Doug Ingle Dead at 78

( The psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly was formed in 1966 before Led Zeppelin and others emerged on the music scene. After signing a record deal, the band lineup included Doug Ingle, Lee Dorman, Erik Brann, and Ron Bushy. Dorman, Brann, and Bushy all passed away between 2003 and 2021, leaving Ingle as the sole remaining survivor. Sadly, now he, too, has passed.

On Saturday, May 25, Ingle’s son, Doug Ingle Jr., posted on Facebook “with a heavy heart & great sadness” about his father’s passing at the age of 78. He did not provide a cause of death.

Iron Butterfly became known for its most popular hit “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,” a 17-minute-long song famous for its simple lyrics and a 13-minute instrumental break. It was never meant to be that long. During a recording session, an engineer asked the band to do a playthrough so he could adjust the settings. The members went into an epic jam session which the engineer recorded — and the rest is history.

“In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” went on to become the band’s biggest hit, with their 1968 sophomore album, titled the same, spending 81 weeks in the top 10 in the United States. It was certified quadruple-platinum and stood, for a time, as Atlantic Records bestselling album. Ingle would go on to create two more studio albums with Iron Butterfly, before departing.

That said, the band didn’t last long, breaking up only five years after its formation. They did eventually come together for a few reunions in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s until Ingle retired from performing completely in 1999. He struggled with debt early on, after riding the high of becoming a multi-millionaire, only to lose it all.

There have been various incarnations of Iron Butterfly in the years since, with at least 60 band members involved, but none have been able to capture the true essence of the original that has now died with its last surviving founder.

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