Thursday, March 11, 2004

Tragic Drummer Story

Just got forwarded an email from someone who's working on a biography of the legendary drummer, Jim Gordon. Legendary because he co-wrote Layla with Eric Clapton and was the drummer in Derek and the Dominoes...but then the dark side, the drummer who murdered his own mother and (I think) died in an institution for the criminally insane.

Frazier wrote:

I'll forward this to someone who remembers everything. I do remember

that Jim forgot his drums and used an old junk set made up of assorted

drums and cymbals we found around the studio. He made them sound great.

The tunes...can be heard. Perhaps Brian remembers the url where some

live. BTW: One of the songs is called "Don't Forget Your

Mother"(somewhat ironic considering Jim's later actions) we beleive this

to be the last recording Jim has played on.

My response:

*****could that be? I just did a little web search myself and discovered that Jim was in Montreal playing with Frank Zappa (informally known as the "Petit Wazoo" Tour) October 27, 1972. It looks like that was the first date of the tour. As I recall, they arrived at the studio after that gig, Jim and Tom Malone (on bass) cut the rhythm tracks with me and I remember Jim as a rather dashing, clean-cut fellow who fit my pre-conceived idea of an L.A. session guy. He was very businesslike, but seemed a bit remote. I don't think he "got" the humour/tongue-in-cheek pathos of "Don't Forget Your Mother" - you don't suppose that's what put him over the edge, do you? I'd be interested to know the actual date of the crime. You can hear an mp3 of that tune at BrianB

A few months back there was a discussion on the folk listserve when Canadian folksinger James Gordon got confused with drummer Jim Gordon and I jumped in with my story. James Gordon is a busy touring artist and prolific writer - I finally got to hear him play at Winterfolk.