Jim Gordon

J-Boogie

Gold Member
I interviewed Jim Gordon in the early 1980s for Modern Drummer. I have audio excerpts from our interview on my blog, Life Beyond the Cymbals, for anyone interested. Here's one excerpt: https://scottkfish.com/2017/09/23/jim-gordon-what-made-you-want-to-be-a-pro-musician/

Best,
Scott K Fish

A go to interview for me!! Learned lots from your strong work sir! Was interesting hearing about his formative years and the training he went through. A little more insight into how on earth someone could be that good!
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I saw Gordon play with Clapton at a Delaney and Bonnie concert. Didn't know who he was at the time, but he knocked me out. Perfect groove and feel for every song. Really "drove the bus" as a drummer. Some, who are vulnerable to psychosis, can be driven over the edge by drug use, which is what I believe happened to Jim.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
I saw Gordon play with Clapton at a Delaney and Bonnie concert. Didn't know who he was at the time, but he knocked me out. Perfect groove and feel for every song. Really "drove the bus" as a drummer. Some, who are vulnerable to psychosis, can be driven over the edge by drug use, which is what I believe happened to Jim.

That was basically Jim at his most driving, grooviest, nastiest! He was so incredible during that period. That is so amazing to have caught that, Jim making Bonnie shake her booty all night, just killing it! Man that was an exciting post for me to read and think about, thanks for sharing that jazzerooty!!
 

Vandalay

Member
Found this in a youtube comment section, an interesting read that by most accounts says that Jim hasn't lost much
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Back in the day, I probably wore out my sister's Nilsson Schmilson album from playing "Jump into the fire" so many times!

"Lime in the Coconut" was another fun groove from that album.

However, Jim Keltner played on the hit 'Without You' from that same album not Jim Gordon like the previous two songs.

Classic stuff.
 
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Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Jim Gordon – Full Interview – Tape A Side A

SKF NOTE
: I posted the back story, the genesis, of this interview, on my blog, right here, so I won't repeat the story. https://scottkfish.com/2015/09/25/scott-k-fish-interview-jim-gordon/

This interview with musician Jim Gordon took place January 11, 1982. That makes it 38 years old. Yes, I've posted on my blog audio and written excerpts from this interview. An edited version of the interview transcription appeared in Modern Drummer magazine.

But this is the first time I'm making available my full, unedited interview with Jim Gordon. I think it's time. Jim Gordon is an important piece of pop and rock music history. He is a key part of drumming history. And as far as I know, 38 years later, this is the only full-length Jim Gordon interview in existence.

Looking back, I wish I had more time to prepare for this interview. Those of you who read the back story will learn I didn't have more time. On the bitter cold night of January 11, 1982, in my room in a Nutley, NJ rooming house, my phone rang unexpectedly. Jim Gordon was calling.

So began this interview.

I will add Tape A Side B and Tape B Side A to the blog as soon as possible.

SKFBlog - Life Beyond the Cymbals - https://scottkfish.com/2020/03/22/jim-gordon-full-interview-tape-a-side-a/
 
Scott, you contributed mightily to the early success of Modern Drummer, and the publication is only a shell of what it used to be, IMO. For all the slick, glossy presentation, it's really never been the same since Ron Spagnardi passed away. I've been a reader since that December '81/January '82 issue with Ringo on the cover. Likely to not be reading it for too much longer, though.
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Scott, you contributed mightily to the early success of Modern Drummer, and the publication is only a shell of what it used to be, IMO. For all the slick, glossy presentation, it's really never been the same since Ron Spagnardi passed away. I've been a reader since that December '81/January '82 issue with Ringo on the cover. Likely to not be reading it for too much longer, though.

Thank you for the kind words. // Best, skf
 
I don't think I've read a new issue of Modern Drummer this decade—it's not them, it's me (seriously)—so I can't say whether or not the quality has gone downhill. I can say, however, as someone who read virtually every issue in the 80s, most of them many times, some of them again quite recently, that you were indeed a vital and outstanding part of what made that magazine so great.
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
I don't think I've read a new issue of Modern Drummer this decade—it's not them, it's me (seriously)—so I can't say whether or not the quality has gone downhill. I can say, however, as someone who read virtually every issue in the 80s, most of them many times, some of them again quite recently, that you were indeed a vital and outstanding part of what made that magazine so great.

Aw shucks. // skf
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Jim Gordon – Full Interview – Tape A Side B

SKF NOTE: If you’re coming to this Tape A Side B before my posting of Jim Gordon – Full Interview – Tape A Side A, the rest of the info in this post is the same as the info in my Tape A Side A post. There is a third and final segment of this interview, which I will post soon.

Scott K Fish Blog - Life Beyond the Cymbals - https://scottkfish.com/2020/03/26/jim-gordon-full-interview-tape-a-side-b/
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I saw Jim Gordon play with Delaney and Bonnie, with Clappy in the band. He looked what we used to call, "straight." Everyone wore hippie duds, hair
down to their shoulders. Jim looked like he could've lived with Ozzie and Harriet--short curly hair, Arrow shirt, dress slacks. But boy did he drive that band. He seemed effortless in his playing, too. Nothing forced, nothing excessive, just giving the song and the singers the best backup they could ever dream of.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
I couldn't find a thread in the Drummers forum dedicated to Jim, other than an old one from a couple years ago that never got a reply.

There was a thread larryace started last year about Jim's mental illness and the tragic circumstances that followed.

But what I came here to talk about is how f***ng good this guy was. I've been digging up some of the classics he played on (and there are a ton) and, man, he was just a spectacular, ahead-of-his-time musician.

The guy played on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. He played on Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown. He played on Derek and The Dominoes' Layla and he co-wrote the piano coda that the song ends with. He played on Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman. He played on Carly Simon's You're So Vain. And Steely Dan's Ricki Don't Lose That Number. Traffic's Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys. Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson album. Alice Cooper's Alice Cooper Goes To Hell. He did Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs And Englishmen tour. He played on Zappa's Apostrophe. He played on George Harrison's first solo album.

I'm just scratching the surface here.

His touch, his time, his DRUM SOUND... just incredible. So comfortable in so many styles of music, just playing for the song. The tag "studio drummer" often carries with it the connotation of someone who's too polished or refined. Not Jim Gordon! He had so much soul.

Not enough discussion about this guy's musical contributions.
Agreed !!
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Can't remember the clip on YouTube but Andy Newmark and Jim were close. Andy mentioned that Jim didn't want freedom. This was a fairly recent clip..fairly. It sheds more light on the subject. I remember Jeff Porcaro loving his playing. Jeff on Claptons Forever man was Jeff doing his Gordon imitation as told by him.
 
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