Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden contacted Kerrang! to pay tribute to Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer, Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, who was found dead in his Huntington Beach home on December 28.
“This isn’t something I have had to deal with a lot in my life, so I really don’t know what to write,” begins Benji. “Right now, it doesn’t really feel real. [After Jimmy’s service], we went to Shadows house and had a few drinks, telling our best Jimmy stories and we laughed until we cried. The Rev has more stories about him than any other person I know. Stories we couldn’t tell in a church, stories that sound like exaggerations but they aren’t. The Rev is rock ‘n’ roll through and through. One of the greats. One of those souls that comes along so rarely and just touches every single person around him. To know Jimmy is to love Jimmy. If you happen to have spent an evening out with The Rev on tour somewhere or at some get together or function, well, you were best friends for life after that. And Jimmy didn’t forget it. It’s not an act. I must have heard 50 people call Jimmy their best friend [during the service]. And they meant it. Loveable is a great word to describe Jimmy. Endearing. Kind hearted. Carefree. A fucking legend!
“I’m just talking about the kid who, as Shadows recalled, took communion in a ‘Slayer Fucking Slayer’ T-shirt when he was 12, dancing up the church aisle the whole way, making all the kids laugh. I’m talking about the guy that who stood up to his all time musical hero, for talking disrespectfully to his best friend’s girl. He doesn’t judge people. Rev didn’t have a bad bone in his body. That quality… It is impossible to describe, he was just born with it. That’s just The Rev.
“I took you for granted, Rev,” he continues. “I took for granted being able to hang with you at the family get-togethers and holidays over the years. I took for granted watching you play drums. I took for granted our conversations. And fuck man, watching you play drums! You want to love music? Watch The Rev play drums. Listen to him play on a demo. Listen to him play on a record.
“Good Charlotte and A7X are more than just bands,” says Benji. “We are family. We celebrate each other’s lives together, holidays, weddings, kids being born. Successes and failures. Jimmy is at the heart and soul of all of it. He has taught me more then anyone I ever met in any church. And now you get to live forever, Jimmy. You are one of the greats.
“See you on the other side Rev,” he concludes. “We love you forever.”