Jim Gordon dies; ’70s drummer convicted of murdering his mom
Beth Harris | Related Press
LOS ANGELES – Jim Gordon, a session rock ‘n’ roll drummer who performed on basic data by Eric Clapton, George Harrison and The Seashore Boys however suffered from rising psychological well being issues and spent the second half of his life in jail for killing his mom . died at age 77.
Gordon died Monday on the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, the State Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed Thursday. He’s believed to have died of pure causes, however the official trigger shall be decided by the Solano County Coroner. Gordon, who was identified with schizophrenia, spent 4 many years in jail.
From the mid-Nineteen Sixties to the mid-Nineteen Seventies, few drummers had been in higher demand than Gordon, a Los Angeles native and protégé of versatile session man Hal Blaine. Gordon has been drumming since he was an adolescent, and early in his profession was a part of Phil Spector’s famed studio ensemble The Wrecking Crew, which included Blaine.
“Once I didn’t have time, I beneficial Jim,” Blaine advised Rolling Stone journal in 1985. “He was a hell of a drummer. I assumed he was one of many actual ones who got here.”
Gordon ultimately performed on the enduring experimental songs “Pet Sounds” by the Seashore Boys and “The Infamous Byrd Brothers” by the Byrds, Harrison’s post-Beatle triple album All Issues Should Go, and Steely Dan’s jazz-rock album Pretzel Logic. “. He has labored with many well-known artists, from Joan Baez and Jackson Browne to Merle Haggard and Tom Petty. Certainly one of his notable credit was the drum break on the Unbelievable Bongo Band’s “Apache”, which was incessantly utilized by rap artists together with Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes and Kool Moe Dee.
Gordon additionally toured with Clapton, bassist Carl Radle, and keyboardist Bobby Whitlock: the core of what, in 1970, turned Derek and the Dominos, certainly one of rock’s best one-time bands.
Their solely studio album, the double LP Layla and Different Assorted Love Songs, is usually cited as the head of Clapton’s profession. On the time, he was affected by an unrequited love for Harrison’s spouse, Patty Boyd, and he channeled his despair into agonizing blues and onerous rock jams equivalent to “Why Does Love Should Be So Unhappy?”, “Bell Backside Blues” and “Seven-Minute title observe.
The primary half of “Layla” was a high-profile present for Clapton and visitor guitarist Dwayne Allman, the second half a mournful piano coda of controversial origin. Gordon was formally credited because the co-writer of “Layla”, however Whitlock later claimed that Gordon took the piano melody from his then-girlfriend, singer Rita Coolidge. In her 2016 memoir Delta Girl, Coolidge wrote that the track was known as “Time” when she and Gordon wrote it. They later performed it for Clapton, who Coolidge claimed used it for “Layla”.
“I used to be livid,” Coolidge wrote. “What they clearly did was take a track that Jim and I wrote, throw out the lyrics, and stick it on the finish of Eric’s track. It was nearly the identical association.”
By the early Nineteen Seventies, Gordon was already turning into a hazard to others. Coolidge wrote in her memoirs that the couple had been touring with Joe Cocker when Gordon attacked her one evening in a resort hall. Gordon punched her within the eye, she wrote, “so onerous that I used to be lifted off the ground and hit the wall on the opposite facet of the hall.” She briefly misplaced consciousness.
Two weeks earlier than the tour, Coolidge carried out with a black eye. She didn’t press costs towards Gordon for battery, however she signed a restraining order and their relationship ended.
In June 1983, Gordon attacked his 71-year-old mom Osa Gordon with a hammer and mortally wounded her with a butcher’s knife. He claimed that the voice advised him to take action.
It wasn’t till his arrest for second-degree homicide that Gordon was identified with schizophrenia. Gordon was sentenced to 16 years to life with the opportunity of parole.
Nevertheless, he was denied parole a number of instances after failing to attend any of the hearings and remained in jail till his demise.
Related Press contributor Hillel Itali contributed to this report.
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