Jim Gordon, A drummer who played on derek and the dominoes Laila And Other Mixed Love Songs And the Beach Boys’ pet sound, died on Monday at the age of 77. The musician, who suffered from schizophrenia and was serving a prison sentence for the 1983 murder of his mother, died at a state-run medical facility in Vacaville, California. Publicist Bob Merlis confirmed Gordon’s death in a statement, saying that Gordon died of natural causes.
In addition to his incredible list of recordings, Gordon is also noted for sharing a songwriting credit on “Layla” with Eric Clapton, as he was credited for the song’s famous piano coda. (Organist Bobby Whitlock has since claimed that Gordon stole parts written by Gordon’s ex-girlfriend, Rita Coolidge. Coolidge also accused Gordon of physical abuse.)
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before layla album, however, Gordon – who was born James Beck Gordon on July 14, 1945 and grew up in Sherman Oaks, California – was a member of a group of session players called the Wrecking Crew, which featured drum legend Hal was a protégé of Blaine. “When I didn’t have time,” said Blaine. Rolling stone In 1985, “I recommended Jim. He was a hell of a drummer. I thought he was one of the real comers.
Gordon’s drumming features on recordings by John Lennon, Cher, The Byrds (the infamous bird brothers), Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits (heart of saturday night), Neil Diamond, George Harrison (all things Must Pass), Yoko Ono, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mel Torme and many more. He can be heard on Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas,” and Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind.”
Gordon, Rank number 59 But Rolling stoneListed as the 100 greatest drummers of all time, despite his brief career, he was so highly regarded for his precision and craft that he was the go-to session go-to for some of rock’s most notorious perfectionists, including Frank Zappa (who also listed him). Became a drummer. Along with his Grand Wazoo Band”apostrophe,” for which Gordon received a co-writing credit) and Steely Dan, who hired Gordon to play on his 1974 LP. pretzel logic and that album’s hit “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.”
Gordon also served as drummer on one half of Harry Nilsson’s classic nielson schmilsonand provided the famous drum solo on that album’s “Jump Into the Fire”, which – like “Layla” – later soundtracked a key sequence in the film. goodfellas,
Gordon became an unlikely figure in the rise of hip-hop after DJ Kool Herc inspired Bronx dancers with Gordon’s drum break from The Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache”. Herc recalled, “Everybody started looking for the right beat, trying to break that record.” “They still can’t beat that record to this day.”
However, by the mid-seventies, Gordon began to have problems with addiction. “I guess I was an alcoholic,” he said Rolling stone In 1985. “Before, I drank every night, but I didn’t wake up in the morning to drink; I’ll stick a needle in my arm. When I stopped taking heroin, I started drinking all day.” He started hearing voices in his head, and by the late seventies, his mother urged him to seek help. He checked into a psychiatric hospital, where he told doctors that his mother was his “only friend”.
Whitlock reported, “He used to talk to me about hearing voices, but I told him it was his consciousness speaking.” Rolling stone in 2013. “He said it was someone else. Obviously he never stopped or even moderated his drug and alcohol use. The end result was the destruction of his family.
“I can’t face being outside anymore,” Gordon said. “Voices were following me. Driving me to different places. starving me I was only allowed to eat a morsel of food. And, if I disobeyed, the voices would blast me with rage, like the Hulk gets.
As Gordon’s mental state deteriorated, so did his standing in the music industry, and despite more than a dozen voluntary visits to psychiatric hospitals, he was never diagnosed with a mental illness. While there were many voices in Gordon’s mind, the most prominent was that of his mother, who became louder and more strident in his head, Gordon said, even threatening to destroy his gold records. and forcing him to abscond from the gig, as did Paul Anka’s drummer. A Las Vegas Residence.
On June 3, 1983, Gordon murdered his mother, Osa Marie Gordon, with a hammer and a butcher knife. The following year, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. “I was not interested in killing [my mother]”Gordon Said Rolling stone in 1985, “I wanted to stay away from her. I had no way out. It was so real, like I was being guided around like a zombie. She wanted me to kill her, and get rid of her.”
Clapton said, “I didn’t know he had a psychotic history of seeing and hearing voices from an early age.” Rolling stone In 1991. “It was never clear when we were working together. It just seemed like bad vibes, worst vibes. I would never have said that he was going insane. For me, it was just drugs.
While Gordon has been eligible for parole for decades, he has never attended hearings on his own behalf, including in 2013 and 2018, when a parole board deemed he still posed “an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety”.
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