Jim Gordon

Brian

Gold 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)
Sometimes photography and video authors can play tricks. On the other hand, from this same show he was shown on video playing not only a left-handed kit but matched traditional grip, which is pretty cool. I think it's the Mad Dogs and Englishmen 1971 one.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I love this thread. Jim is my hero, the way he plays those drums. Brian, you contributed some stellar stuff, thanks. The "Why Does Love Have To Be So Bad" clip is such high level playing on Jim's (and everyone else's) part. If I were to have to emulate a style of playing, I'd pick Jim's. Eric Clapton himself has stated point blank that Jim is his all time favorite drummer to back him up.
 

Brian

Gold Member
I love this thread. Jim is my hero, the way he plays those drums. Brian, you contributed some stellar stuff, thanks. The "Why Does Love Have To Be So Bad" clip is such high level playing on Jim's (and everyone else's) part. If I were to have to emulate a style of playing, I'd pick Jim's. Eric Clapton himself has stated point blank that Jim is his all time favorite drummer to back him up.
Hey Larry,
if you want check this out
"A little less conversation" by Elvis 1968
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWVMXLSS1cA
That's the beat IMO Jim Gordon stole from Hal Blaine, but Jim made it funkier with the swung hi-hat 16th notes (sometimes). Like Clyde Stubblefield
example here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=625YUZpHiQQ
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hey Larry,
if you want check this out
"A little less conversation" by Elvis 1968
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWVMXLSS1cA
That's the beat IMO Jim Gordon stole from Hal Blaine, but Jim made it funkier with the swung hi-hat 16th notes (sometimes). Like Clyde Stubblefield
example here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=625YUZpHiQQ
More interesting stuff. I just can't get footage of Jim, I love watching him play. He was a big guy, with spot on musical sensibilities, who both simultaneously commanded and finessed the drumset. But I love looking into his eyes to try and make sense of what is going on in there.
I just can't get enough footage of him. His feel...I so envy his feel.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Glad to see this thread take on such life.

Check this out: http://youtu.be/MWfDLN0aMEw

Apologies if already posted, I didn't see it. I'm with (the other) Larry on this: Jim has the feel I think I most envy/covet. Just amazing authority, conviction and groove. And distinctive, expressive drum parts, too. It's so, so, so hard to do that.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
This is really nice, to hear his drumming, more clearly coming out of all the layers laid down on top of that track. All Things Must Pass is a great record but quite a few songs are way overtreated to Phil Spectors' 'wall of sound'.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
This is really nice, to hear his drumming, more clearly coming out of all the layers laid down on top of that track. All Things Must Pass is a great record but quite a few songs are way overtreated to Phil Spectors' 'wall of sound'.
The bass drum has a weird thud. I wonder what the recording technique and EQ for that particular drum was?

Here's some more Jim on an old favorite of mine, Rikki Don't Lose That Number

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfZWp-hGCdA

And how about.... Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell with Gordon on drums.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoJG9EXX7gU

and... Jim Gordon Drums with Jack Bruce (bass? Cello?) with Frank Zappa playing Apostrophe(')

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXP_pr7np-o
 
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GeoB

Gold Member
Sometimes photography and video authors can play tricks. On the other hand, from this same show he was shown on video playing not only a left-handed kit but matched traditional grip, which is pretty cool. I think it's the Mad Dogs and Englishmen 1971 one.
It is also a way of getting around copywrite law on pictures... or in the case of YouTube of slightly speeding up or slowing down a track to avoid copy write infringement.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Jim Gordon's styles and that lazy west coast thing he had going on, he played with authority too. There was no wasted movements in Jim Gordon's playing, every note meant something..very much like future geniuses like Vinny Colaiuta.

Here's a pretty interesting post I read, link here
http://fresnoalliance.com/wordpress/?p=4680

Andy Newmark
November 9, 2013 at 6:20 am · Reply

I sat 5 feet away from Jim Gordon, in the drum booth at Trident Studios in London, as he recorded Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain in 1972. I was Carly’s road drummer and played on a few tracks on her No Secrets album, however I wasn’t cutting it when we recorded You’re So Vain. So Richard Perry, the producer of that album brought in the heavyweights. Jim Gordon, Klaus Voorman, and Nicky Hopkins to record You’re So Vain. Carly’s road band, which included me, was sidelined for half the tracks on that album, except for Jimmy Ryan who played on everything and played that great guitar solo on “You’re So Vain”. Anyhow, I was totally cool with Richard Perry’s decision to bring Jim Gordon in. I was in London for the duration of that album, as road bands often were back then, on call at any time. I saw this as an opportunity to watch Jim up close. I had been listening to Jim Gordon and Jim Keltner ever since Mad Dogs and Englishmen. I asked Jim if he would mind if I sat in the drum booth and watched him play. He was totally cool with that. So I watched Jim do 40 takes (Richard Perry was famous for doing a lot of takes) of You’re So Vain. You see, back then the live performance in the studio had to contain all the magic in the basic backing track. There was no fixing it or replacing parts after the track was recorded. You could repair little things but the vibe and groove had to be all there in the performance. Perry pushed players right to their limit. I liked his style. He had a vision and wasn’t going to stop till he got it out of the musicians. He made great bloody records that all stand up today under scrutiny. He always used the best players on his records. As a player, working for Richard Perry was a step up the ladder in session world. It meant something. Anyhow, I watched Jim like a hawk for 4 or 5 hours, playing that song over and over again. It’s one thing to hear a player on a recording but to see a player playing live is a whole different ball game. Body language reveals so much about where a drummer is coming from. Seeing Jim play up that close, and fine tuning his drum part, was like getting intra veinous Jim Gordon…his DNA being injected into mine. And I got it, big time. I saw what he had and what I didn’t have. But not for long. I really understood where his notes were coming from and went away from that session knowing what I had to do to improve my act. Jim never played a rim shot on 40 takes of You’re So Vain. He hit the middle of the snare drum so hard that the head was completely caved in, in the middle. It was a 6 inch crater in a perfect circle. He hit the exact same spot every time he hit the snare drum. That means all his backbeats sounded as identical as humanly possible. Engineers love consistency from players. I was suffering from total rim shot dependency, playing tight, funky and snappy, New York style, like Bernard Purdie. I am a New Yorker. Jim had that West Coast lazy thing going on. His notes seem to have length. They breathed. Legato drumming I call it. There was all this air around each of his notes. And his groove was so relaxed and secure and comfortable. It was like sitting in a giant arm chair that fit perfect. He made all the other players sound amazing right from Take One. And he made the recording sound like a real hit record right from Take One. I was blown away. The tom tom fills were like thunder. I still copy him doing that today and think about him in that room every time I do it. I put my left hand on the high tom and my right hand on the floor tom and play straight 8th notes (both hands in unison) that crescendo into a chorus. Just like You’re So Vain. His drumming was intelligent and impeccable on that record. There was no click track either and Richard Perry was very demanding when it came to tempo. (By the way, click tracks have ruined pop music today). Don’t get me started. That’s something else I had to improve on. Playing time. I’m still working on that. Jim nailed that track at least 40 times and every take on the drums was brilliant and useable as a final drum track. However Richard Perry wanted to hand pick where Jim played certain fills and all the other cats too. So that’s where a studio musician’s discipline comes into play. You have to play the same track for hours and maintain the feeling and learn every note in your part till it’s written in your DNA. Then on top of that, you have to take instructions after each take from the Producer telling you exactly what to amend or delete in your part. It’s a lot of mental work going on. Not all players are cut out for this kind of disciplined playing, and designing a part. That’s what great records are. Great parts. Jim was like a computer. He did everything Richard Perry asked of him and still kept all the other stuff going in his part, take after take after take. And he hit the drums so damn hard. His snare drum was monstrous and it wasn’t even a rim shot. I was stunned at the power in all his notes. He saw that whole drum part in his head as if it was written on paper and handed to him. And take after take, for maybe 4 or 5 hours with breaks, he played it spot on every time. I got it…big time. Thank God I was replaced by Jim that day. What I got from that experience took my playing to another level completely. I put funky drumming on the back burner after watching Jim and started trying to make my notes real long, relaxed, with lots of air around them, giving each note it’s full sustain value, and even tuning my drums so that the notes would sustain for their full value. And every note was thought out. That’s what Jim did. He didn’t play any throw away notes. Not one!! Not even an unintended grace note on the snare drum. That’s what making records is all about. You have to own and believe in every note you play. Every 8th note on your high hat has meaning and character and tells a story. You can’t just be playing mindless time with a back beat. Drummers who do that sound bored and uninvolved. A drummer has to be involved in every note and put life into each one. This is what Jim did. I know this for sure. It’s a subtle thing but it makes all the difference in a player. Discipline, restraint, and conviction in every note. That’s when real music starts to happen. Can’t we all start a movement to get him out. Sounds like someone should talk to him. Like me. On the other hand, maybe he wants to be exactly where he is. I respect that too. Returning to “real life” after this many years might be too overwhelming. I can relate to that. By the way, my birthday is 14 July, the same day as Jim Gordon’s birthday. Can people visit Jim? Or writer e-mail him? Feed back is welcome which is why I am posting my e-mail address under my name.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Brian, thanks for that. What an inspiring read from Andy Newmark. Wow. I know what it feels like to be in awe of someone else the way Andy was of Jim. And that's Andy Newmark talking! Already a great at that point. Wow again.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Wow what a piece from Andy Newmark. Very inspiring.
It would be awesome if we could all drop Jim Gordon an email.I doubt the system allows that, but maybe an open letter. If not just to acknowledge his presence in prison, and his work we admire. It's a real shame he is still in there.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's so sad that this man and his talent just waste away in prison. He should be recording at least.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM9Dc1hrT5M

Once in a while I post nuggets. To bump maybe the best drummer up until the early 70s, where he went downhill.

^ does that link work?

Recently, I read a thread on session drummers and Jim's name wasn't mentioned nearly enough... so

BUMP :)
Just curious Brian how you search/find this stuff? I mean knowing Jim was drumming for... Johnny Rivers ...at Montreaux 1973. Kinda obscure and hidden no?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
He was on so many diverse stuff. "Classical Gas", I always loved that thing he did when they gave him like 2 beats or whatever to take the lead.

It occurs to me that Eric Clapton would be the best possible advocate for Jim. He is so high profile and when he talks, it's news. Jim loves Eric to this day, or so I've read. Eric owes this to him. Who better than to kinda champion a movement. Jim needs some serious love from someone.

Another thing that occurs to me...the money. Jim Gordon is LOADED, or so I've read. I find it odd that no one like children, relatives, prison officials, mothers of his possible children, and people of that nature aren't posturing themselves to grab his money from him. It's like nobody gives a damn about him. It really upsets me. I betcha Eric Clapton and music could restore this guy to at least a more normal life. It just breaks my heart.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Just curious Brian how you search/find this stuff? I mean knowing Jim was drumming for... Johnny Rivers ...at Montreaux 1973. Kinda obscure and hidden no?
Over the years I was familiarizing with what he played on, so occasionally I'll search to see if new videos or bootlegs pop up. I guess it's an obscure one in this case.
 
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