Jim Gordon, who was known for his work as a session drummer with Eric Clapton and The Beach Boys, passed away on March 13, 2023. Sadly, his life was marked by tragedy and mental illness.

According to Variety, he killed his 72-year-old mother in 1983.

Despite being diagnosed with schizophrenia after attacking Rita Coolidge while on tour with Joe Cocker in 1970, Gordon continued to play with bands and showed few symptoms of his illness.

Gordon was diagnosed with schizophrenia after assaulting singer Rita Coolidge while on tour with Joe Cocker in 1970.

Despite outpatient treatment, he showed few symptoms of his illness and continued to play with bands.

However, in 1983, Gordon’s mental state deteriorated and he killed his 72-year-old mother, claiming that he heard voices telling him to do so.

He was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison. Throughout his time in prison, Gordon was repeatedly denied parole and died at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.

While it is believed he died of natural causes, the Solano County coroner will determine the exact cause of death. Despite the tragic events surrounding his life, Gordon’s legacy as a musician lives on.

He played drums for Clapton’s blues rock ensemble, Derek and the Dominos, and contributed the piano coda to their hit “Layla.”

However, controversy surrounded the song’s composition, with keyboardist Bobby Whitlock claiming that Gordon stole the tune from his then-girlfriend Rita Coolidge without giving her credit.

Either way, Jim Gordon’s life and career will be remembered as both a tragic story and a testament to his musical talent.

Gordon’s career

According to Rita Coolidge, Jim Gordon’s former girlfriend, the fact that Gordon’s mother, Amy Gordon, received his work’s music royalties following the murder trial of Jim Gordon was a source of comfort to her.

Despite this, Jim Gordon’s life was plagued by mental illness, which eventually led to tragic consequences. Jim Gordon’s musical career began at a young age, when he began accompanying The Everly Brothers at the age of 17.

Born July 14, 1945, in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, Gordon was a prominent member of The Wrecking Crew, a group of highly sought-after Los Angeles session musicians who contributed to numerous hits during the 1960s and 1970s.

He was known as Hal Blaine’s protege and was a legendary drummer in his own right.

Gordon’s impressive body of work includes his contributions to Steely Dan’s 1974 hit “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” the Beach Boys’ iconic album “Pet Sounds,” and George Harrison’s first post-Beatles album, “All Things Must Pass.” ”

He has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, including Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Judy Collins, The Byrds, Art Garfunkel, Merle Haggard, Delaney & Bonnie, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Crosby Stills & Nash, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand.

Unfortunately, over time, Gordon’s mental health began to deteriorate. As mentioned earlier, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia after an attack on Rita Coolidge in 1970.

Despite receiving outpatient treatment for his illness, he showed few symptoms and continued to play in various bands. In 1983, however, his mental state took a tragic turn when he murdered his 72-year-old mother.

He was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia and sentenced to 16 years to life in prison. Despite being denied parole several times, Gordon’s legacy as a talented musician will live on.