The Forgotten Drummer Story

Jim Gordon is a drummer. Jim Gordon is schizophrenic. Jim Gordon is in prison. Jim Gordon is the co-author of “Layla”.

Keith R. Higgons
Invisible Illness
Published in
6 min readOct 26, 2019


When one thinks about drummers who shaped the sound of modern rock music, there are three that stand out, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, and Jeff Porcaro.

All three did more than just keep time, they transcended the role of hired hand or sideman.

Blaine is most famously known as a member of the Wrecking Crew, studio wizards who helped Phil Spector create his “Wall of Sound”.

Jeff Porcaro was most notably the drummer for the band Toto, but he is considered to be “one of the most recorded drummers in history” until his untimely death in 1992.

Sandwiched between Blaine and Porcaro is Jim Gordon.

Gordon earned his chops as a session drummer in Los Angeles, playing the gigs that Hal Blaine couldn’t make…making him a tertiary member of the Wrecking Crew, although most won’t admit that anymore.

He was so good that immediately after graduating high school, he got a job touring Europe as The Everly Brothers drummer.