Last June, over a round of drinks, my friend Matt excitedly told me the tale of his label Light In The Attic’s upcoming release; that of the reissue of Jim Sullivan’s U.F.O. Light In The Attic often reissues the lost and forgotten LP, but in the case of U.F.O. it was the very performer who was lost, as Sullivan had literally disappeared some 35 years before. They say that truth is often stranger than fiction, and Matt, along with his wife (filmmaker Jennifer Maas), were headed out on a six-week road trip to dig up anything they could on the Sullivan mystery. I made him promise to tell his tale here on AD prior to the record’s November 16th release. Below are Matt’s words, plus the footage they shot on the road this summer. – AD
Justin asked me to write something about my recent adventures involving our upcoming reissue of Jim Sullivan’s 1969 album U.F.O. It’s certainly been a surreal journey. A friend and I run a Seattle-based label called Light In The Attic. We reissue old records, most of which never got their proper due back in the day. The reissue business is fraught with Byzantine twists and turns and other bullshit that I won’t bore you with in detail. In short, every release is a saga unto itself, inevitably marked by numerous hair-pulling obstacles — everything from legal wranglings with grumpy old copyright holders to artists suffering from years of failure and schizophrenia — each of which impacts a project’s timetable. By the time we finally release a title, the process might have taken several years. Along the way, we tend to find ourselves in strange situations with interesting folk – some still with us: Sixto Rodriguez in Detroit, Kris Kristofferson in California, Lou Bond in Memphis, Betty Davis in Pittsburgh, PA. Some no longer with us: Karen Dalton and Serge Gainsbourg. Jim Sullivan is an entirely different story.
In March 1975, Jim mysteriously disappeared outside Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His VW bug was found abandoned, his motel room untouched. Some think he got lost in the desert. Some think he fell foul of a local family with alleged mafia ties. Some think he was abducted by aliens. By coincidence — or perhaps not — Jim’s 1969 debut album was titled U.F.O. and released in tiny numbers on a one-off private label called Monnie Records. A couple years ago I stumbled upon a vinyl rip of the album on Waxidermy, a brilliant site dedicated to far out underground or private press records. I was hooked after hearing the first few seconds of track one, “Jerome”. I’ve have been obsessing over Jim and his music ever since.
I soon found out that I wasn’t alone. Dozens of music heads posted about the album blowing their minds. Half-way down the Waxidermy page, a man by the name of John Rankin posted about his old friend Jim and how Jim’s wife Barbara was his secretary at Capitol Records in Los Angeles in the late ’60s. This is where things took an unexpected left turn.
John Rankin on May 22nd, 2008 @ 1:29 am
I was thinking about my friend Jim Sullivan and decided to Google his name. I found this site and not much more. Jim’s wife Barbara was my secretary at Capitol Records (1968-69). I tried to get him signed but they thought he was too much like their new artist James Taylor at the time. I left Capitol and played bass for Jim in bars around L.A. for maybe a year on and off. Many years ago I heard that he had disappeared. I think it was in New Mexico. He was pulled over by a trooper because he was driving funny (swerving). The trooper found that he was just tired and told him about a motel just up the road. When they looked for him, they found his guitar on the bed and his truck still parked where he put it. But, no Jim. This is the story I was told by a very reliable source a very long time ago. I would like to hear from anyone who might be associated with Jim Sullivan. I have some good stories and memories. By the way, he was in Easy Rider I was at his house the day after they finished filming.
While reading John’s post, I’m listening to the album for that magical first time, one of those music moments that you live for but seldom find. The site lists the album credits, including monster session players like drummer Earl Palmer, keyboardist Don Randi, and bassist Jimmy Bond. How did a little private press LP afford these Wrecking Crew giants, the Los Angeles sessioners that backed the likes of the Beach Boys, Sinatra, Mamas & the Papas, Phil Spector’s mighty hit machine? This doesn’t quite add up. You tend to not hear private press records that are such mammoth productions because private press recordings are just that, private, super limited works that couldn’t afford or never desired to shell out thousands on a recording session. Whoever put this thing together was clearly not fucking around.
The dark, eerie strings and psych-ish mix (with Earl’s drums way upfront) recall David Axelrod’s finest work. Sullivan’s voice is deep and expressive like Fred Neil with a weathered and worldly Americana sound like Joe South or Gene Clark. Pop songs that aren’t happy — but filled with despair. Almost as if the aforementioned Axelrod or Memphis great Jim Dickinson were running the show. What the fuck was this?
The next posting on Waxidermy is from Jim’s sister-in-law Linda, who stumbled upon the blog. Linda confirmed Jim’s role in Easy Rider along with his mysterious disappearance in New Mexico. My mouth dropped once again, and goosebumps followed, especially after reading her last sentence.
Linda C on June 14th, 2008 @ 11:10 pm
I’m Jim’s sister in law. He was in Easy Rider, the commune scene wearing his “Lions” cowboy hat. He was an extraordinary writer and guitarist. He taught me a little guitar when I was in high school. After years of having some small successes and seeing some of his music stolen, he became a troubled soul who developed a drinking problem. He did disappear in New Mexico as John Rankin said. I still listen to his albums with tears in my eyes.
I immediately reached out to Jeff Hassett at Waxidermy who kindly put me in touch with Jim’s family, and thus began a long quest to uncover the genius of U.F.O. and what went down in March ’75.
I nervously put together an email for Jim’s family and send it off. 24 hours later the phone rings, I look at the caller ID and see “Chris Sullivan”, trying to stomach if this is Jim’s son Chris calling and/or some long lost relative who shares my last name. I begin to explain how we hope to reissue the album and exactly what we plan to do. Turns out Chris already has our releases of Karen Dalton and Jamaica to Toronto. This is the first and probably the last time that will ever happen. Chris and I hit it off like we are family. I spend the next few months trying to piece this together. It feels like an impossible feat. Jim’s wife Barbara and son Chris are incredibly helpful but lost contact with Jim’s old manager, friends, and bandmates. I’m told that manager Robert “Buster” Ginter is the missing link to finding the original master tapes, explaining how U.F.O. came to fruition, and solving the issue of why the same record was released twice on two different labels, Monnie Records and Century City (the latter being sadly re-mixed and losing the dark, intoxicating spirit of the Monnie, Axelrod-sounding LP). Who knows, maybe Ginter could lead me to Wrecking Crew bassist Jimmy Bond who produced and arranged the album.
The next few weeks are spent calling every Robert, Bob, and Buster Ginter in America. I remember talking to a librarian in Massachusetts and some ski bums in Colorado where Chris thought Ginter might be living. No dice. But… I do find Ginter’s two daughters who are incredibly kind and enthusiastic, with fond memories of camping trips with Jim and family. They also fill me in on the sad news. Their father died seventeen years ago in Oregon practically homeless and in a bad state hooked on drugs and alcohol. Bob’s father, Robert Sr. managed some Hollywood heavy weights during the ‘50s and ‘60s, while Bob Jr. managed up-and-coming actors like Harry Dean Stanton. From what we could gage, Junior burned the candle on both ends and things began to unravel as the mid-70s rolled around.
Around this time I was beginning to lose all sense. The more I listened to the album, the more I couldn’t simply pull away. I became fixated on songs like “So Natural” – something about the lyrics, Jim’s delivery, and drummer Earl Palmer left me continuously mesmerized on each repeated listen. Like songs “Jerome”, “Highways” and “U.F.O.”, the lyrics of “So Natural” were another eerie reminder of the foreshadowing on U.F.O. of what was to come in Jim’s life. In many ways, the album painted a vivid picture of Jim’s life five years later. Whatever happened to Jim in the New Mexico desert, there’s no question that it was one hell of a vanishing act on someone’s part.
Thankfully talented Memphis music writer Andria Lisle comes on board to write the liner notes for the re-release and lend a helpful hand in deciphering this maddening search.
Andria interviews Wrecking Crew member Don Randi. The man doesn’t remember a thing. He doesn’t even remember Jim, the record, or the songs. The search continues…
Our next prayer was finding Wrecking Crew man Jimmy Bond. He may have played on a zillion sessions from Nina Simone to Randy Newman, but he rarely produced. Therefore I figured there was a small chance that he may recall a thing or two. And his name was James E. Bond III. What I wasn’t expecting is how long it would take to find Bond. How hard could it be to find a man who played on half my record collection?
After eight months, and what felt like hundreds of phone calls, e-mails, letters, faxes, and hiring a private detective who simply forwarded me the same info I already had, I finally located Bond. Well, kinda. I located Bond’s apartment in Los Angeles. I left message after message, and no response. I sent packages, which got returned. Weeks later, while in Southern California I drove by his place, rung the buzzer, and nothing. I returned months later and gave it another shot. No answer again. I buzz the neighbors who nervously open the door. They inform me that Bond moved out a few months back with no forwarding address. I anxiously hand him a letter for Jimmy and beg them to somehow get the letter to the man.
As I walk away and look back towards the building, I realize that Jimmy’s apartment unit number is 0003 (the catalog number of the Monnie LP) and the building number is 370 (the month and year that the Century City LP was released). When I’m working on a project like this I constantly look for signs. Something to tell you to keep calling, keep digging, or maybe just the opposite. Years ago I never was much with superstitions but this job has changed that. The unit number was the thing that tripped me out the most — not two zeros and a three, but THREE zeros and a three.
Well, the neighbor soon came through (bless his heart) and located a working number for Jimmy’s son, whom I soon learned rarely checks his voice mail. One week and 10 calls later, Jimmy Jr. calls back, and within minutes I have a meeting with Jimmy Sr. for the following day. Jimmy greets us with a warm smile and tells us to sit. He’s lying in bed. He’s in good spirits, but feeling a bit weak and bed ridden at the moment. I nervously ask him about Jim Sullivan. Sadly, he doesn’t remember a thing. Not even Sullivan’s name. I show him the album cover — nothing. I tell Jimmy about Sullivan’s story — how he made this record with fellow Wrecking Crew alum Randi and Palmer; how Sullivan recorded a single for RCA and an album for the Playboy label following U.F.O.; how Sullivan mysteriously vanished in March ‘75 in New Mexico, never to be seen or heard from again.
Neither Jimmy nor his family had any recollection of any of this. But the moment I start playing the record Jimmy’s eyes immediately light up. He was in poor health, and 41 years had passed since recording the LP, but Jimmy sat there intently, taking in every little thing, his eyes sparking up upon each change. Then he choked up. Was it hearing Palmer’s sublime percussion? Sullivan’s mellow vocal delivery? His own galloping bass? Something had clicked. I asked, ‘Jimmy, do you remember it?’ ‘Of course,’ he replied. ‘I remembered it after the first three bars.’ His memories of the time were few, but it didn’t matter. We sat listening to all 10 tracks — all glorious 29 minutes. I had goosebumps the entire time.
As my obsession grew, I travel down to San Diego to meet Jim’s wife Barbara and son Chris, who are as warm hearted, supportive and kind as you could ever wish for. They show me dozens of photos of Jim and articles about his disappearance. I drive to Calistoga in Northern California to meet U.F.O. Executive Producer Al Dobbs, who Andria Lisle miraculously located. Our lead: Al owned an antique store. It went under years ago but Andria worked some Columbo-style action and found a phone number. Al is another extremely enthusiastic soul, and like the Sullivan’s in time becomes a good friend. Outside Napa, CA around midnight, we meet Al at a Waffle House or some late night eats place that I can’t remember the name of. Al has a briefcase full of 25-pages of old contracts involving Jim’s music from back in the day, along with the original album cover photo (!) and an eerie shot of Jim walking in the desert in California. Our minds are blown.
As things progressed and after more trips visiting the Sullivan’s and Al in California, I knew I had to get to New Mexico in hopes of retracing Jim’s last known whereabouts. Soon I am driving east with filmmakers Jennifer Maas and Mel Eslyn who decide to document the journey.
Santa Rosa, NM is a small town located two hours east of Albuquerque along Route 66. It’s more like the Texas Hill Country than the vast open desert I previously envisioned. The last census reported a population of 2,744.
We pull into town and check into the La Mesa Motel. It’s where Jim checked in on March 5, 1975. Like the rest of Santa Rosa, the motel looks like time stopped around 1955. The sheets look clean, though. We snap a few photos, and talk about what we know regarding Jim’s first few hours in Santa Rosa. Jim left Los Angeles in his Volkswagen Bug sometime between noon and 1 p.m. on March 4. In the early morning hours of March 5, he was pulled over outside Santa Rosa for swerving. He was taken to the local police station for a sobriety test, which he passed. He was swerving from fatigue caused by the taxing 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, and the key was found locked inside the room. Some reports stated that the key was the lone item found in the room, while others mentioned that Jim’s guitar was also found. Jim’s friends and family often said that if Jim was planning to disappear, the one thing he would never leave behind was his guitar. It’s one of the many things about his disappearance that don’t add up.
The next stop is the ranch where Jim’s car was found — the last place he was reported seen. The ranch lies southeast of Santa Rosa, about 20 miles outside of town in the middle of nowhere, and was owned by local family the Gennettis. For half an hour, we drive on a dirt road, seeing only a smattering of houses for much of that time. The temperature is well into the 90s, and the sun is bearing down. Parts of the drive are beautiful, with vibrant red rock formations followed by spots where you can see for miles.
We know that after he checked into the La Mesa, Jim stopped by the liquor store, bought some vodka, and drove around town. Somehow he ended up at this ranch. The story goes that Mrs. Gennetti saw Jim’s headlights from her house and drove down with two ranch hands to see what was going on. She asked Jim if he had a problem. He replied, “No, do you?” We’ve also heard that he knocked on the Gennettis’ door and Mrs. Gennetti answered, but she only spoke Italian and didn’t understand what Jim was saying. So he walked off. When the police found Jim’s car it was locked and the engine was dead. A number of things were found in the car, including Jim’s wallet, guitar, clothes, reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, silver appointment book, and a box of LP’s of Jim’s 1972 self-titled album on the Playboy label. The car was towed on March 8. There have been a number of rumors over the years that the Gennettis were part of the Chicago crime family.
Jim’s family traveled out to join search parties looking for him, the local papers printed missing person stories, but the search proved fruitless. Around the same time, the local sheriff retired and the Genettis moved to Hawaii.
Over breakfast the next day, Jennifer picks up a copy of the Guadalupe County Communicator, Santa Rosa’s local newspaper. An article about a local murder from the 1930s immediately sparks our interest. Jennifer suggests giving the newspaper a ring. An hour later, I’m on the phone with the paper’s publisher, M.E. Sprengelmeyer, asking if he’s familiar with Jim Sullivan, and if he has access to the paper’s archives from the time of Jim’s disappearance. M.E. bought the paper about a year ago, so he recommends I speak with veteran reporter Davy Delgado, a Santa Rosa native in his fourth decade as a newspaperman. M.E. is also an old hand in the newspaper business. After losing his job as the Washington D.C. correspondent for the Rocky Mountain News, M.E. moved to Santa Rosa and bought the paper. It’s an inspiring story. M.E. and Davy, along with a secretary, are the only folks that work at the paper. Circulation: 2,000. Santa Rosa’s population: 2,700.
We pack the car and drive down to The Communicator. M.E. kindly greets us, and soon after, Davy comes out and says hello. They are wonderful people. It’s another reminder why a newspaper is such a significant part of a community. Within seconds, Davy tells us to get in our car and follow him. We have no idea where we’re headed, but we dutifully obey. Three blocks, and 90 seconds later, we’re standing at a local lumberyard and hardware store. Davy knocks on a side door. We wait for a few minutes, and out comes Sammy Chavez, who greets us with a smile and a handshake. Sammy was working on the roads near the Gennetti ranch the day when Jim’s car was discovered by the police 35 years ago. Sammy, now in his 50s, recalled driving past the Volkswagen Bug on the way to work and thought it strange that Jim’s car was sitting in the middle of the road. When he came back through hours later, all the doors were open. Police had been searching for clues, but nothing turned up. For more than two years, search parties were regularly convened by a number of agencies — the New Mexico State Police, Santa Rosa police, and a number of volunteer groups.
Next up is a visit to the archives of the Santa Rosa News — giant bound books containing decades of the newspaper. Drooling with anticipation, we find the book from 1975 and begin searching for articles about Jim. We start in early March, when he disappeared.
We find an article with the headline “Possibly Sullivan?” about authorities finding a badly decomposed body buried in a remote area eight miles west of Las Cruces. They believed it might be Jim. The man appeared to have been dead less than a month, was between the ages of 30 and 40, measured 6-feet-2 and 180 pounds, had a tattoo on his right forearm, and wore a mustache and short beard. We flip through more pages and notice the headline “Not Sullivan.” Santa Rosa Police Chief Joe Eddie Martinez had gone to Las Cruces to see the body, and said that while it bore some resemblance to Jim, it wasn’t him. More articles are found.
Months later and the plot certainly thickens at each and every turn. I’d need another 20,000 words to put this sucker to bed and you’ve got to get back to work. We did uncover further stories from a wide array of subjects — psychedelic, barbed wire toilet seats, Harry Dean Stanton enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at the Sullivan’s, Texas oil money the size of Texas, the Blue Hole, Jim playing the Jose Feliciano show circa the late 60s/early ‘70s, and those 5-Hour Energy drinks really do the trick.
Jim’s manager Robert “Buster” Ginter later stated that during the early morning hours of a long evening Jim and Buster were talking about what would you do if they had to disappear. Jim said he’d walk into the desert and never come back.
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60 thoughts on “The Strange Tale of Jim Sullivan’s U.F.O.”
This was a fascinating read.
Fantastic, can’t wait for the album. Light in the Attic is consistently great, thanks for all their hard work and love.
Can’t wait to hear this album!
Did he record before the U.F.O. L.P?
Interesting stuff. Not heard this record but the article has certainly wetted my appetite.
Best article I’ve ever read on this site. I hope you’ll publish the rest of the story soon.
Nov. 16th is my 30th birthday. I know what I am buying for myself this year. Great story, thanks for putting it up!
Had not heard of Sullivan previously either, but this was an absolute treat to read.
Fantastic read. Looking forward to the album as well.
Dug out my rip from Waxidermy, can’t wait for the reissue and liner notes. How does the album on Playboy compare to U.F.O.?
This is fucking epic.
But really, what’s there left to do, aside from disappear, after dinner with Harry Dean Stanton?
I was reading Matt’s dispatches from the road as they were uploaded, but it’s nice to have them all together on the same page. Such a wild story.
Reissue of the year, no question. (I still love you Dara Puspita, I swear!)
A fascinating story, well wriiten – rare example of how powerful music can be in our lives. An obsession, a dedication, a journey and a constant discovery…into the music…Chris Dair
This is an incredibly beautiful record. I can’t wait to hear the remaster.
Love the UFO album. They never did locate the master tapes, which was the original purpose of the road trip. Such an incredible story, though. I’ve known about this re-issue for a few months now and have it already ordered, even though it’ll likely just be a copy of the vinyl album dubbed to CD. I have a feeling the burnt body that was found nearby may have really been Jim.
Oops, meant to say buried body, not burnt.
Are you kidding me!; this is incredible!
Thanks so much for including my Mom’s note in your piece…Linda C. She passed away this year, it is wonderful to see her words here. I remember when she wrote this, and started the family’s journey to have his music heard.
Much thanks, and much love to you guys for this. It means so much~
Where is, where is that Jerome?
Amazing. I heard UFO on a local radio station today down here in New Zealand. Managed to find the album at http://time-has-told-me.blogspot.com/2006/12/jim-sullivan-u.html
Its really great stuff with a story. Cool to think that someone has put some effort into digging this up, so to speak.
People compare his vocals to Fred Neil and Tim hardin, some even tried to say he sounds like a more powerful Gordon Lightfoot or Jimmy Buffet. I have to say it’s a truly unique vocal to have on these remarkable arrangments. It personally reminds me very much of the thundering blast of melancholy that came from Gary Brooker of Procol Harum. Granted the Procols stretched there repertoire from blues to prog to symphonic. Sullivan certainly went in different but never the less brooding directions.
Thanks a great deal to shedding light on this. Having heard about him from Waxidermy a few years ago made me hope someone could track this down and release it proper. Now for his 2nd album….
So, only the police chief went to see the body in Las Cruces? Not family? Not friends? Is it known what happened with that body…was it ever identified?
I am a major Science Fiction fan! I ran into the amazing work of Jim Sullivan playing a solo on my favorite series of the 1970’s, called “Space 1999”. It was just Jim and his guitar, wonderful!
They covered jims story on the Coast to Coast radio program yesterday and it was really well done. His music was reminiscent of Tim Buckley in my opinion. Fascinating arrangmets on UFO and a tremendous voice
Maggie, i saw a clip on the Jim Sullivan on Youtube and it was confirmed that the body was not that of Jim.
I heard his story yesterday on Coast to Coast radio as well and listened to some songs on you tube. I am already a big fan and ordered the cd tonight. I cannot believe this album didn’t take off when it was first released. I hope his widow and son will receive royalties from the re-release. It would be nice to know what happened to him, but I think that it is part of the mystique. Thank you, lightintheattic for bringing his music back!
I listened to part of the album on coastocoastam. I envy the experience of your reaction because I thought it was a total yawn. But, when I first listened to Stan Rodgers on Houston’s
KPFT, I had that kind of reaction. Ditto, Leadbelly.Ditto, the later Beatles.
I can only think that he was murdered and buried out there for some unknown reason. From some experience of mine, from a long time ago, some land owners out in the country hate intoxicated people out around their property. Ouside of a UFO abduction, this should be treated as a homicide. Police investigation records should be made public. There should be no mistakes about whether his wallet and guitar were found in his car or in the motel room, for starters.
“Maggie, i saw a clip on the Jim Sullivan on Youtube and it was confirmed that the body was not that of Jim.”
From what I could figure out, that incident was also being treated as a homicide.
Trippy. Reading this story was a bit eerie. Then I looked down and realized I’m wearing a “Blue Hole” t-shirt. Brainwaves.
I have listened to this album for the last week over and over. i cam to a realization last night. The simplest explanation for what happen to Jimmy Sullivan is her committed suicide. Listening to the song “Johnny” it really sound like Jimmy found a place on the road in New Mexico and decided to see if he could fly. This album are the reflections a tortured soul, all be it a tremendous musician. Like some many others before and after him, he took his own life. Its unfortunate his family was not able to find closure, but if you listen to UFO, its clear that the lyrics are from a person who is clearly in pain and looking for a way out. It makes sense he didn’t take his family with him on his last ditch effort for stardom in Nashville. He didn’t take them because he had no plans of ever reaching Nashville. All told, UFO is a tremendous album, and the greatness of Jimmy Sullivan will never be realized. However, his disappearance is not not a mystery for those willing to face reality, this man decided that life on Earth was not as attractive as death in the desert!
His voice reminds me of Bob Lind’s, especially the way he pronounces certain words, and the pop songs with melancholic lyrics. Could have been an epidode of In Search Of…
I confess I’d never heard of Sullivan before reading this blog post, but I can’t wait to hear his music now.
A strange, eerie story that is told beautifully here. He deserves to be remembered as rock music’s Ambrose Bierce.
Brilliant record. At times, a dusty, Western Scott Walker. Beautiful songs and arrangements.
The second album is now out in remastered form from Korea. Easily available from ebay. For some odd reason, the track order has been changed around though.
Personally, I love the sesond album, despite it not being up to the standard of the first.
Correction to above post: although the CD re-issue lists the songs on the second album in incorrect order, it in fact plays in the original and correct sequence.
My wife and I are taking the highway to Jerome, Ohio today to see if we can spot Jim Sullivan. Wish us luck!
Nope, not there.
Enough with the blogging dipshits and their long lost folkie psychrock genius internet hoaxes. This era and this music were scorned into oblivion for three and half decades for very good reason: they’re cheeseball and ridiculous. It’s not like we didn’t know this stuff was there.
There is an encoded hidden message on the lyrics in Jim’s song “Johnny”; several code breakers have pointed to that. If you have code breaking formation try and STUDY the Lyrics…isolate the info, break the verses…you will see!
were the policemen involved ever found and interviewed? or the motel-owner? here’s a theory. the police did an Easy Rider number on him- classic cops and freaks- doesn’t sound far-fetched does it? then they planted all the evidence so it looked like he disappeared. things like that happened. don’t think they didn’t.
Does anyone know the specific road and ranch where Sullivan’s car was found?
WOW! I was only 7 years old when he mysteriously disappeared, but his music is eerily hauntingly beautiful! The story, was very retrospective. I believe there are 2 scenarios that fit the evidence and both do not bode well for Jim Sullivan, there are a lot of clues that point to him walking into the desert and disappearing of his own volition, he wouldn’t need his car, guitar, wallet or any of the items that a person would need in order to continue in a mortal life on this earth. Leaving his key in the room leads me to believe this is the correct scenario, he wouldn’t need it if he had no intention to come back to the room and leaving his guitar as well, he would know how it would end up if he had taken it with him and he wanted it to be safe.
The other scenario of course would be that events took place on that fateful night that ended his life. Say if some “good ole” boys” from town wanted to educate this ‘hippee’ on the importance of cutting his hair ext… things could have gotten carried away, same could be said for his trip with the Law Enforcement Officers, when they took him to their local office, what REALLY happened ?! It would be a simple matter to dispose of his body, and drive the car 20 miles into the dark, empty desert night, and for a second car to follow the first and pick up who ever drove J.S. car to the middle of the road where it was left. We will never know for sure.. but we can keep him alive by playing, enjoying and sharing his music with others…
I like to believe that Jim Sullivan simply ran away and is still alive and well, an old man travelling the world unaware that he is loved and people are buying his masterpiece UFO
W/ regard to Jim Sully why haven’t his family submitted DNA to NamUs the national missing and unidentified site? He is not in Charlie Project and or Doe Network either! Can you get a hold of them and ask them to file a missing persons report for me so we can get his remains attached to him! Also, what are his height, weight, and did he have any scars or tattoos? This sounds weird he is not being looked for, in those sites. It’s very important. Thank you Christie Groves Forensic Analyst, Seattle, WA.
Great post, and fascinating story.
“UFO” gets all the attention, but honestly, his 1972 s/t album on Playboy’s record label is every bit as good in its own way. I hope that also gets a proper reissue one day.
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