jim gordon
















  oliver nelson and steve allen: soulful brass
    (1968, lp, usa, impulse as-9168)
  david wagner: d/b/a crow
    (1972, lp, ??, ??) - feat. jim gordon, john guerin
  judee sill: heart food
    (1973, lp, usa, asylum records) - feat. emil richards, jim gordon
judeesill_heartfood.jpg (26860 bytes)
  barbara keith: barbara keith
    (1973, lp, usa, reprise) - feat. max bennett, lowell george, jim gordon, sneaky pete kleinow
  albert hammond: the free elctric band
    (1973, lp, uk, JJ) - feat. jim gordon
  tom waits: the heart of saturday night
    (1974, lp, usa, asylum records)

tomwaits_theheartofsaturdaynight.jpg (31845 bytes)


frank zappa: apostrophe (')
   (1974, lp, usa, discreet)
  chris hillman: slippin' away
    (1976, lp, usa, asylum records) - feat. flo & eddie, jim gordon, jim fielder

chrishillman_slippinaway.jpg (18092 bytes)


frank zappa: läther
   (1996, 3cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: imaginary diseases
    (2006, cd, usa, zappa records)


frank zappa: wazoo
    (2007, 2cd, usa, vaulternative records)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraa 2014 birthday bundle
    (2014, download, --, barfko-swill)
aaafnraa2014.jpg (34969 bytes)


frank zappa: the crux of the biscuit
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr20020)

fz_cruxofthebiscuit.jpg (32468 bytes)


frank zappa: little dots
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr20026)
fz_littledots.jpg (37773 bytes)
  frank zappa: rollo / portland improvisation
    (2017, 10", usa, zappa records bpr1230) - record store day release
zappa_rollo_2017.jpg (30915 bytes)




(at right: jim gordon on tour with jackson browne, 1978)

aka: james beck gordon

born: 1945 in los angeles, ca

played drums on apostrophe, and is probably best known for co-writing layla with eric (god! it's god! i see god!) clapton.  was a large reason for making the grand and petit wazoo tours as good as they were.
his current claim to fame is that he's locked away forever in an insane asylum for chopping up his mother, after becoming convinced that she was the devil.

      bill dougan sez:
regarding the fate of jim gordon, he is still in prison.  rolling stone magazine did an article on mr. gordon a couple of years ago on his legendary drum work with clapton, and his unfortunate ensuing mental illness which resulted in him stabbing his mother to death, believing she was some sort of "demon" trying to get him.  judging by the tone of the article, jim will likely be in prison for a long time.

      dennis target (dennist@foothill.net) said:
jim gordon is, i believe, currently housed at atascadero, an asylum in california.  he didn't "chop" his mother up.  he killed her by means of repeated blows with a hammer.  he is schizophrenic.  he won the grammy, along with ec, for layla, the unplugged version.  jg played on countless albums for countless artists, e.g. he was on art garfunkel's "angel claire," was a member of traffic for "low spark of high heeled boys," was with ec on his first solo album, and then derek and the dominoes.  jg was a member of delaney & bonney & friends, which led to his playing with ec.  jg was one of the most popular session drummers throughout the 70's.

     chuck collazzi(chucktfrog@aol.com) sez:
i've known jim since 1956 when we were students at van nuys jr. high (calif). we worked together in 1969 with andy williams, and he was making 10x as much as me!  (i had just gotten out of the usma army band & had no business chops at the time).  he had the world by the ass.  gorgeous wife (childhood sweetheart), beautiful daughter, white mercedes 280sl;  was so busy as a studio musician that he would fly back to la just about every night when we were in vegas to do 2 or 3 record dates, then return in the afternoon in time for the 8pm show at caesars palace.  his story is one of the tragedies of our time.  i have saved the clippings from the la times regarding his crime.  anyone who has ever wondered about the destructive horror of "recreational" drugs should know about jim. it's one of the saddest stories ever.

      from: frazier (frazier@pucksfarm.com)
i produced a single in montreal with an artist, brian blain. tom malone and jim gordon, who were on tour with the mothers, played on the date. jim showed up at the studio, but had forgotten his drums, he played and old beater set and made 'em sound like a $2500 set of old leedy's. what a player! the tune we recorded was "don't forget your mother". hmmm

     from: dlowell (dlowell@aol.com) - may 15, 1998 update
after several years of looking for jim gordon i finally found him in the atascadero state hospital. i have spoken with jim on a number of occasions and he seems to quite content and has become in his words "institutionalized". he looks forward to one day being released and retiring to a home overlooking the mountains. i was surprised by his contentment and am happy that he seems to have adjusted so well to prison. i tired to speak with his doctor regarding his prognosis but was unable to reach him and jim told me that "he" turned down his last parole hearing. he has not played drums in a couple of years and i got the feeling that he has no intention of revisiting his career as a drummer if he is ever released. he was very soft spoken, pleasant and i enjoy speaking with him. he is 53 years old, weighs 183 lbs. and seems to be in good health. he does complain that he has trouble sleeping occasionally but other than that seems to be doing just fine. i plan to visit him in person later this year if i travel to california. 

     from: loujazz9@aol.com
he also played on louie sheltons album, "touch me" produced by boyce & heart and "humming bird by seals & crofts but not diamond girl that was harvey mason.  i know  because i produced both of those records. all the best, louie

      from: jock ellis (jockster@pacbell.net)
jim gordon one of the worlds greatest drummers, traffic, derick & dominos (i'm sure you know) and gary barone, a great trumpet player and pal of mine (believe it or not gary, jimmie and i were all in a national guard band during vietnam) were rooming together. jim was a rock star, handsome loaded with money and he and gary were getting laid alot. they picked up a few chicks around north carolina somewhere and they followed the band to columbia s.c.. the chicks (who were either narks or informants) were at the gig. right before the band went on stage jim pulled gary into a bathroom off stage and they had a toot or two. blammo the door comes down and the columbia s.c. police dept. busts gary and jim right before the band goes on. here is jimmie and gary handcuffed being led past frank, guitar around his neck as he heads for the stage.  naturally he shit.  no the cops wouldn't wait. sure they could do without a trumpet, but the drummer !! they grabbed the drummer from the other band which remains nameless and legend has it he did fine. jimmie paid off the p.d. ($20,000) and it was forgotten.

      from: judy frisk (frisk@frisk.net)
i went to grammar school with him (dixie canyon elementary school)- was in the same music classes with him (me on violin) when he started playing drums. i knew him up thru high school graduation.  he'd been "head yell-leader" in high school (us grant hi, van nuys, in case you didn't know).  

     from: patrick neve
here is the rolling stone article, originally published june 6th, 1985 and resubmitted here by william scott deaver (remus@lconn.com).

warning:  it's a very sad article, and also rather sensationalistic.

      from: patrick neve
update.  i heard from a confidential and well-informed source that contrary to recent reports, jim gordon is not out of prison, nor are there any immediate plans for his release.  any reports to jim's recent release would appear to be unfounded.  while this is unfortunate news, i'm told that he is doing well and in good spirits at this time. 



(all credits are for drums unless otherwise noted)

(note: there are at least two jim gordons.  charles ulrich discovered that another jim gordon was a founding member of the group tamarack.  so if you can attribute any of the following credits to that or any other jim gordon, please tell me! -pn)

      from: richard (richard.bell@ualberta.ca)
the jim gordon listed as playing horns with the band (from the last waltz) or with keb'mo or indeed anytime there's a listing for sax or clarinet or flute it's not jim beck gordon the great drummer but another jim gordon.
this other jim gordon has a web-site at http://www.jimsjazz.com/index.htm

         from: charles ulrich (ulrich@sfu.ca)
ms. sill appears to spell her first name judee. her 1973 album heart food featured erstwhile mothers gene cipriano, jesse ehrlich, william kurasch, leonard malarsky, emil richards, ralph schaeffer, tibor zelig, vincent derosa, jim gordon, and ray kelley.


frank zappa: one shot deal
    (2008, cd, usa, zappa records)


frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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