Jim Gordon, a renowned drummer who played for Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and many other famous musicians in the 1970s, has died at the age of 77 from natural causes. Other than Clapton and Harrison, Gordon also worked with artists such as John Lennon, Frank Zappa, and Steely Dan. He was also a member of Derek and the Dominos, the band that Clapton formed after leaving Cream, and contributed to their acclaimed album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.”
Unfortunately, Gordon’s musical career was overshadowed by a tragic event in his personal life. In 1983, he was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison for murdering his mother, Osa Marie Gordon, in their home in California. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his defense argued that he was in a state of mental breakdown when he committed the crime. However, the jury ultimately found him guilty and he spent the rest of his life in prison until his death on January 9, 2020.
Despite his troubled life, Jim Gordon was known for his incredible talent as a drummer and was highly respected by his peers. He was known for his technical ability, creative flair, and versatility, able to play a wide range of genres from rock to jazz to country. His most iconic drumming performance is undoubtedly on the song “Layla,” where he played a complex, driving beat that perfectly complemented Clapton’s guitar work.
The news of Gordon’s death has saddened many in the music industry, including Clapton, who released a statement saying that “Jim’s fiery drumming was evident on many of our tracks from ‘Badge’ to ‘Presence of the Lord,’ both of which he co-wrote with me…he was a fantastic musician with a keen ear and sharp instincts.” Other musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to Gordon’s talent and legacy, highlighting the impact that his drumming had on their own music.
In conclusion, Jim Gordon was one of the greatest drummers of his generation and his contributions to some of the most iconic songs of the 70s will live on for years to come. While his life was not without its tragedies, his talent and artistry continue to be admired and celebrated by music lovers around the world.