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In The Pipeline:

A farewell from the Rev

Avenged Sevenfold drummer leaves demos — and a poignant message — after his untimely death.

February 12, 2010|By Chris Epting

As tough as it is to recount, Barbara also wants fans to be aware of some other things. “I want to share with the people who cared about him that Jimmy died peacefully, in his sleep,” she says. “No coroner’s report yet, but she did tell me that his heart just quietly stopped. I am thankful that he was home instead of on the road, that he was not alone, that he was on top of the world, that I got to spend a lot of time with him in the last few months, and that he will be remembered with a smile by so many.”

This past Christmas day, Jimmy told his mom he had a surprise for her. She asked what it was. He told her that the band’s album “City if Evil” had gone platinum. But she already knew this. What was the surprise? She was puzzled.

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He passed away just several days later. Just days after that, the surprise arrived: Jimmy had ordered five customized copies of the platinum album, framed with the album cover art and inscribed to family members. One for Joe, one for Barbara, one for each of his two sisters and one for his brother-in-law. Looking at two of the framed pieces in the living room, it says a lot about the young man.

It was one final gesture that defined Joe and Barbara’s big-hearted, life-of-the-party, over-the-top kid who, though he may have been a successful drummer in a wildly popular band, never took the thrill for granted — and never missed an opportunity to share his excitement with his family.

I ask Barbara if I can mention the story for this column. “Oh, I think his fans would like to know about this. He loved those fans so much. And this is just another one of those things that made Jimmy, well — Jimmy.”

It made him Jimmy. And it made him “The Rev,” a rock and roll hero from Huntington Beach who, for many, will live on forever. Or rather, in a spelling his fans have embraced, “FoREVer.”


CHRIS EPTING is the author of 17 books, including the new “Huntington Beach Then & Now.” You can write him at chris@chrisepting.com .

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