened as The Rev, was an American musician, best known as the drummer of the American metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold. He was also the lead vocalist in the avant-garde metal band Pinkly Smooth, a side project with fellow Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. Sullivan grew up and lived in Huntington Beach, California. The Rev was found dead on December 28, 2009, at the age of 28.

Early LifeEdit

The Rev in concert

At the age of 5, The Rev was urged by his parents to take piano and drum lessons in hopes of learning an instrument. He has stated that he fought them on it, but he was always kind of interested. He began taking lessons at the age of ten and recieved his first kit at 11. He listened to metal and started transcribing it. He started with Metallica and got into Pantera, Slayer, Dream Theater, Rush, Dave Weckl, and Terry Bozzio. He joined a percussion ensemble at Harbor College in L.A. which he was in from sixth grade to eighth. He started playing double bass in sixth and seventh grade and was self-taught. 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. Later on in his life he was influenced by drummers Vinnie Paul, Mike Portnoy, Lars Ulrich, and Terry Bozzio. 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 the track "Almost Easy" in which he doubles up at a fast tempo between the double bass and ride cymbals.

Pinkly SmoothEdit

The Rev along with the band's lead guitarist Synyster Gates formerly played in an avant-garde metal band named Pinkly Smooth. They both however quit the band as they wished to concentrate full time on Avenged Sevenfold (band).


The Rev was found dead in his home on December 28, 2009. His death was reported as due to natural causes. The results of the autopsy performed on December 30, 2009, however, were inconclusive. Further tests revealed that the cause of death was an acute polydrug intoxication due to the combined effects of oxymorphine, oxycodone, diazepam, nordiazepam, and alcohol. Soon after his passing, the band made the following statement:

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy's family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.
Jimmy you are foREVer in our hearts. We love you."
—M Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ

On January 6, 2010, a private funeral was held for Sullivan, and then he was buried in The Good Shepherd Cemetery, in Huntington Beach, California.. The band released their fifth studio album "Nightmare" which served as a tribute album for the Rev with Mike Portnoy, Sullivan's "all time favorite drummer" filling in for him. Portnoy said “I want their fans to realize that I'm not trying to step into or fill The Rev's shoes...I'm just merely lacing 'em up for him!"


Picture 5
  • He and M. Shadows were both known to have gotten kicked out of a Catholic school they went together in second grade.
  • He has been arrested seven times all due to bar fights.
  • He preferred playing double bass instead of double bass pedal.
  • He was on the November 2007 cover of DRUM! magazine and had an article called Jimmy Sullivan: Revenge of Avenged Sevenfold.

Drum KitEdit

The Rev's drum kit

The Rev was endorsed by Drum Workshop who said he could have any drum set he wanted.

DRUMS DW Collector Series with a Snakeskin Wrap and Black Hardware

  1. 22" x 18" Bass Drum
  2. 14" x 5" Vintage Bronze Snare with Black Hardware
  3. 8" x 5" Tom
  4. 8" x 7" Tom
  5. 10" x 8" Tom
  6. 12" x 9" Tom
  7. 16" x 9" Tom
  8. 18" x 16" Tom


A. 14" AAX-Celerator Hi-Hats Brilliant
B. 19" Paragon Chinese
C. 11" Signature Max Splash
D. 10" AAX Splash Brilliant
E. 19" AAX Metal Crash
F. 10" Chopper Effects Cymbal
G. 20" AAX Metal Crash Brilliant
H. 18" Signature Fierce Crash
I. 22" AAX Metal Ride Brilliant
J. 19" AAXtreme Chinese Brilliant