Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon is the world’s greatest rock and roll drummer. Bar none.

In the studios, Jim Gordon was a sought-after drummer. His craft can be heard in the songs and albums of John Lennon, George Harrison, Beach Boys, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Bread, David Gates, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Everly Brothers, Neil Diamond, the Byrds, Jackson Browne, Derek and the Dominos, Carly Simon, Cher, Carpenters, Daryl Hall & John Oates, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Nilsson, Yoko Ono. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Steely Dan, Righteous Bothers, Barbra Streisand, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Leon Russsell, Randy Newman, Albert Hammond, Alice Cooper, Judy Collins, Glen Campbell, Jack Bruce, Duane Allman, Traffic, Andy Williams, John Travolta, Tim Weisberg and many other music legends.

Image from Internet

I just finished listening to the brilliant audiobook (released 27 February 2024) of Jim Gordon’s autobiography by Joel Selvin“Drums & Demons: The Tragic Journey Of Jim Gordon”.

The brilliant drummer had a dark side filled with undiagnosed schizophrenia, fueled by drugs and booze. Gordon had violent episodes and once punched his then girlfriend, famed singer Rita Coolidge. He spent his remaining years in prison for the brutal murder of his mother after hearing voices in his head.

Composer Credit – Jim Gordon co-wrote the song “Layla” with one Eric Clapton. The piano segment as actually co-written by Jim and his then-girlfriend Rita Coolidge, but she was left out of the song credit thereby depriving her of hefty song royalties over the years. The song “Layla” is Clapton’s confessional love song to Patti Boyd, then married to Clapton’s best friend George Harrison.

Jim died, at the age of 77, on 13 March 2023, while serving his sentence at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California. Entering prison at 38 years old, Jim spent over 39 years in prison.

When you listen to George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”, “Living In The Material World” and “Extra Texture” (albums), John Lennon’s Power To The People (song), Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” (song), Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” (song) and “Nilsson Schmilsson” (album), Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds”, “Smiley Smile” and “Friends” (albums), Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishman” (album), Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla” (song and album), Thelma Houston’s “I Got The Music In Me”, Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” (song) – tip your hat to Jim Gordon. He gave these masterpieces his extra exquisite Jim Gordon drum lift.

Go hear Jim Gordon’s drumming genius on B.W. Stevenson’s “My Maria” 2.5 minute song. Give it a listen and be amazed. Play Loud!

Coincidence – as I post this Blog, George Harrison’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” song from the “Living In The Material World” album comes on the radio airwave (11.22pm). A sign!