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Iron Butterfly

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Labels  Atco, MCA
Past members  Members
Iron Butterfly httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons44

Years active  1966–1971, 1974–1985, 1987–2012, 2015–present
Associated acts  Captain Beyond, Rhinoceros
Origin  San Diego, California, United States (1966)
Members  Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, Lee Dorman, Erik Brann
Genres  Psychedelic rock, Acid rock, Hard rock
Albums  Heavy, In‑A‑Gadda‑Da‑Vida, Metamorphosis, Ball, Live

Iron butterfly in a gadda da vida 1968 original full version cd sound 3d video

Iron Butterfly is an American rock band best known for the 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", providing a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock and heavy metal music. Formed in San Diego, California, among band members who used to be "arch enemies", their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated with various members with varying levels of success, with no new recordings since 1975. The band's seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is among the world's 40 best-selling albums, selling more than 30 million copies. Iron Butterfly is also notable for being the first group to receive an RIAA platinum award.


Formation and Heavy (1966–1968)

The band formed in 1966 in San Diego. The original members were Doug Ingle (vocals, organ), Jack Pinney (drums), Greg Willis (bass), and Danny Weis (guitar). They were soon joined by tambourine player and vocalist Darryl DeLoach. DeLoach's parents' garage on Luna Avenue served as the site for their almost nightly rehearsals.

Jerry Penrod and Bruce Morse replaced Willis and Pinney after the band relocated to Los Angeles in 1966 and Ron Bushy then came aboard when Morse left due to a critical family tragedy. In early 1968, the band's debut album Heavy was released after signing a deal with ATCO, an Atlantic Records subsidiary. All but Ingle and Bushy left the band after recording the album in late 1967. The remaining musicians, faced with the possibility of the record not being released, quickly found replacements in bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Erik Brann (also known as "Erik Braunn" and "Erik Braun") and resumed touring. They were represented by the William Morris Agency, which booked all their live concerts. DeLoach subsequently recorded with Two Guitars, Piano, Drum and Darryl, while Weis and Penrod went on to form the group Rhinoceros. In 1970, DeLoach formed Flintwhistle along with Erik Brann; the band performed live for about a year before breaking up.

Success with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and first breakup (1968–1971)

The 17-minute "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", the title track of Iron Butterfly's second album, became a top-30 hit (edited down to 2:52) in the US in 1968, re-entered in late 1969, and made the number-9 spot on the Dutch Top 40 in 1970. The members when In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was recorded were Doug Ingle (organ and vocals), Lee Dorman (bass guitar), Ron Bushy (drums), and 17-year-old Erik Brann (guitar). The album was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA in December 1968 and had sold over three million copies by the end of 1970, going platinum along the way. It ultimately sold over 30 million copies and stayed on the Billboard charts for over a year.

The band had been booked to play at Woodstock, but got stuck at an airport. When their manager called the promoters of the concert, they explained the situation and asked for patience. However, the manager demanded that the Butterfly be flown in by helicopter, whereupon they would "immediately" take the stage. After their set, they would be paid and flown back to the airport. The manager was told that this would be taken into consideration and he would be called back. According to drummer Bushy, "We went down to the Port Authority three times and waited for the helicopter, but it never showed up".

The next album, Ball, reached number three on the charts and went gold, but more lineup changes followed. In 1970, with Erik Brann gone, Iron Butterfly released their fourth studio album, Metamorphosis with two new members, guitarist/vocalist Mike Pinera (whose Blues Image had opened for the Butterfly's Vida tour) and guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt. The album managed to get into the top 20, but Doug Ingle quit the group shortly after its release. Without an organist for the first time in their history, the remaining four members cut a single, "Silly Sally". It failed to chart and proved to be their last recording. The band broke up after playing a final show on May 23, 1971. Dorman and Reinhardt subsequently founded Captain Beyond.

Reunions (1974–2011)

The band reformed in 1974 with Ron Bushy and Erik Brann joined by bassist Philip Taylor Kramer and keyboardist Howard Reitzes. (Kramer later made news with his 1995 disappearance and the discovery of his remains and minivan at the bottom of Decker Canyon in 1999). Brann, who had done occasional lead vocals during Iron Butterfly's original run, served as the band's main lead vocalist. The album Scorching Beauty was released in January 1975 with Reitzes and Sun and Steel in October 1975 with Bill DeMartines replacing Reitzes. Both albums were criticized for bearing little resemblance to the original tone of the group, and sold poorly compared to their earlier releases.

In December 1978, the band's bassist, Keith Ellis, died in Germany. A similar loss occurred in 1985 when incumbent bassist Kurtis Teal died as a result of a heart murmur. Teal's death led the band to dissolve.

Bobby Hasbrook, from Hawaii, joined the band as lead guitarist and lead vocals with Lee Dorman, Erik Braun, Bobby Caldwell, and John leimseider, soon after Keith Ellis's death in 1978. Hasbrook played in various Iron Butterfly lineups with Mike Pinera and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt and continued to play and tour with Iron Butterfly until 1982.

In May 1988, the band's classic 1968 line-up of Ingle, Bushy, Brann, and Dorman performed at the 40th-anniversary celebration of Atlantic Records at Madison Square Garden along with Led Zeppelin.

Doug Ingle rejoined the band on vocals and keyboards from 1994 to 1999. In 1997, the band did a tour of Europe with original members Ingle, Bushy, and Dorman, along with keyboardist Derek Hilland and new guitarist Eric Barnett. A DVD of live performances from the tour was released in 2008. Ingle officially retired in 1999, and Larry Rust joined the band as keyboardist from 1999-2005.

Guitarist/vocalist Charlie Marinkovich joined the band in 2002. Originally from Seattle, Marinkovich had played with Randy Hansen and others.

German violinist, keyboardist, and composer Martin Gerschwitz, who had formerly worked with Lita Ford, Meat Loaf, Walter Trout, and most recently Eric Burdon and The Animals, joined the band in 2005, replacing Larry Rust.

On October 3, 2002, original vocalist Darryl DeLoach died of liver cancer at the age of 55. On July 25, 2003, Erik Brann died of heart failure at the age of 52.

In early 2010, an announcement was made that Iron Butterfly would receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Annual San Diego Music Awards, which took place on September 12, 2010. The award was presented by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Later the same year, Ray Weston (formerly of Wishbone Ash) came in to substitute on drums for Ron Bushy after he was sidelined by health issues. In early 2012, Phil Parlapiano substituted for Martin Gerschwitz for a few shows, when Gerschwitz was unable to play due to his own solo-tour schedule.

Deaths of Reinhardt and Dorman, and inactivity (2012–2014)

Former guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt died on January 2, 2012, at the age of 63, due to cirrhosis of the liver. Bassist Lee Dorman, who had a history of heart trouble, died on December 21, 2012, at the age of 70. Both Reinhardt and Dorman were also founding members of Captain Beyond, along with former Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans and drummer Bobby Caldwell.

Following Dorman's death, Iron Butterfly dissolved once more. Charlie Marinkovich revealed in 2013 that he had departed the band altogether and that Ron Bushy was very ill, shrouding the band's future in doubt.

At times during Bushy's recovery in 2014, he entertained the idea of putting a new Iron Butterfly band together, possibly with Martin Gerschwitz returning on keyboards and lead vocals.

Third reunion (2015–present)

In late 2014, reports surfaced of the band reforming, with a lineup consisting of Bushy, Mike Pinera, Doug Ingle, Jr., on keyboards, and an unnamed bassist. However, this reformation did not come to fruition and in 2015 the band unveiled a lineup consisting of Bushy and returning guitarist Eric Barnett, along with new members Mike Green (percussion), Dave Meros (bass), Phil Parlapiano (keyboards), and Ray Weston {drums}. Meros, Parlapiano, and Weston have all previously played with Iron Butterfly as substitute musicians; Meros for Dorman (in 2006) and Weston for Bushy (in 2010), respectively. At present, Ron Bushy remains a member of Iron Butterfly, but is not performing due to his health concerns, leaving Weston as sole drummer for the band at current appearances.

Current members

  • Ron Bushy – drums, percussion (1966–71, 1974–77, 1978–79, 1982, 1987, 1987–88, 1993-2012, 2014 – present; guest - 1982)
  • Eric Barnett – guitar, vocals (1995-2002, 2015–present)
  • Mike Green – percussion, vocals (2015–present)
  • Dave Meros – bass, vocals (2015–present; substitute - 2006)
  • Phil Parlapiano – keyboards, vocals (2015–present; substitute - 2012)
  • Ray Weston – drums, percussion (2015–present; substitute - 2010)
  • Former members

    Supporting musicians
  • Manny Bertematti – drums, percussion (substitute - 1971)
  • Donny Vosburgh - drums (guest - 1987)
  • Doug Freedman - drums, percussion (substitute - 1989)
  • JoAnne Kurman-Montana – backing vocals (live - 1989)
  • Cecelia Noel – backing vocals (live - 1989)
  • Oly Larios - bass (substitute - 2001)
  • Ken Chalupnik – bass (substitute - 2006)
  • Timeline


    In-A-Gadda-Da-VidaIn-A-Gadda-Da-Vida · 1968
    Iron Butterfly ThemeHeavy · 1968
    Butterfly BleuMetamorphosis · 1970


    Iron Butterfly Wikipedia