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Iron Butterfly is a U.S. hard rock and psychedelic band, best known for their 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". They are sometimes called "the first heavy metal band" as a result of this song and others like it. Their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated several times with various members.
The band was formed in 1966 in San Diego and released their debut album, Heavy, in 1968, after signing a deal with ATCO, an Atlantic Records subsidiary. The original members were Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, Jerry "The Bear" Penrod, Darryl DeLoach and Danny Weis. All but Ingle and Bushy left the band after recording the first 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 and resumed touring.
Weis and Penrod almost immediately went on to form the supergroup Rhinoceros.
The 17-minute "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", the title track of their second album, became a Top Thirty hit in the US. (Doug Ingle is reported to have said the title was an alcohol-slurred version of "In the Garden of Eden", although this is probably apocryphal; see the song's page.) The members when In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was recorded were Doug Ingle (keyboards and vocals), Lee Dorman (bass guitar), Ron Bushy (drums) and Erik Brann, also Braunn (guitar). The next album, Ball, topped the charts but more lineup changes followed. In 1970 with Erik Brann gone, Iron Butterfly released their fourth album, Metamorphosis with two new members, guitarist / vocalist / songwriter Mike Pinera (whose Blues Image had opened for the Butterfly's Vida tour and who later led Ramatam and played with Alice Cooper) and guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt. The album only managed to get into the top twenty. The band broke up in 1971. Dorman and Reinhardt later became members of the supergroup Captain Beyond.
The band was booked to play at Woodstock, but got stuck at an airport. When their manager called the promoters of the concert, they explained the incredible situation they had been dealt 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. In truth, his outrageous demands were never given a second thought.
The band re-formed in 1974 with Ron Bushy and Eric Brann joined by bassist Philip Taylor Kramer and Howard Reitzes. (Kramer later made news with his 1995 disappearance and the discovery of his bones and minivan at the bottom of Decker Canyon in 1999). The albums released during this lineup: Scorching Beauty in 1975 with Reitzes and Sun and Steel early 1976 with DeMartines.
A very brief semi-reunion in 1978, enlisting Jimi Henderson on vocals and former Van der Graaf Generator / The Koobas / Juicy Lucy bassist Keith Ian Ellis, imploded during a tour of Germany, when Ellis was found dead in a motel room.
The famous line-up of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida got together for the Atlantic Recording Corporation's 40th anniversary concert and celebration, appearing on stage along with the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, and with Aretha Franklin among many other acts of the company's roster in 1987.
On October 3, 2002, original guitarist/vocalist Darryl DeLoach died of liver cancer at the age of 56.
On July 31, 2003 Erik Brann died of cardiac failure at the age of 52. He was working on a new solo album at the time of his death. The album to date remains unreleased, although friends and family of Brann are working on seeing its release.
As of 2004, the group is once again re-formed, and is touring with early members Ron Bushy and Lee Dorman. Iron Butterfly is now working on a new album that should be released in mid-late 2007.

* Led Zeppelin opened for Iron Butterfly. A year to the day later Iron Butterfly opened for Led Zeppelin. The ironic twist continued with the band Yes, members of which are friends of drummer Ron Bushy.
* When Iron Butterfly reformed in 1968 after a brief split, musicians rumored to have been interested in joining as lead guitarist include Neil Young, Jeff Beck, and Michael Monarch. Doug Ingle and Ron Bushy eventually decided upon Erik Brann.
* In an episode of the Simpsons (Season 7 episode 4: Bart Sells His Soul), Bart plays a prank by substituting the church hymnal with "In the Garden of Eden" ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida") by "I. Ron. Butterfly".

-Ron Bushy.
-Lee Dorman.
-Charlie Marinkovich.
-Martin Gerschwitz.
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