Jim Gordon, the famed session drummer who killed mom, dies : NPR

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Jim Gordon, the famed session drummer who killed mom, dies : NPR
Jim Gordon, the famed session drummer who killed mom, dies : NPR


LOS ANGELES — Jim Gordon, the famed session drummer who backed Eric Clapton and The Seaside Boys earlier than being recognized with schizophrenia and going to jail for killing his mom, has died. He was 77.

Gordon died Monday on the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, the state Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed Thursday. It is believed he died of pure causes, however the official trigger will likely be decided by the Solano County coroner.

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Gordon was the drummer within the blues-rock supergroup Derek and the Dominos, led by Clapton. He performed on their 1970 double album “Layla and Different Assorted Love Songs” and toured with them.

Gordon was credited with contributing the elegiac piano coda for “Layla.” The group’s keyboardist Bobby Whitlock later claimed Gordon took the piano melody from his then-girlfriend, singer Rita Coolidge, and did not give her credit score.

Coolidge wrote in her 2016 memoir “Delta Woman” that the music was known as “Time” when she and Gordon wrote it. They performed it for Clapton once they went to England to file with him.

“I used to be infuriated,” Coolidge wrote. “What they’d clearly finished was take the music Jim and I had written, jettisoned the lyrics, and tacked it on to the tip of Eric’s music. It was virtually the identical association.”

Coolidge mentioned she took solace in the truth that Gordon’s music royalties went to his daughter, Amy.

Gordon may be heard on George Harrison’s first post-Beatles album “All Issues Should Move,” The Seaside Boys’ “Pet Sounds” album, and Steely Dan’s 1974 music “Rikki Do not Lose That Quantity.”

He additionally labored with Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, The Byrds, Judy Collins, Alice Cooper, Crosby Stills & Nash, Delaney & Bonnie, Neil Diamond, Artwork Garfunkel, Merle Haggard, Corridor & Oates, Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Barbra Streisand, amongst others.

Gordon’s psychological well being finally declined.

In 1970, Gordon was a part of Joe Cocker’s famed “Mad Canines & Englishmen” tour, together with Coolidge, then a backup singer earlier than occurring to a profitable solo profession.

She wrote in her memoir that one night time in a resort hallway, Gordon hit her within the eye “so laborious that I used to be lifted off the ground and slammed in opposition to the wall on the opposite facet of the hallway.” She was briefly knocked unconscious.

With two weeks left of the tour, Coolidge carried out with a black eye. She did not file battery costs in opposition to Gordon however did signal a restraining order, and their relationship ended.

In June 1983, he attacked his 71-year-old mom, Osa Gordon, with a hammer after which fatally stabbed her with a butcher knife. He claimed {that a} voice advised him to do it.

It wasn’t till after his arrest for second-degree homicide that Gordon was recognized with schizophrenia.

Gordon was sentenced to 16 years to life in jail with the potential of parole. Nevertheless, he was denied parole a number of occasions after not attending any of the hearings and remained in jail till his dying.

Born James Beck Gordon on July 14, 1945, within the Sherman Oaks part of Los Angeles, he started his skilled profession at age 17, backing The Everly Brothers.

Gordon was a member of The Wrecking Crew, a famed group of Los Angeles-based session musicians who performed on a whole bunch of hits within the Sixties and ’70s.

He was a protégé of drum legend Hal Blaine.

“Once I did not have the time, I really helpful Jim,” Blaine advised Rolling Stone in 1985. “He was one hell of a drummer. I assumed he was one of many actual comers.”

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