On the back window of a vehicle parked on a well-kept street in a neighborhood near Central Library, there is a sticker for the band Avenged Sevenfold. While you’d be right in assuming that the vehicle belongs to a big fan, which fan might surprise you. It’s not one of the millions of high school or college kids who have helped make this innovative, intense metal band one of the hottest in the world right now. Rather, the vehicle belongs to Joe Sullivan, the drummer’s dad.
Joe and Barbara Sullivan, who have lived in the same comfortable Huntington Beach house since 1977, may not look like rock ’n’ roll parents. Spend some time with them, though, and you’ll realize how deceptive looks can be. Since their son Jim (a.k.a. “The Rev”) hit it big (literally and figuratively) with Avenged Sevenfold, they’ve become industry experts.
They can just as easily discuss the importance of merchandise sales as they can the financial implications of headlining a gig versus being an opening act — and most importantly, they love the music. Raising their son, 28, in this house along with sisters Kelly and Katie, they knew early on that Jim’s life might involve percussion.