Jim Gordon dies; ’70s-era drummer was convicted of killing his mom
Beth Harris | Related Press
LOS ANGELES – Jim Gordon, a session rock ‘n’ roll drummer who performed on traditional information 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 recognized with schizophrenia, spent 4 a long time in jail.
From the mid-Nineteen Sixties to the mid-Nineteen Seventies, few drummers have been in larger demand than Gordon, a Los Angeles native and protégé of versatile session man Hal Blaine. Gordon has been drumming since he was a youngster, 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 advisable Jim,” Blaine informed Rolling Stone journal in 1985. “He was a hell of a drummer. I believed he was one of many actual ones who got here.”
Gordon finally 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 Cross, 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. Considered one of his notable credit was the drum break on the Unimaginable 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, grew to become Derek and the Dominos, one in all rock’s best one-time bands.
Their solely studio album, the double LP Layla and Different Assorted Love Songs, is commonly cited as the head of Clapton’s profession. On the time, he was suffering from an unrequited love for Harrison’s spouse, Patty Boyd, and he channeled his despair into agonizing blues and laborious rock jams corresponding to “Why Does Love Should Be So Unhappy?”, “Bell Backside Blues” and “Seven-Minute title monitor.
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 tune 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 tune that Jim and I wrote, throw out the lyrics, and stick it on the finish of Eric’s tune. 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 have been touring with Joe Cocker when Gordon attacked her one night time in a resort hall. Gordon punched her within the eye, she wrote, “so laborious 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 prices in opposition to 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 informed him to take action.
It wasn’t till his arrest for second-degree homicide that Gordon was recognized with schizophrenia. Gordon was sentenced to 16 years to life with the potential 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 loss of life.
Related Press contributor Hillel Itali contributed to this report.
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