AN iconic drummer, who became known for his association with iconic rockstars and infamous for a murder conviction, has died.
Jim Gordon died on Monday following a lifelong battle with mental illness at the age of 77.
Gordon, who was the drummer for Eric Clapton in Derek and the Dominos passed from natural causes at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California while serving his sentence.
He is credited as a co-writer for Clapton’s 1970 hit Layla and worked with several other iconic musicians such as George Harrison.
Gordon was one of the main drummers for Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass – his first solo work after the breakup of the Beatles.
He appeared in songs by the Beach Boys, Steely Dan, Carly Simon, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra, and the Byrds, among others.
However, this stacked career came to a screeching halt in June 1983 after Gordon brutally bludgeoned and stabbed his 72-year-old mother to death.
Following the murder, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia before he was sentenced to 16 to life for the murder in 1984.
Despite being on parole several times, Gordon was always denied.
Before his diagnosis, Gordon has a long history of mental illness and had at one point assaulted his then-girlfriend Rita Coolidge in 1970.
“Jim said very quietly, so only I could hear, ‘Can I talk to you for just a minute?’ He meant he wanted to talk alone. So we walked out of the room together,” wrote Bill Janovitz in a biography of the late musician, Leon Russell.
“And then he hit me so hard that I was lifted off the floor and slammed against the wall on the other side of the hallway… It came from nowhere.”
Gordon exhibited few signs of erratic behavior to his fellow musicians, with Coolidge describing him as “an amazing guy, just really so charismatic.
“But] after everything happened, I started to recognize that look in his eye and knew that he was not playing with a full deck.”
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