Derek and The Dominos drummer and convicted murderer Jim Gordon passes away

A convicted murderer who rose to fame alongside Eric Clapton's as the drummer in Derek and The Dominoes has passed away following a lifelong battle with mental illness.

Jim Gordon, who was 77 years old, died from natural causes at the California Medical Facility while serving his "16 years to life" prison sentence.

In an illustrious career the talented musician worked with several huge names in the industry including George Harrison, Sonny and Cher, Carly Simon and the Beach Boys.

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His career came to an abrupt end in June 1983, however, after he was convicted of the brutal murder of his own 72-year old mother, claiming voices had told him to carry out the attack.

Gordon was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia a year later and was later denied parole on several occasions.

Recalling the murder, he told the Post: "When I remember the crime, it’s kind of like a dream. I can remember going through what happened in that space and time, and it seems kind of detached, like I was going through it on some other plane. It didn’t seem real."

In his musical heyday, however, he was co-credited with writing arguably Clapton's most famous hit – the 1970 track Layla, and played on historical records such as the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Simon's You're So Vain.

Rock music critic Joel Selvin, who is working on Gordon's biography due to be released next year said: "Clapton always praised Jim for what he called ‘the big fill'."

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He added: "And Ringo Starr thought he was the greatest rock drummer ever. It wasn’t just his surgical skill and his extraordinarily developed technique but this intuitive element that elevated his drum part on every record he played on."

Another artist Gordon worked with was singer Rita Coolidge, who he entered into a relationship with.

Before his diagnosis he assaulted her in 1970 in one of the earliest signs of his erratic behaviour.

It wasn't until her 2016 memoir that details of the assault came to light though. At the time, she wrote: "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 is survived by his daughter Amy from his first marriage.


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