Jim Gordon, the ‘Layla’ drummer who killed his mom, dies at 77

Jim Gordon, the famed session drummer who backed Eric Clapton and The Seashore Boys earlier than being identified 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’s believed he died of pure causes, however the official trigger will likely be decided by the Solano County coroner.

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 Other 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 didn’t give her credit score.

Coolidge wrote in her 2016 memoir “Delta Lady” that the track was known as “Time” when she and Gordon wrote it. They performed it for Clapton after they went to England to document with him.

“I was infuriated,” Coolidge wrote. “What they’d clearly done was take the song Jim and I had written, jettisoned the lyrics, and tacked it on to the end of Eric’s song. It was almost the same arrangement.”

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

Gordon will be heard on George Harrison’s first post-Beatles album “All Things Must Pass,” The Seashore Boys’ “Pet Sounds” album, and Steely Dan’s 1974 track “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.”

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 ultimately declined.

In 1970, Gordon was a part of Joe Cocker’s famed “Mad Dogs & 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 hard that I was lifted off the floor and slammed against the wall on the other side of the hallway.” She was briefly knocked unconscious.

With two weeks left of the tour, Coolidge carried out with a black eye. She didn’t file battery expenses towards 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 instructed him to do it.

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

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

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 lots of of hits within the Sixties and ’70s.

He was a protégé of drum legend Hal Blaine.

“When I didn’t have the time, I recommended Jim,” Blaine instructed Rolling Stone in 1985. “He was one hell of a drummer. I thought he was one of the real comers.”

The Related Press contributed to this text.

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