This article was last updated on March 17, 2023
Jim Gordon Drummer dies at 77
According to his publicist, Bob Merlis, Jim Gordon has passed away at the age of 77 from natural causes at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California. Gordon, a renowned drummer who had played for Eric Clapton and George Harrison, had been serving time in prison due to being convicted of murder. He had battled mental illness throughout his life and was survived by his daughter Amy from his first marriage.
Gordon began his career in the 1960s, playing on various recordings, including The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. In the following decade, he continued to rise in prominence, playing drums on Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” and contributing to albums by John Lennon, Seals & Crofts, and Art Garfunkel, among others. He also played for Delaney & Bonnie, whose guitarist was Clapton. The two musicians later formed Derek and the Dominos, which helped produce Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. Gordon and Clapton also co-wrote the hit song “Layla,” for which Gordon received his only Grammy Award.
In 1970, Gordon began showing signs of mental illness when he allegedly punched his girlfriend at the time, Rita Coolidge. Over a decade later, in 1983, he killed his 72-year-old mother with a hammer and a knife. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia following his arrest and admitted to hearing a voice that told him to commit the murder. Gordon was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison in 1984 and was denied parole on several occasions.