Drummer Jim Gordon, 77 passed away on Monday, March 13, 2023. He had previously played on albums by Derek and the Dominos (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs) and the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds).
The musician who was incarcerated for the 1983 murder of his mother and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, passed away in a Vacaville, California, state hospital. Bob Merlis, Gordon’s publicist confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Gordon passed away of natural causes.
Gordon is well-known for his contribution to Eric Clapton’s “Layla” namely for the iconic piano coda that he wrote. Organist Bobby Whitlock has made the accusation that Gordon stole the part from a piece written by Gordon’s ex-girlfriend, Rita Coolidge.
Physical abuse was also alleged by Coolidge against Gordon. Gordon, who was born James Beck Gordon on July 14, 1945 and raised in Sherman Oaks, California is most known today for his work on the Layla album, but before that he was a member of the session group the Wrecking Crew.
Jim Gordon told Rolling Stone:
“By the mid-Seventies, Gordon started having trouble with addiction. I guess I was an alcoholic, Before, I was drinking every night, but I wasn’t getting up in the morning for a drink; I would put a needle in my arm. When I stopped taking the heroin, I began to drink all day.”
He began to hear voices in his head and by the late Seventies, his mother urged him to get help. He checked into a psychiatric hospital where he told doctors his mom was “the only friend” he had.
Gordon killed his mother, Osa Marie Gordon with a hammer and butcher knife on June 3, 1983. He received a sentence of 16 years to life in jail the following year. Gordon told:
“I had no interest in killing, my mother, I wanted to stay away from her. I had no choice. It was so matter-of-fact like I was being guided like a zombie. She wanted me to kill her and good riddance to her.”
We wrote about the death of another celebrity in the article linked below:
- Olympic Gold Medallist Dick Fosbury Died at the Age of 76
- Professional Baseball Outfielder Jesus Alou Died at the Age of 80
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