Died in prison Jim Gordon: Eric Clapton’s drummer and co-author of Layla, jailed for patricide

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the drummer jim gordonco-writer of the Eric Clapton classic Layla and album participant Pet sounds of the Beach Boys, who died aged 77 after spending the last 40 years in prison, accused of killing his mother.

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JimGordon, diagnosis of alcoholism and schizophreniakilled his mother with a hammer, after a successful career as a musician in which he accompanied some of the most relevant artists of the day as part of the session band known as The Wrecking Crew.

Born in Los Angeles in 1945, the drummer and pianist has played with groups such as The Byrds (In The infamous Byrd brothers), and musicians like it Franco Zappa (The Big Wazooamong others) e Joe Cocker.

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with Clapton

Together with Eric Clapton, he was part of the Derek and the Dominos group, which participated in the album “Beatle” George Harrison All things must pass.

They released their only studio album, Layla and other assorted love songsin 1970, with the famous song composed by Clapton for Harrison’s wife, which includes a piano coda composed by Gordonrecognized as a co-author of the topic.

Publicist Bob Merlis confirmed the musician’s death of natural causes in a prison clinic “after a long incarceration and a lifelong battle with mental illness.”

When he first started hearing the voices in the late 1970s, the musician was diagnosed with alcoholism only as a result of a heroin addiction, but it was revealed during his mother’s murder trial that he also suffered from schizophrenia, a disease which did not affect him, he was cured until he was in prison.

a tragic story

Rock has all kinds of tragic stories, one of which is that of the drummer jim gordon (age 74) sentenced to life in 1984 for killing his mother in an outbreak of violence caused by profound schizophrenia.

Gordon was one of the most in-demand musicians from the mid-1960s until nearly 1980; drummer and composer of exquisite sensitivity, but also of overwhelming strength.

Creative, with his drumming style, he was also an excellent pianist and composer. For example, he is the author of the piano arrangement of the theme Laylacomposed by Eric Clapton in collaboration with him and with which they won a Grammy for best rock song, in 1993, for the album mtv unpluggedof the guitarist.

Jim Gordon was born in the San Fernando Valley, California in July 1945. At the age of 18 he started out as the drummer for the Everly Brothers, from where he moved on to various groups, as well as being considered one of the most solid session drummers.

was with the Beach Boys, with Nancy Sinatra, with Carly Simon, was in the band Delaney & Bonnie (where he met George Harrison and Eric Clapton); he toured with Joe Cocker and Mad Dog & Englishman and later recorded two great albums All things must passby Harrison and the album Derek and the Dominos,

The problems started in 1969, at the age of 24, ever since To the excesses with alcohol and substances, especially cocaine, was added the beginning of hearing voices, a symptom that increasingly confined him to his illness. While those around him believed these hallucinations were due to drugs and alcohol, Gordon went more than a decade without an accurate diagnosis to complicate his mental picture.

Jim Gordon, with Eric Clapton in Derek and the dominoes.  The drummer is first on the left.

Jim Gordon, with Eric Clapton in Derek and the dominoes. The drummer is first on the left.

In the late 1970s, after refusing to tour with Bob Dylan, his drug-related alcoholism forced him to go to the hospital on several occasions. with very little luck; His medical history indicates that he started 15 treatments, twelve of which were hospitalized, but behind his addiction was schizophrenia which only got worse.

A voice that tormented him

None of these treatments allowed him to escape his mother’s voice, which tormented him permanently; that voice had become increasingly implacable and even threatened him, according to what he declared, to burn his gold records.

In 1981, he stopped playing and retired from music, but the troubling symptoms of split personality and auditory hallucinations worsened. On June 3, 1983, Gordon got into his car and drove to her mother’s house to kill her with a hammer, then stab her in obedience to an order, as stated. Only in this case was he correctly diagnosed as acute schizophrenic and judged in 1984 as mentally ill.

He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of seeking parole after 16 years in prisonsufficient time, according to the court, to find a cure that would allow him to reintegrate into society.

In your battery.  Jim Gordon has played with Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

In your battery. Jim Gordon has played with Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

In April 2018, he was denied parole for the 10th time, alleging that the California Board of Parole Hearings argued that Gordon remained dangerously unstable to society and posed a risk to his own life.

In the latter appeal, the sons of the musician intervened, but on the side of the prosecution, that is testified against his father to whom they did not recognize any improvement, even without having visited him in prison.

By the way, Gordon’s attitude – who according to his defense attorney believed he was acting in self-defense when he attacked his mother during a psychotic break – although he had no history of violence since 2001, didn’t help him, since he he refused to attend hearings and rarely left his cell. He also systematically refused to take her medicine.

Gordon received about 4,000 dollars a month in royalties, which he sometimes ended up giving in part to his fellow prisoners and for which he was repeatedly reprimanded. In addition to schizophrenia with delusions, he suffered from heart problems and claimed his mother was still alive.

Source: Clarin

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