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.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)
Hey 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.
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.Hey Larry,
if you want check this out
"A little less conversation" by Elvis 1968
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
The bass drum has a weird thud. I wonder what the recording technique and EQ for that particular drum was?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'.
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.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.
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.
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.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?