Jim Gordon (drummer for Derek and The Dominoes, Delaney & Bonnie, Zappa, Joe Cocker, Dave Mason, etc., composer of the piano outro in “Layla” and the man Clapton called the best drummer he ever worked with) brutally killed his mother with a claw hammer. Gordon had been hearing voices in his head since the mid-70’s, which his doctor attributed to alcoholism and treated him accordingly. Obviously a mis-diagnosis, Gordon continued a tortured existence, which ineveitably led to him bludgeoning his mother. Gordon was sentenced to 16 to life and is serving his sentence at the Atascero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo.
Jim Gordon was a top session drummer from 1963 to 1973, keeping time for John Lennon, George Harrison, Frank Zappa, Traffic, Steely Dan, and Derek and the Dominoes. (He also wrote the elegant piano part that became the second half of “Layla.”) But tragically, he spent the ’70s wrestling with schizophrenia. “The voices were chasing me around,” Gordon said in 1985. “Making me drive to different places. Starving me. I was only allowed one bite of food a meal. And if I disobeyed, the voices would fill me with a rage, like the Hulk gets.” He checked himself into psychiatric hospitals at least fourteen times in six years. On June 1st, 1983, he checked himself out; two days later, he killed his mother with a hammer and a butcher’s knife. Gordon was convicted of second-degree murder (California law made it extremely difficult to prove insanity), and remains in prison today.