Mysteriously Disappeared L.A. Folkie Jim Sullivan Is Tonight's Topic On Coast To Coast AM
There is no small amount of irony in the fact that the man who penned an album of lost psych-rock explorations titled U.F.O. disappeared under mysterious circumstances just a few years after the record's release. Vanishing into thin air outside of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, in 1975, Jim Sullivan's whereabouts have never been resolved, a noir ending to a singer-songwriter career that always flirted on the edges of fame.
Sullivan was pals with Harry Dean Stanton and had a cameo in Easy Rider, performed nightly in a Malibu bar to star-studded audiences, and recorded 1969's U.F.O.--an emotionally charged folk-tinged masterwork that recalls the songwriting genius of Fred Neil--with Phil Spector's session players, The Wrecking Crew. Sullivan should have been canonized alongside his L.A. based folk contemporaries; instead he slipped into the abyss.
above: the jim sullivan story by light in the attic
But with L.A.-based Light in the Attic finally reissuing U.F.O., we're again allowed a chance to witness Sullivan's strange genius, which mixes classic Southern gothic lament with the shadowy corners of early 1970s L.A.
Whether Jim wandered off into the desert in a vision quest or was sucked up by a beam of extraterrestrial light, we'll never know--but U.F.O. is about as good a memorial as you can get.
Take a listen--the album drops this week--and be sure to tune in to Coast to Coast AM (AKA the Art Bell radio show) this Friday November 19th from 10PM-11PM PST / 1AM-2AM EST on KFI 640 AM or at coasttocoastam.com as Sullivan's executive producer Al Dobbs discusses Jim's weird departure...
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.