Jim Gordon began his professional career as a 17 year old in 1963 playing drums for the Everly Brothers. Moving to Los Angeles, he became a top session man taking overflow work from the legendary Hal Blaine.
In the late 1960s, he joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Jim met Eric Clapton when the Friends opened for Blind Faith on their American tour. He worked on Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen album and tour before forming Derek & The Dominos with Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, and Carl Radle (Bobby and Carl had both been Friends and also worked with Joe Cocker). While Derek & The Dominos was coming together, they helped George Harrison record All Things Must Pass.
Jim co-wrote “Layla” with Clapton and remained with The Dominos until they split up during sessions for their second album.
After the Dominos dissolved, he toured with the reformed Traffic. Jim then returned to session work and recorded with Gordon Lightfoot, Alice Cooper, Jackson Browne, John Lennon, Frank Zappa, and others.
In the late 1970s, Jim began to suffer from severe psychological problems, later diagnosed as acute paranoid schizophrenia. On 3 June 1983 he brutally murdered his mother. As California law severely limited the use of insanity as a defense, he was convicted of second-degree murder in May 1984. He was later sentenced to 16 years to life in prison. He is still incarcerated.