Jim Gordon, The Glory and Hell of a Rock Drummer


Jim Gordon in London June 6, 1971.

He was one of the most sought-after American studio musicians of the late 1960s and early 1970s, before a criminal incident predates and recalls the downfall of producer Phil Spector (1939-2021), with whom he had worked. Part-time pianist and organist Jim Gordon died on March 13, at the age of 77, at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California, a mental institution whose name has been associated with the sectarian aberrations of the counterculture, ever since. Teacher Charles Manson He was imprisoned there and another member of his “family”, Bobby Beausoleil, is still there.

Jim Gordon is imprisoned for a murder whose horror evokes Raskolnikov’s character Crime and punishmentAnd Dostoyevsky: On June 3, 1983, he killed his mother with a hammer and knife in his home in Los Angeles. He will say that a voice commanded him to do so, and he will be diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mental health has deteriorated steadily over the past ten years, to the point where his music career has come to an end. His life was punctuated by a stay in a psychiatric hospital and the obsession of this mother who he constantly heard in his head telling him not to play his instrument anymore or to end his life.

Prior to this descent into hell, Jim Gordon had built one of the most impressive resumes on the rock scene, at a time when talent was not missing. Born on July 14, 1945 in Los Angeles, this tall, athletic man with curly hair, shyness and a smile, learned his skills from the age of 17, in 1963, with the company of the legendary Everly Brothers. Before being besieged by drummer Hal Blaine (1929-2019), who joined him in the Wrecking Crew, the musicians brought together Phil Spector at Los Angeles’ Gold Star studios to build his “wall of sound.”

Read also: The material is reserved for our subscribers His music made 60s dance pop, and his violence landed him in jail… Legendary producer Phil Spector has died at 81

It is them that Brian Wilson resorts to recording Pet sounds (1966), the Beach Boys’ masterpiece, featuring Gordon. This one also plays the same year on the album deep mountain river high, From Ike and Tina Turner, and other notables of the period such as Notorious Bird Brothers (1968), The Byrds, or the First Two Books by Randy Newman. He could even, in 1969, publish an instrumental album as a leader, LardCreated by Jimmy Gordon and his band, The JazzineBobs.

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self-destructive spiral

Here he was on the road that same year, when he joined the duo Delaney & Bonnie, in a group of accompanists including keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, guitarist Carl Radl and star guitarist Eric Clapton. These four are working on Clapton’s first solo album and trio All things must pass to George Harrison to eventually form a short-lived band, Derek & The Dominos. Derek is Clapton, eager to blend into his collective anonymity, The Dominos – the other three: association leads to double greatness Layla and other miscellaneous love songswas published in November 1970.

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