Big Jim Sullivan, 71, an acclaimed session guitarist who played on dozens of rock ‘n’ roll and pop hits in the 1960s and ‘70s, died Tuesday at his home in West Sussex, England, said his wife, Norma. He suffered from heart disease and diabetes.
Sullivan learned guitar as a teenager and turned professional when he was 16. He played with many of the biggest names in British pop at the height of the “Swinging London” era.
Along with Jimmy Page, who would later star in Led Zeppelin, Sullivan was one of the most in-demand session guitarists of his era. His website lists sessions with Tom Jones, Marianne Faithfull, David Bowie, Gerry and the Pacemakers and many others. He claimed to have played on more than 1,000 singles that entered the British charts.
Sullivan, known for his mastery of a wide variety of styles, also toured with Tom Jones’ band from 1969 to ’74, playing in Las Vegas casino hotels and on television shows.
-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports