HistoryIron Butterfly could have been an undescript acid rock band from the drug-dazed days of 1960s California were it not for two things. The band, formed in San Diego in 1966 (later moved to Los Angeles) and called its first album Heavy. Then it proceeded to record a 17-minute track called In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. The tarck primarily composed by keyboardist Doug Ingle became a classic. Ingle would leave the band in 1971 however. Iron Butterfly was not only revered for years to come by heavy metal fans the world over; also the band’s ultimate cult status was sealed forever more.
The band’s early line-up featured Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, singer Darryl De Loach, guitarist Dan Weiss and bassist Jerry Penrod. By the time 1968 rolled around the band featured Brann and bassist Dorman. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida went on to sell five million albums and was reportedly the first album ever to go platinum, but diminishing sales for follow-up albums lead to line-up changes and defections. Most importantly, Mike Pinera replaced Brann on vocals.
Black Oak Arkansas’ debut of 1971 was produced by the Iron Butterfly duo of Mike Pinera and Larry Dorman at Paramount Recording Studio and Gold Star Recording Studios in Hollywood.
Iron Butterfly would flutter away in 1971 only to reform in 1975 with Bushy and Brann recruiting newer fellow members. Scorching Beauty and Sun And Steel were deemed weak albums and Iron Butterfly disbanded. There are reports of tours in 1979 and 1989 in the USA. A video was issued in 1996. Erik Brann died in 2003 of a heart attack. The band definitely reformed in 2004 as a touring act! A new video was also announced for 2006.
In 2011, Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond member Larry 'Rhino' Reinhardt released a new CD featuring original Great Southern Members. Rhino And The Posse Back In The Day CD could be purchased through www.rldrecords.com. The band contributed music to the films The Savage Seven, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare On Elm Street. Iron Butterfly, which disbanded after the death of bassist Lee Dorman in 2012, reformed in late 2014 for touring and recording of new music. The band was founding drummer Ron Bushy, Doug Ingle, Jr. who was the son of original singer Doug Ingle and guitarist Mike Pinera. Ron Bushy died in Los Angeles, California of esophageal cancer in August 2021. He was 79. Bushy was on drums on the band’s ’60s and ‘70s’ albums.
Iron Butterfly was invited to play Woodstock, but could not make it due to flight delays.