Jim Gordon – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Many of you may not recognize the name of Jim Gordon, but I can assure you that you’ve heard his music. Gordon was the drummer on many of the 60’s and 70’s greatest recordings in the history of rock and roll. During this period he performed on many classic recordings including George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”, The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” and Joe Cockers “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” among many others. Gordon also played on the Derek & The Dominos’ 1970 classic album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” and contributed the piano coda for the title track, “Layla”, co written by Gordon and Clapton.

There was a reason why Gordon was on all those great recordings. He was the best. The man could set a groove like no one else. As a keyboard player I’ve always thought that when the drummer is playing the right beat, the rest of the band always sounds better and Gordon could do that like no one else.

After listening to Layla the other day I was inspired to google Gordons name thinking he was dead and was made aware of a few things. In the late 1970s, Gordon complained of hearing voices in his head. He was later diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia, which had been worsened by a cocaine addiction. By 1981, this ended his music career. June of 1983 Gordon stabbed his mother to death with a butcher’s knife. In May 1984 he was sentenced to sixteen years to life in prison. He 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. He is still incarcerated.

More googleing brought me to Gordon’s Myspace page where you can sign a petition asking the parole board to consider his release. I signed the petition and forwarded this info to many of my friends and colleagues and was met with some interesting responses. Most were very supportive of the petition. However, there were some who argued that it was none of our business getting involved since we knew nothing of the details of Gordon’s case and a petition was “meaningless”. Some argued that just because he co-wrote Layla does not give him a pass to commit murder, which I totally agree with.

Yes, he did commit a serious act of violence (over twenty five years ago), but has done his time and if the doctors who are treating him feel that he is ready to return to the street I support their decision. If he’s been deemed mentally balanced while medicated, has served the time he was sentenced and will be supervised while on parole and as a condition of release, possibly supervised for a time longer than his parole, he deserves a chance to prove himself, just like any other paroled killer that’s walking the streets.

As far as the petition goes, it’s certainly not “meaningless”. It offers hope and inspiration to Jim that people are pulling for him and just might help him in the healing process. It shows support. I agree that it will probably not influence the parole board much, but I would think with a boarder line case where they are weighing all their options, something like that might just make a difference.

I do admit that I know nothing of Jim’s current condition, but I support him none the less. I sincerely hope that his demons are gone and whatever drove him to commit such a violent act is part of his past. I’m pulling for you Jim and look forward to seeing you released one day soon. Best of luck with the parole hearings.

Check out this amazing video of Jim playing during the Mad Dog’s tour. Delta Lady with Joe Cocker Live at the Fillmore East, March 1970. 


 
More info on Jim can be found at; www.wikipedia.org

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Remembering Delaney & Bonnie and Friends

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I had first heard about Delaney & Bonnie in 1971 when they did a live radio broadcast for New York’s WABC-FM (which later became WPLJ). They were backed by an amazing group of players including Duane & Gregg Allman and King Curtis. Duane Allman’s slide guitar solo in “Out On The Open Road” remains one of my favorites to this day. By that time it seems like everyone who was anyone wanted to jam with what seemed to be the biggest rolling party on tour in rock and roll.

Eric Clapton had discovered D&B when they were the opening act for the 1969 Blind Faith tour and quickly became one of the “friends”. Clapton is quoted in his autobiography saying: “For me, going on with Blind Faith after Delaney and Bonnie was really, really tough, because I thought they were miles better than us.” This is also where Clapton met Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock and Jim Gordon which later became Derick & The Dominoes. Duane Allman was also included on the Layla recordings and Clapton wanted Duane to join the band full time, but Allman had a little band of his own that he was more interested in playing with at the time.

George Harrison was so impressed with them that he offered Delaney and Bonnie a contract with the Beatles Apple Records label and also was how many of the same players wound up on Harrisons “All Things Must Pass” album. Harrison also credits Delaney with teaching him how to play slide guitar.

Other greats included with the “friends” were Leon Russell and Dave Mason. Many of D&B’s ex-members were recruited by Russell to join Joe Cocker’s band, participating on Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen 1970 recording sessions and North American tour. Mason took many of the same players on tour with him with Traffic and they played on the live “Welcome To The Canteen” recording.

Amazing how so many great players got linked up to make some of the greatest recordings in the history of rock though Delaney & Bonnie. D&B never did break though in a big commercial way and while many of their albums were well received by the music community, they never really sold very many. Still, I would have to say that they were one of the most important groups of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

I did a search on youtube and found this great video of “Coming Home” which features many of the “friends” that I’ve talked about. It looks as though they are having a great time on that rolling party. I wish I could have been there!

Goodbye WNEW – Thoughts about the end of NY radio

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In a twenty four hour news cycle where I read that the Doomsday Clock had been moved forward two minutes, the Carteret Islands in the remote south pacific were the first victims of the rising sea due to global warming and the New York radio station icon WNEW has officially bit the dust, I felt I had to say something.

Yeah, things have changed.

Anyone who grew up in the New York area during the 60’s and 70’s is probably as sad as I am to hear the news about “NEW”. Not that it’s really news at this point since the radio station that we all knew and loved has not existed for many years now. This is just the final nail in the coffin of what used to be the vibrant NY radio scene.

Who could forget that rainy Saturday afternoon in 1974 when John Lennon popped in on Dennis Elsas and stayed for the afternoon playing DJ. Or when Lennon was gunned down only six years later on that dark day in December. I stayed up for three days straight listening to “NEW” and recording what they played into an old reel to reel tape recorder. I still have the tapes, but refuse to listen to them. Too depressing. It’s the only time I can remember Scott Muni crying on the air.

When Jimi Hendrix released Electric Ladyland or The Beatles released Abbey Road, “NEW” would play the whole record from start to finish without any commercials. You won’t see that anymore. They didn’t just play great music. I used to wake up early on Sunday mornings when they used to broadcast the lectures from the great philosopher Alan Watts.

Everyone was listening. The only time the radio was not on is when we were either playing the records that we just bought or playing music in our garage bands trying to copy that great sound that we heard on the records. Many a time I could remember walking into school in the morning and my friends would come up to me and say “did you hear what they were playing on “NEW” last night? Yeah, I heard. I used to go to sleep with the radio on.

Many of the old “NEW” crew has migrated over to WFUV which I guess is a positive thing. I still like listening to Pete Fornatale and Vince Scelsa on Saturdays. Too bad they and the classic rock format are only a small part of what is on the WFUV program schedule. Even so, things are just not the same. Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t feel the same excitement that I used to feel when I would turn on the radio back in the day and never knew what great song I would hear next.

Just did a search as google for WNEW and found lot’s of interesting stuff. Here is one with lot’s of cool old picts. Good memories.

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Patch King Podcast Volume 2 Now Online – Music From The Caribbean

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Join Proton as he plays “Music From The Caribbean”. Featuring the music of Jamaica’s “Mikey General” and “Milton Blake” along with Barbados’s “Magnet Man”. Also featured are a couple of Kid Nepro mixes called “Reg-Rock” which Proton describes as a “Blend of Reggae and Rock Music”.

We are now developing The Patch King Podcast to become a showcase for bands looking to get their music heard by an international audience. Anyone interested in submitting their music can contact us HERE. We are also very interested in any songs that you have produced using any Kid Nepro sound patches or digital samples so please contact us if you have any music that you would like us to hear.

Click Here to listen to The Patch King Podcast

Click Here to link to our RSS Feed

You can subscribe to our Podcast at: https://www.kidnepro.com/blog/?feed=rss2

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Kid Nepro Launches The Patch King Podcast

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Welcome to our first Podcast. We thought that adding a podcast to the Kid Nepro site would be a great way for our customers to stay in touch with all the latest developments going on in the patch kingdom including updates on our new releases and audio demos, music industry news and generally what’s going on in the world of music.

Join Proton as he plays some demos from our latest release for the Yamaha Motif and talks about, music industry news, classic rock, politics and lot’s more.

We hope to produce a new podcast on average of once a month so please subscribe to our podcast or mailing list and we will contact you about our new releases or when a new podcast is available online. Customer feedback is very important to us so feel free to post any comments at our blog or send us an e-mail with your questions or comments.

Click Here to listen to The Patch King Podcast

Click Here to link to our RSS Feed

You can subscribe to our Podcast at: https://www.kidnepro.com/blog/?feed=rss2

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Fillmore East Storys

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Many of you may know Kid Nepro from the sounds that I make for synths and samplers. This blog has given me the opportunity to write a little more about some of my other interests so I started the “Classic Rock” category.

Rock music from the 60’s and 70’s is one of my passions. The music that I make has been heavily influenced by music from that era and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about it. As a teenager I was lucky enough to attend several Fillmore East concerts before the classic rock theatre closed in June of 1971. I was actually backstage at the last public performance and got to meet several rock icons including the legendary Bill Graham. It was one of those moments I will never forget. Many years later I wrote everything down and created a web page about that night and how it influenced me in wanting to become a musician.

You can find it Over here

Click Here for a taste of the music from that weekend.

If you were lucky enough to be have been at any of the Fillmore East or West shows during that time I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to post your stories in the comments section.

BTW: In case you have not checked it out yet be sure to visit Wolfgangs Vault for some of the best music never heard!

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