Jim Gordon was a virtuoso. At 21, he played on the iconic Beach Boys album pet Sounds and is among the credits of the immortal laylaalbum theme layla and Other assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos, alongside Eric Clapton. He died this Monday, aged 77 and of natural causes, at a state medical institution in Vacaville, California, where he was serving time for the murder of his mother.
Born James Beck Gordon, on July 14, 1945, in Los Angeles, music was always at the forefront for Jim, having even turned down a scholarship to study music at UCLA so he could start taking his first professional steps earlier. . By the age of 17, he was backing the Everly Brothers and soon after became Hal Blaine’s protégé, becoming one of the most sought-after drummers in the California music scene.
In the studio, recorded pet Sounds with the Beach Boys (1966) or classical gto the with Mason Williams (1968), but his gift is in the repertoire of names like John Lennon, Cher, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, George Harrison and Yoko Ono.
At the start of the 70s, he teamed up with Eric Clapton, first in a backing band; then Derek and the Dominos, which also featured Carl Radle on bass and Bobby Whitlock on keys, vocals and songwriting. Among his most recognized works is laylawhose chords were co-credited to Gordon (Whitlock would later reveal that the drummer had stolen the melody from Rita Coolidge, with whom he was dating at the time).
Regardless of whose chords were laylaGordon didn’t lose his way, taking over the drums for American music legends like the demanding Frank Zappa.
What nobody imagined is that while revealing himself to be a talented drummer, Gordon heard voices. And the consumption of alcohol and drugs did not ease his paranoia. “He used to talk to me about hearing voices, but I told him it was his conscience talking,” he said. Whitlock à Rolling Stone in 2013. “[Gordon] replied that it was someone else.
Eric Clapton said he “had no idea there was a psychotic history of visions and hearing voices from an early age”. In statements to Rolling Stonein 1991, Clapton he said he had thought Gordon’s “bad vibes” were just a reflection of his drug use.
In the late 1970s, the mother got the musician to ask for help. At the psychiatric hospital, Jim confided that his mother was his “only friend”. And the doctors, instead of diagnosing him with schizophrenia, which would later be confirmed, chose to treat his alcoholism.
On June 3, 1983, Gordon attacked his 71-year-old mother with a hammer and butcher knife. He later declared that a voice gave him the order to kill. And it was only after her arrest that Gordon was diagnosed with acute schizophrenia — even though the court did not accept the insanity statement. In 1984, he was sentenced to 16 years to life, having never appeared for parole hearings.
“I had no interest in killing [a minha mãe]”, he said Gordon to Rolling Stone in 1985recalling that it was “as if I were being guided like a zombie”.