Jim Gordon

Drumolator

Platinum Member
It is indeed a sad story. He is my favorite drummer from the 70s. His sound and playing was second to none back in the day. Peace and goodwill.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Great post Brian. I didn't know he actually played the outro. You know, as long as he is happy, that's the main thing. I just wish there was a way he could still make music with anyone who wants to record with him. Which there would be no shortage of. Wouldn't it be cool if a concert featuring his old mates could be organized inside the prison, just for opportunity to get Jim on wax, or ones and zeros, again? That way, he's happy, we get new stuff, the prison would surely benefit, and him and everyone around him hopefully would be safe.
Kind of like when Johnny Cash recorded at Folsom. Kinda.
Us selfish listeners demand more! I do think that for the insipration and benefit of the drumming community (present and future), he should be remembered for his music and not for his illness and personal tragedy.

I've always wondered how his playing style and chops have evolved since the 70's, and it would be divine to hear and see him perform again, just once.

/selfish ;)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Most definitely, yes. Most definitely the s**t. Wow that feels even better than the one they released...I wonder if Jim played the outro on piano in concert. Eric nailed the vocal. Gives me chills man. Jim just had a hammerlock on the proverbial g spot right there.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Most definitely, yes. Most definitely the s**t. Wow that feels even better than the one they released...I wonder if Jim played the outro on piano in concert. Eric nailed the vocal. Gives me chills man. Jim just had a hammerlock on the proverbial g spot right there.
Yeah, EC was obsessed with Patti Boyd at this point (rightfully so, she was one hot woman) and you can hear that intensity in the vocals.
 

Brian

Gold Member
http://www.iem.ac.ru/clapton/articles/gordon.washpost.html

Jim Gordon is prisoner C89262 in the California Men's Colony at San Luis Obispo. He killed his mother on June 3, 1983, by pounding her head with a hammer, then finishing the job with three plunges of a butcher knife into the ribs. He says "You know, I heard the new version of 'Layla' on the radio and I was real surprised. And then I was informed that it was nominated for a Grammy and I was real surprised." Gordon did not petition the prison officials for permission to attend the ceremony, and regarding that said "I watched the show, and when my name was announced, well, I didn't hear it. I'd stepped out of the room. But the other guys said, 'Well, you won.'" Concerning the isolation from the rest of the music industry, Gordon said "When the crime happened, they all just turned their backs on me. I don't blame 'em, to tell you the truth. Whatever was taking me down that road, I was on a path of self-destruction and it was nothing that any reputable studio musician or artist would want to be connected with. Because it was kind of a hopeless situation." Apparently Gordon believes that he didn't commit the crime, but rather that the crime "happened" and says "When I remember the crime, it's kind of like a dream. I can remember going through what happened in that space and time, and it seems kind of detached, like I was going through it on some other plane. It didn't seem real." According to police reports, when they found him he feared that the person who killed his mother might come for him too, and in the police car he sobbed "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but she's tortured me for years." He was pretty consistently known as an All-American type, with Frank Zappa even nicknaming him "Skippy." Gordon did admit that Speedballs were commonplace on the 1971 Joe Cocker "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour, when he claims he was dating Rita Coolidge. A journalist who wrote a never released book on Gordon says he once showed her a letter from Gordon's father written in 1969 urging him to get psychiatric help. However, the letter apparently made no references to the voices that Gordon heard. The most powerful voice was that of his mother. The voice would deny him food, with Gordon starving himself for days and then hiding in a motel to eat fried chicken. The voice also caused him pain, denied him sleep and relaxation, caused him to be sullen and incommunicative with the occasional violent outburst, and, finally, refused to let him play drums. He says "My mother, she persecuted me a great deal, I felt. And it finally got so bad that I just gave up and got a condominium and just stayed indoors. I didn't ever go anyplace. That's when I started hearing voices, and having delusional thoughts and hallucations, and all of a sudden the crime occurred." Predictably, his work dwindled to nothing. In 1977, he began a series of aborted hospital stays. His last work was in 1979 when he got a gig with Paul Anka in Las Vegas. A few bars into the opening song, he walked off stage, unable to play. Today, he says he no longer hears the voices. He says he is on two medications, Navane for acute paranoid schizophrenia, and another one for depression, which Gordon says stems from prison life. Talking about the crime, he says "I was in a real strange place then. What I was imagining and what was real -- I still don't know the answer to that...but something always confronted me and didn't allow me to go along the lines I wanted to go along. And well, it just ruined my life." His lawyer says "[Gordon] truly believed he was acting in self-defense," and calls him "the most tragic case of my career." Gordon had a well-documented history of mental problems and a firm diagnosis of acute schizophrenia, yet was found guilty of second degree murder due to a then-recent change in California law severely restricting the insanity defense. He had made statements right after the crime admitting it ws wrong to kill. So, in May 1984, the court sentenced him to 16 years to life. Most of his time has been at Atascadero State Hospital. Parole has been denied him twice. His finances are in good shape, in spite of all this, due to royalties from Layla and other Dominos work, work with Traffic, and work with George Harrison, among other things. Finally, he says "As far as getting back toanything I was doing before 1981, it's pretty grim. Unless -- what I'd like to do is get in some kind of touring situation, maybe contribute a little bit with my writing." As a meek afterthought, he adds "I'd still like to play with Eric."
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
He was one of those players who you really couldn't adequately describe him as a drummer alone. He was real musician. Played EXACTLY what the song required and indeed had a fabulous drum tone for the time. A lot of folks don't realize he wrote the piano coda to Layla.
 
I played a concert for NASCAR in Charlotte,nc back in 2003.i was playing with Sammy Johns.in rehearsals I asked about the song Chevy Van.Jim played it in one take.the only form of payment he wanted was two hookers and a bag of cocaine.i was stunned when Sammy told me that story...
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I mean, for two hookers and a bag of cocaine, I could probably find a way to lay down a pretty mean drum track myself!

Always in bad taste,
8Mile
 

Brian

Gold Member
Despite the above, it was likely Jim's alcoholism (stemming from his father, hence the letter) that was the killer.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Brian thanks for those. The one shown has been inverted - mirror imaged. Jim Gordon is a righty (not lefty)

(I don't like when photos do that)
 
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