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Big Jim Sullivan

An English musician, whose career started in 1959.

Born in Uxbridge, Middlesex, England, he was best known as a session guitarist.

In the 1960s and 1970s he was one of the most "in-demand" studio musicians in the UK and performed in more than one thousand charting singles over his career.

Sullivan was born at Uxbridge Hospital and he went to Woodfield Secondary School in Cranford, London.

In 1959, at The 2i's Coffee Bar, he met Marty Wilde and was invited to become a member of his backing group, the Wildcats who were the warm up act on Oh, Boy!. Wilde bought Sullivan a Gibson Les Paul. It was the first to be played in Britain.

Sullivan joined Tom Jones and it was during his time in Las Vegas that Sullivan met and formed a friendship with Elvis Presley.

He was an innovator of the talk box which he demonstrated on Jones's TV Show.

Sullivan teamed up with Derek Lawrence, a record producer whose credits include Deep Purple and Wishbone Ash, to form a record label named Retreat Records. They produced various artists over a period of about two years. Among these artists were Labi Siffre, Chas & Dave and McGuinness Flint. Sullivan produced and arranged Labi Siffre's "I Got The . . ." which was sampled by Eminem.

He fronted a band called Tiger (alongside vocalist Nicky Moore), releasing three albums under this name.

Lawrence and Sullivan went to the United States during this period, to produce the glam metal band, Angel
Starting in 1987, Sullivan composed music for films and advertising jingles.

More recently, Sullivan and guitarist Doug Pruden have been touring as the BJS Duo, and he also played in the Big Jim Sullivan Band with Duncan McKenzie, Malcolm Mortimore and Pete Shaw.

He was the resident guitarist at Top of the Pops and Ready Steady Go!. He also helped out at Saturday Club.
A feature of the Bay City Rollers' UK TV Show Shang A Lang was Sullivan giving them guitar lessons.
He composed the score for an episode of the science fiction series, Space: 1999 ("The Troubled Spirit"), in which he also appeared and performed part of the score on screen, as a crew member giving a sitar concert.

Under the guidance of Vilayat Khan, Sullivan learned to play the sitar and released two albums of sitar music. He also plays sitar on a musical interpretation of the Kama Sutra. Sullivan practised the sitar with George Harrison at George's Esher bungalow.

Jim Sullivan died 2nd of October, 2012. Aged 71.
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