Jim Gordon, who played drums with Eric Clapton and is credited with co-writing the mega-hit “Layla” years before he was convicted of killing his own mother, died Monday at the age of 77.
The musician died of natural causes at California Medical Facility, a state prison hospital in Vacaville, California, according to Variety.
Born in Los Angeles, Gordon established himself as a noted session drummer during the 1960s and ’70s, performing on albums such as the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds,” George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass,” and “The Notorious Byrd ” of the Byrds. siblings.”
He toured with Clapton in a band behind the singing duo Delaney & Bonnie, then teamed up with Clapton as a drummer in the 1970s blues group Derek and the Dominos.
The band’s only studio album, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs,” came out in 1970 and proved to be a lasting hit, featuring songs like “Layla” and “Bell Bottom Blues,” as well as Clapton’s version of “” by Jimi Hendrix. Little wing.”
“Layla,” which Rolling Stone magazine called their 27th best song of all time in a 2004 ranking, is the only track on the album on which Gordon received a writing credit. However, singer Rita Coolidge, who dated Gordon, later claimed that she wrote the song’s piano coda.
“YO wrote the bridge and all the melody”, Coolidge told the Tallahassee Democrat in 2016. “He (Gordon) was not a great songwriter. … And he was not a great pianist ”.
Gordon was charged with assaulting Coolidge in 1970. He was later found guilty of beating and stabbing his mother to death in a 1983 attack that he allegedly carried out because the voices in his head told him to. In 1984 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“YO don’t really feel so crazyGordon told Rolling Stone shortly after his incarceration. “I get along well with people. I think I’m pretty normal.”
He was sentenced to serve between 16 years and life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder and was never released before he died.
Gordon has also worked with Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Steely Dan, Tom Petty, and Alice Cooper during his music career.