Now here is mystery which has had conspiracy theorists busy for decades.
Jim Sullivan was born in 1940. He moved to Los Angeles with his wife Barbara and young son and performed in clubs. He became friends with several Hollywood figures and even appeared as an extra in the iconic 1969 film, Easy Rider. In the same year he released his debut album, U.F.O. With no music industry contacts, it did not make a huge impact and is an album that was thought lost.
In 1972 he released a second self titled album, which again did not seriously trouble the charts. In 1975, having increasingly turned to alcohol and with his marriage falling apart he decided to travel to Nashville. Sound like another story of someone trying to make it in the music industry against the odds, and failing? Maybe, but this is where things took an unexpected twist.
Sometime between noon and 1pm on March 4th 1975, Jim Sullivan left Los Angeles in his VW Beatle to drive to Nashville. In the early hours of the 5th he was pulled over outside Santa Rosa after an officer had seen him swerving. He was taken to the local police station for a sobriety test, which he passed. The explanation was shear exhaustion from the 15-hour drive. Jim checked into the La Mesa Motel, but police reports later indicated that the bed in his room was not slept in, but the key, intriguingly, was found locked inside the room.
The following day he was seen about 26 miles away at a remote ranch. His car was later found abandoned at the ranch, and he was reportedly last seen walking away from it. The car contained Sullivan’s money, papers, guitar, clothes, and a box of his unsold records.
Some think he got lost. Some think the mafia killed him. Some even think he was abducted by aliens, because the title of his debut album. UFO. His VW and his hotel room contained, among other things, his twelve-string guitar, his wallet, his clothes and several copies of his second album. As for Sullivan, it was as if he had simply vanished into thin air.
Light In The Attic’s reissue of his debut U.F.O. introduced the world to an overlooked masterwork and won him, posthumously (presumably), legions of new fans.
Those new admirers are in for a real treat with the label releasing a lavish reissue of that self-titled second album found in the car, and the first-time release of a previously unheard 1969 studio session, If The Evening Were Dawn.
Both Albums are to be released on the 25th October.