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It was 29 years ago Sunday (June 3rd, 1983) that Derek & The Dominos drummer Jim Gordon brutally murdered his mother. Gordon, who was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia while on trial for bludgeoning his mother with a hammer and stabbing her to death, is still regarded as one of rock's greatest drummers. But Gordon is probably best known for writing the ending piano theme to the Eric Clapton's 1970 Derek & The Dominos masterpiece "Layla."


Gordon was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison, and has served his sentence at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, Atascadero State Hospital in Atascadero, and the State Medical Corrections Facility in Vacaville.

  • Beginning with a 1963 stint drumming for the Everly Brothers, Gordon's resume literally reads like a who's who of '60s and '70s session work, having played with Barbra Streisand, John Lennon, George Harrison, Taj Mahal, Phil Spector, Jackson Brown, Dr. John, Carole King, the Beach Boys, Delaney & Bonnie, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Johnny Rivers, Minnie Ripperton, Harry Nilsson, Gordon Lightfoot, B.B. King, Randy Newman, Carly Simon, the Monkees, the Carpenters, Linda Ronstadt, Steely Dan, Traffic, Frank Zappa, and many more.
  • In 1992 Gordon shared the 1992 Grammy for Best Rock Song for Clapton's rerecording of "Layla" from his Unpluggedalbum.
  • Gordon remains incarcerated and reportedly plays drums in a prison band.

CHECK IT OUT: Derek & The Dominoes performing "It's Too Late" on The Johnny Cash Show in 1970:

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