Imprisoned drummer Jim Gordon denied parole Former session drummer still suffering from schizophrenia Renowned session drummer in the 1960s and '70s Jim Gordon, also one of the saddest cases in rock music and in prison since 1984, was denied parole until at least 2018 at a hearing last month.

During the 1960s and 1970s Jim was one of the top drummers in Los Angeles, having worked with the Everly Brothers, Joe Cocker, the Beach Boys, John Lennon, the Carpenters, Carly Simon, Joan Baez, Frank Zappa, Derek and the Dominos, and Alice Cooper among many others.

Hearing voices
Probably due to excessive drug and alcohol intake, Jim developed schizophrenia and began to hear voices, including those of his mother. The voices forced him to starve himself and prevented him from sleeping, relaxing or playing drums.

In 1979, he turned down a tour with Bob Dylan. Between that time and his arrest, Jim checked himself into hospitals more than a dozen times for treatment. His mother's voice had grown louder and more relentless in his head.

Murdering his mother
By 1981, the Grammy Award winning drummer was unable to continue in music, and finally, in 1983, the voices to Jim to attack his 71-year-old mother, which he did. He stabbed her to death with a hammer and a butcher's knive.

Though at trial the court accepted that Jim had acute schizophrenia, he was not allowed to use an insanity defense because of changes to California law due to the Insanity Defense Reform Act.

The judge sentenced the troubled drummed to 16 years to life, with his first eligibility for parole in 1992.

A danger to society
Thirty years after the drummer confessed killing his mother, a California board panel deems the musician "a danger to society if released from prison", citing his resistance to court-ordered medication and counseling, according to a hearing transcript obtained by Rolling Stone magazine.

Los Angeles County deputy district attorney Alexis de la Garza stated:
"Jim Gordon continues to shows symptoms of schizophrenia and is medically and psychologically noncompliant. This is one of the saddest cases that we have in prison. We have an individual who is seriously psychologically incapacitated, and he is a danger when he is not taking his medication."

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