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 corporate rock then was as dominant and dull as the mainstream pop/rap/R&B/Nickelback that dominates today.) That period 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 Monitor, www.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 the arts guide called “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.