James Beck Gordon

Jim Gordon was one of the top session drummers in the 1960s. After backing the Everly Brothers in 1963 at age 17, he went to California. Hal Blaine, king of session drummers, began to send Gordon his overflow work.

During this period, Gordon appeared on Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers (Columbia, 1967) and Notorious Byrd Brothers. Later, Gordon was a member of Derek and the Dominoes, where he had the good fortune to co-write the song "Layla" with Eric Clapton.

Gordon worked with Hillman again when he was the drummer in the Souther Hillman Furay Band from 1973 to 1975.

Gordon also played with John Lennon, George Harrison, Frank Zappa, Traffic, Delaney & Bonnie, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and Jackson Browne.

Though he was initially known for being a straight-laced guy, Gordon eventually began to use heroin and cocaine like many of his colleagues in the music business.

Sadly, in the '70s, severe psychological problems began to manifest in Gordon's behavior. He complained of hearing voices, especially the voice of his mother. By the late '70s, Gordon's mental difficulties - later diagnosed as acute paranoid schizophrenia - had ruined his musical career.

Then, in 1983, Gordon brutally murdered his own mother. The insanity defense having been narrowed in California, Gordon was convicted of second-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to 16 years to life. Most of his time has been served in Atascadero State Hospital.

Gordon remains wealthy, thanks to royalties from "Layla" and a handful of other songs. As one of rock's best drummers, James Beck Gordon kept time with the Sixties, until he could no longer
resist a different kind of madness.



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