On March 4, 1975, Jim Sullivan mysteriously disappeared outside Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His VW bug was found abandoned, his motel room untouched. Some think he got lost. Some think the mafia bumped him. Some even think he was abducted by aliens.
By coincidence–or perhaps not–Jim’s 1969 debut album was titled U.F.O.. Released in tiny numbers on a private label, it too was truly lost until Light In The Attic Records began a years-long quest to re-release it–and to solve the mystery of Sullivan’s disappearance. Only one of those things happened, and you can guess which…
Light In The Attic’s reissue of U.F.O. introduced the world to an overlooked masterwork and won Sullivan, posthumously (presumably), legions of new fans. Those new admirers are in for a real treat: a lavish, first-time release of a previously unheard 1969 studio session.
If The Evening Were Dawn contains 10 acoustic solo recordings that have never seen the light of day. Whereas U.F.O. was bolstered by legendary sessioneers The Wrecking Crew, this is Jim Sullivan on his own terms, stripped down and soulful as ever. Recorded at a Los Angeles studio circa 1969, the session contains acoustic versions of a handful of U.F.O. tracks alongside a half dozen previously unheard songs. This, then, is the closest thing to those fabled Malibu bar performances at which Sullivan was first noticed.
According to his widow, Barbara, this was the album Jim always hoped to record. It serves as an unprecedented glimpse into the mysterious, larger-than-life figure who’s become the stuff of legends.
While Sullivan’s disappearance remains unsolved, his music endures and is finally gaining him the recognition he deserves, albeit long overdue. This recording serves as an unexpected missing piece of the puzzle; this is Jim Sullivan’s true swan song.