In 2009, the world lost one incredible musician. Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan was best known as the drummer, songwriter, co-lead vocalist and founding member of Avenged Sevenfold. Here’s 5 facts not everyone knows about him.

1. He received his first pair of drum sticks at the age of five, but after only two weeks he quit his drumming lessons because his drum teacher wouldn’t let him play on the drum set. The Rev got his very own first drum kit at the age of ten.

5 years old

2. His early influences included Frank Zappa and King Crimson. The Rev said in a Modern Drummer Magazine interview that “I was raised on that stuff as much as rock and metal.”

In first band, “Pinkly Smooth”

3. In 1999, when he was 18 years old, The Rev got together with Matthew Sanders, Matt Wendt and Zackary Baker and decided to form a band. Everyone in the band had been assigned to come up with a list of names for the band. Only Matthew followed through with the assignment. The band settled with the name Avenged Sevenfold.

Avenged Sevenfold, Early Days

4. He wrote many of A7X’s songs, including Afterlife, Bat Country and Almost Easy.

The Rev

5. Nightmare is the first A7X record without James “The Rev” Sullivan performing drums on all the songs due to his death in December 2009; however he did write parts that were used for the final recordings, making this the last album he would write on. The Rev’s vocals are still on the album as a tribute to him. This is the only A7X album to feature Mike Portnoy on drums.

Sometimes it’s just meant to be – a group of people comes together and history happens.