Man On A Mission, Or: How A Light In The Attic Release Gets Made (Part One)

DeNirosword

The reissue business is fraught with Byzantine twists and turns. Every release is a saga unto itself, inevitably marked by numerous hair-pulling obstacles – everything from legal wranglings with labels, to figuring out who owns the rights to master tapes – each of which impacts a project’s timetable. By the time Light in the Attic finally releases a title, the process might have taken several years. Overcoming those impediments to produce a record we’re proud of makes the job all the more rewarding.

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Light in the Attic co-founder Matt Sullivan is currently in the midst of a stubbornly ornery endeavor. For an upcoming reissue of the album U.F.O. from the folk singer Jim Sullivan (no relation to our Sullivan), Matt has encountered all manner of roadblocks in his quest to finish this release. He’s been keeping us abreast of the developments surrounding the project, and we thought his reports would lend some insight into what it takes to make reissue magic. The following is the first in a series of dispatches from Matt’s sojourn:

“After trying to find this man for eight months, I am getting close. Earlier this week, I knocked on the door of the Beverly Hills home of Jimmy Bond a.k.a. James E. Bond – bassist/string arranger/album producer for the upcoming Light in the Attic reissue of Jim Sullivan’s 1969 album “U.F.O.,” and quite possibly the only man on the planet who may have the original analog master tapes of the album, or at the very least, could answer a few questions about this mysterious record.

(After breaking up with his wife and leaving Los Angeles for Nashville, Jim Sullivan disappeared in the New Mexico desert in March 1975. He checked into a hotel outside Albuquerque, and soon after, his car, wallet and guitar were all found, but no Jim. No one’s seen or heard from him since. I’ve visited his family in San Diego. Sadly, they have no clues to what happened thirty-five years ago).

I knock on Jimmy Bond’s door. No answer. I then knock on Bond’s neighbor’s door, who informs me that Bond’s home got foreclosed five months ago. She hasn’t heard from him since. No wonder the packages I repeatedly sent kept coming back. I asked the neighbor for some clues. She had nothing, but I handed her a stack of Light in the Attic CDs, a letter to Bond, a business card and a CD-R of the record, and begged her to somehow get the package to Jimmy. I left bummed, but more obsessed now.

The next day, I hire a private detective to find a phone number for Bond. I’m told this P.I. can find anyone. A few hours later, he’s located a home number (the same one I’ve left 10 messages on since Christmas) and a cell phone number, which I keep calling and calling and calling. Eventually, I break down and leave a message. I get no reply. Both numbers have those generic computerized voice-mail messages, so who knows if it’s actually him. Yesterday, the husband of his old neighbor randomly sends me a couple e-mails. The second one had a number for Bond’s cousin. I’m told his cousin would often come over and take care of him. I am close!

Wish me luck.  Tomorrow may be the day.  Forgive me, I had to share this anticipation with someone.”