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Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan

As a high school baseball player growing up in Maine, I used to pump myself up for games by playing Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power. The ultimate adrenaline rush. My friends and team mates didn't quite get it – they liked Chicago (the band). But that was OK: the punk rock revolution was around the corner, and that's where my musical taste locked in with many others, bored with corporate rock. (Irony coroporate rock then was as domiant and dull as the mainstream pop/rap/R&B/Nickelback that dominatestoday.) That perod was a time of extreme excitement (friction, joy, conflict) that helped inspire me to write about what I loved. And, it opened the doors to even more worlds. Hence, in a sense, this column.

After graduating from the University of Maine, I moved to Boston in 1978. I started writing freelance music reviews and features for the Boston Globe the following year and went to Boston University, earning an M.S. in Journalism. I also wrote for various national music publications – most now defunct (The Record, Creem, Music-Sound Output, etc.) – broadened my taste and sharpened my critical faculties. I found Boston most fascinating, the local rock scene and the many national and international bands that came in. Maybe it wasn't New York or L.A., but most anything that hit those cities hit ours, too, and the diversity of the arts scene in general was most impressive.

I joined the Globe staff in 1988, writing for virtually every section of the paper, but specializing in pop music and culture. I wrote "Names & Faces" in 2000-1, did a stint at Calendar, and then wrote many of the "Daily GO!" columns in 2004-5, again finding out more and more about the Boston arts world and what it had to offer. I left in the summer of 2005.

Since, among things, I've freelanced for the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Herald, Boston Common, the Christian Science Monitorwww.halloffamemagzine.com, www.yankeemagazine.com (Yankee magazine on line), the Cape Cod Times, and Playgirl (Yes, a ribald ride with Amanda Palmer!). I write a yearly profile for Where magazine's Guest Book, and do this column, www.JimSullivanInk.com. It's an expansion, in some ways, of what I did at the Globe with "GO!" but a little more, uh, free-form. The aim: to steer you toward the best of what Boston has to offer in a variety of arts and entertainment areas – and to provide you with a good, snappy read.

List of articles in the library by artist

ABBA: Mamma Mia! ABBA's Music Is Bjorn Again

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 2001

ABBA: the band whose biographical entry begins every pop music encyclopedia; the Swedish quartet composed of two couples — Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus and ...

Alice Cooper Box Set Keeps The Horror Alive

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, May 1999

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT may be a divisive issue in America, but it has been very good to Alice Cooper. ...

The Beastie Boys: Crude, Rude and No. 1

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, April 1987

CLEVELAND — Mike D. and MCA, two-thirds of the Beastie Boys, are sitting in MCA's hotel room after the group's concert. MCA is picking out ...

David Bowie Lands In The Jungle

Interview by Jim Sullivan, JimSullivanInk.com, November 2013

N.B. This interview is taken from a story originally printed in the Boston Globe on 9 February 1997 ...

Brian Eno Before And After Pop

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 1997

BRIAN ENO has a theory. Actually, Eno has lots of theories — the 48-year-old, English-born musician probably leads the rock 'n' roll league in this ...

Bryan Ferry Follows His Muse To Make The R&B Taxi

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, May 1993

BRYAN FERRY spent Sunday afternoon, a splendid sunny day, strolling the Boston Common and being impressed all over again as to how fine Boston looked ...

Bryan Ferry: Tangled Up In Bob

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Phoenix, The, June 2007

"DYLANESQUE" isn't what comes to mind when you think of the suave, new-romantic, once-and-future frontman of Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry. But time and again throughout ...

Butthole Surfers: The Butthole Surfers Ride A New Wave Of Popularity

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 1996

HAS THE WORLD gone mad? Gibby Haynes, lead singer-songwriter of the Butthole Surfers, thinks it's a distinct possibility — and he spoke with us several ...

The Buzzcocks: Ageless Punk Rockers And The AARP

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Christian Science Monitor, Fall 2007

I WAS WORKING in the home office the other day, and all of a sudden I heard the bright melody and chorus of a favorite ...

Captain Sensible, The Damned: The Damned's Captain Sensible

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Phoenix, The, March 2009

THE Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Jam — they get punk rock respect more than three decades down the pike, but their contemporaries the Damned ...

Cocteau Twins, Mazzy Star: Cocteau Twins/Mazzy Star: Orpheum Theater, Boston

Live Review by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, November 1990

Impassioned Vagueness Of Cocteau Twins ...

Elvis Costello: This Year's Elvis Costello

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, January 2014

IT WAS 1983. Six years Elvis Costello had been in the public eye — but it had also been six years of antipathy toward the ...

The Cure: Robert Smith Gets Happy

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, November 1997

After 18 years, The Cure's leader discovers fun ...

David Byrne's New Feelings

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1997

The former Talking Head gets comfortable with his outsider status ...

David Gilmour, Pink Floyd: David Gilmour: Life After Pink Floyd

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, May 1984

PINK FLOYD is one of the most popular bands in the history of rock 'n' roll. Pink Floyd is also one of rock 'n' roll's ...

Ray Davies, The Kinks: Ray Davies

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, September 1981

MINNEAPOLIS: "It's like death in here," Ray Davies says, inauspiciously welcoming me into Marquette Inn room 1453. The shades are drawn, no lights are on. ...

Devo: We Are Devo

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Phoenix, The, June 2008

The return of Akron's finest... ...

Evan Dando, The Lemonheads: Evan Dando: Reckless Idol Through The Lens Darkly

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, September 1996

GAY HEAD — It's nearing summer's end on Martha's Vineyard, and Evan Dando, the 29-year-old guiding voice and vision of the Lemonheads, is chilling on ...

The Fall: The Crankiest Band From The UK

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1993

MARK E. SMITH, leader of the long-running English post-punk band The Fall, says these sorts of things invariably happen to him. ...

Peter Gabriel: TD Garden, Boston

Live Review by Jim Sullivan, Cape Cod Times, September 2012

THERE WAS music and magic at TD Garden on Monday, lots of it. Peter Gabriel was on stage for more than two hours and there ...

Bob Geldof Shifts Gears, Returns To Irish Roots

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, September 1990

HE'S BEST KNOWN AS the driving force behind 1985's Live Aid project, and he still serves on the foundation's board of trustees. ...

George Clinton: Keeping It Crazy: George Clinton Stirs Up the Funk

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, October 1999

WHEN THE NEXT millennium beckons, George Clinton — ageless funkateer, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, the Atomic Dog himself — will be in Fiji, ...

GWAR Spreads Blood-And-Guts Satire Around

Report and Interview by Jim Sullivan, JimSullivanInk.com, March 2014

DAVE BROCKIE — the world knew him as Oderus Urungus — died at 50. (No cause of death given yet.) ...

Richard Hell: Go Now

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 1996

RICHARD HELL had an idea earlier this year. ...

Iggy Pop: What's It Like To Be Iggy Pop?

Interview by Jim Sullivan, JimSullivanInk.com, 2010

NB This article contains material taken from a story originally printed in The Boston Globe on July 8, 1990 ...

The Jam: The Channel, Boston

Live Review by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, June 1981

Still Charging Hard On The Punk Rock Line ...

Leonard Cohen

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 1993

LEONARD COHEN does not mind taking extreme positions in his songs. In 1966, he kissed off the memory of a tryst with Janis Joplin in ...

Jerry Lee Lewis: A Ride In A Limo With The Killer

Interview by Jim Sullivan, JimSullivanInk.com, September 2013

N.B. This interview is taken from a 1985 story originally printed in the Boston Globe and later syndicated in other US papers, as well as ...

Metallica Moves to Center Stage

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, March 1989

LAKELAND, Fl. — Just as Metallica helped change the face of the Grammys — it was one of five acts nominated for the first-ever hard-rock/metal ...

Morrissey

Review and Interview by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, December 2013

N.B. This article combines a live review written in 2009 for the Boston Herald and an interview conducted in 1995 for the Boston Globe. ...

New Order: Peter Hook & The Light Bring New Order to Life. His Way.

Interview by Jim Sullivan, JimSullivanInk.com, September 2013

"TO BE in one band that changed the world musically is pretty good; but to be in two bands that changed the world musically, that's ...

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: The Nick Cave View: It's Dark Inside

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 1992

NICK CAVE, the lanky singer-songwriter of the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, is not one to mince words, even — or especially — if ...

Roy Orbison: King of Hearts: Roy Orbison Revisited after 25 Years

Retrospective and Interview by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, November 2013

ROY ORBISON played what turned out to be his last concert, December 4, 1988 at the Front Row Theatre in Highland Heights, not far from ...

Pete Townshend: A Charter Member Of The Who Deals With The Paradoxes In His Life

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, November 1985

THE SUBJECT IS drug abuse — heroin, cocaine and alcohol — and the speaker is Pete Townshend, former lead guitarist of The Who. Townshend, 40, ...

Puff Daddy's New CD, Forever, Means A Chance For Promotion

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1999

THE SWITCH is flipped and the thin figure dressed in white, wearing a cap and dark glasses, sporting thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry and ...

The Ramones' Last Tour: Rocket To Retirement

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, February 1996

"I THINK we're leaving an historical legacy," says Joey Ramone. "We really changed rock 'n' roll. When we came out in '74, rock 'n' roll ...

Lou Reed: On The Wild Side

Retrospective by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, October 2013

I WAS TALKING with Lou Reed in his New York office, Sister Ray Enterprises, in 1996 and Reed was dressed, as usual, in a plain ...

Roxy Music: Out Of The Blue, Roxy Music Is Back

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, July 2001

AFTER BLAZING a dazzling art-rock trail during the early 1970s, after establishing themselves as the epitome of pop elegance through the early 1980s, and after ...

Ryuichi Sakamoto Goes Avant-Classical

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, February 1998

THE LAST TIME I saw Ryuichi Sakamoto he was jumping about on the stage of the Paradise, tweaking and twiddling synthesizer knobs, wearing a Devo-esque, ...

The Sex Pistols: Never Mind Their Principles, Here's The Sex Pistols

Report and Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1996

FAIRFAX, Va. — Johnny Rotten is up to his old tricks. He's baiting the crowd — calling those seated in the loge "sissies" — and ...

Nancy Sinatra: Walkin' Again

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, May 1995

IF YOU KNOW one thing about Nancy Sinatra, it's her signature song — and may we suggest it's one of The Signature Songs of All ...

Spinal Tap Redux

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, December 2013

I LISTENED to some of it in my youth, but spent most of my post-teenage years trying to avoid this crap: pandering, patronizing, mono-dimensional, unimaginative ...

Spiritualized

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1997

THEY ARE NOT the next big band from Britain and they could not care less. If one of their albums sold millions of copies, well, ...

Suicide: Ground Zero, Cambridge, MA

Review by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, June 1990

Suicide's Minimalistic Songs Have A Sexy, Dangerous Sound ...

Tom Waits: The Long Waits: Return Of An Ageless Artist

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, September 1999

THERE ARE artists — like, say, Cher — who manage to appear forever young. And then there is Tom Waits, who always seemed old before ...

Tina Turner

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, January 2014

"BABY, baby, baby you're out of time," sang Tina Turner near the end of a show in Boston back in 1981. ...

XTC: On Pop's High Road with XTC

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, June 1992

IT'S FAIR TO assume that some people hate their names. But what about rock bands? You can practically hear XTC's Andy Partridge groan over the ...

Neil Young

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, September 1984

IN 1970, Neil Young went to Nashville during a break in his solo tour and recorded the song 'Are You Ready For The Country?'. He ...

Warren Zevon: Keep Him In Your Heart For a While: Remembering Warren Zevon

Retrospective by Jim Sullivan, Rock's Backpages, September 2013

IT WAS THE FALL of 1989 and I was having lunch with Warren Zevon at Musso & Frank's, the famous Old Hollywood restaurant where he ...

Warren Zevon Flinches at Life Without Humor

Report and Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, 1993

LAST SUMMER, as he was in the early stages of playing concerts being taped for a live album, Warren Zevon decided the album would be ...

List of genre pieces

The Needle And The Damage Done

Report by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1996

"I've seen the needle and the damage done / A little part of it in everyone / But every junkie's like a setting sun" — ...

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