Jim Gordon, a well-known percussionist, died on March 13 at the age of 77. Gordon had been in the California Medical Facility since July 1984 when he was identified with schizophrenia after killing his mother. His manager, Bob Merlis, said he died of natural causes and more information will be released soon. On Facebook, popular singer Marcella Detroit posted a photo of Gordon with members of Derek and the Dominos, writing:
“And now we have percussionist Jim Gordon, who was in Derek and the Dominoes WEC, and my instructor, the late Carl Radle, who are both in this picture. Jim was a fantastic percussionist, but he struggled with mental illness and spent most of his time in prison after killing his mother. A disaster for everyone. I pray he’s happy, Carl Dean, please say hello for me.
Another percussionist, Matt Tecu, posted two photos of Gordon on Facebook, calling him a “legendary drummer” and one of his all-time favorites. The message continued:
“He played on so many songs we all love from musicians we admire, like The Wrecking Crew, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Carly Simon, Carol, King, Leon Russell, Bob Dylan, Motown , etc, etc. For years he struggled with mental illness. I’m recording on one of his percussion sets.”
Jim Gordon rose to prominence as part of Derek and the Dominos.
Born on July 14, 1945, Jim Gordon attended Grant High School and then joined the Everly Brothers. He was only 17 years old at the time, but he rose to fame in the music business after contributing to several of the group’s recordings. He met Eric Clapton, Carl Radle and Bobby Whitlock while touring with Delaney & Bonnie, which led to the formation of Derek and the Dominos in 1970. The ensemble was active for only a year before releasing an album called Layla and Other Assorted Love. Songs, which received negative reviews and financial success.
Although Derek and the Dominos broke up in 1971, Gordon continued to perform for other musicians such as Dave Mason and tour with various ensembles. He appeared on recordings such as The Low Spark of High-Heeeled Boys, Nilsson Schmilsson, Bongo Rock and others. In the 1970s he toured with Johnny Rivers and appeared on songs such as Rikki Don’t Lose That Number. He was the percussionist of the Souther Hillman Furay Band, also known as SHF.
Jim Gordon killed his mother.
Jim Gordon killed his mother, Osa Marie Gordon, in June 1983, saying he was commanded to do so by a voice. He was subsequently identified with schizophrenia, the symptoms he had long suffered from when he denied himself food, sleep, or relaxation.
Gordon was available for release after serving his 16-year sentence in July 1984, but it was often turned down for a number of reasons. The most recent was in March 2018 and it was available for release again in March 2021.