Legendary Drummer and Convicted Murderer Jim Gordon Dead at 77 - Noise11.com
Derek and the Dominos

Legendary Drummer and Convicted Murderer Jim Gordon Dead at 77

by Paul Cashmere on March 16, 2023

in News

Jim Gordon, the legendary drummer who also murdered his mother and was sentenced to 16 years in jail, has died at the age of 77.

Gordon murdered his 72-year old mother in 1983. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sentenced in 1984 for the 16 year sentence but continued to remain in prison deemed still seriously psychologically incapacitated and a danger if released. He was denied parole a 10th time in 2018 and served the rest of his life in a California psychiatric prison.

Jim Gordon the drummer for the one-off Eric Clapton project Derek and the Dominos. His work is impressive. His credits include:

The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’
Jackson Browne ‘The Pretender’
Eric Clapton ‘Eric Clapton’
Joe Cocker ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Alice Cooper ‘Goes To Hell’ and ‘Lace and Whiskey’
Crosby Stills & Nash ‘Crosby Stills & Nash’
Neil Diamond ‘Beautiful Noise’
Hall & Oates ‘Bigger Than Both of Us’
John Lennon ‘Power to the People’
Harry Nilsson ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’
George Harrison ‘All Things Must Pass’, ‘Living In The Material World’
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers ‘Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’
Steely Dan ‘Pretzel Logic’
Barbra Streisand ‘Barbra Joan Streisand’
Tom Waits ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’
Carly Simon ‘No Secrets’
Leon Russell ‘Leon Russell and the Shelter People’

JULY 14, 1945 – MARCH 13, 2023

Musician Jim Gordon, one of rock’s all-time greatest drummers, died Monday from natural causes at California Medical Facility in Vacavillle, CA., after a long incarceration and lifelong battle with mental illness. He was 77 years old.

As one of the elite Hollywood studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew and member of landmark rock bands such as Derek and the Dominos, Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Gordon was known as one of the most gifted drummers in rock history.

He brought uncommon percussive brilliance to some of the best-known records of his lifetime with the Beach Boys, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and countless others. As a session musician, he played on number one hits by Gordon Lightfoot, Steely Dan, Carly Simon and Harry Nilsson, among the thousands of recording sessions he packed into his illustrious fifteen-year career. He played an important part in the music of artists across the spectrum of pop music — from Merle Haggard to Frank Zappa, Joan Baez to Tom Petty.

The San Fernando Valley native began his professional career the day after he graduated high school in 1963 with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame charter members the Everly Brothers. He cut his teeth as a session musician on hit records by Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Glen Campbell, among many others, before joining the royal court of British rock as a member of Derek and the Dominoes. Gordon is co-author of the band’s classic rock masterpiece “Layla.”

He leaves behind one of the most extraordinary bodies of recorded work by any drummer of his generation.


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