Avenged Sevenfold's drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan died of an accidental pill overdose, Rolling Stone's Jon Wiederhorn reports:
Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan died on December 28, 2009 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and alcohol, Orange County Deputy Coroner Mitchell Sigal told Rolling Stone. Toxicology reports indicate that Sullivan suffered "acute polydrug intoxication due to combined effects of Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Diazepam/Nordiazepam and ethanol."
Oxycodone is painkiller that substitutes for Codeine, Oxymorphone is a painkiller similar to Morphine, Diazepam/Nordiazepam are anxiety medications and ethanol is the intoxicant in alcohol. Actor Heath Ledger similarly died from acute polydrug intoxication on January 22, 2008. Sigal added that Sullivan also had cardiomegaly (an enlarged heart), which was marked in the coroner's report as a "significant condition" that may have played a role in the drummer's death. The Coroner's Department conducted "five or six" different tests to verify the cause of death, Sigal added.
Back in December, the LA Weekly had reported that fans were instantly skeptical about the "natural causes" explanation given immediately after the drummer was found dead.
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Members of Atreyu and Bleeding Through, also from the OC scene, remembered The Rev for Rolling Stone:
"As a drummer, Jimmy was just better than most people," says Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller, whose band also emerged from the Orange County scene. "He had a true talent and he went about things in such a skewed way technically that he didn't sound like anybody else. He was one of those drummers where you could put on a record and you could tell it was Jimmy drumming the second you heard it."
In addition to being a skilled and flashy player, Sullivan was a friendly and ebullient individual, whose enthusiasm won people over. "He always wanted everyone to have a good time," Saller says. "He didn't live in a world where you could be sad or bummed out. He didn't let that part of life exist for him. He always brought out the good in everything and was always laughing and joking."
"Whenever he'd see people from the past, like Bleeding Through or Eighteen Visions, his face would light up," adds Bleeding Through frontman Brandan Schieppati, whose band also formed in Orange County. "He'd make you feel like you were still an important part of his life, even though he had gone and done greater things with his career. He really had a big heart."