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Iron Butterfly

Iron Butterfly
Classic lineup of Iron Butterfly in 1969: from left to right Doug Ingle (organ, vocals), Ron Bushy (drums, percussion), Lee Dorman (bass, vocals), Erik Braunn (guitars, vocals)
Background information
Origin San Diego, California, United States
Genres Psychedelic Rock, Acid Rock, Hard Rock[1][2][3][4]
Years active 1966–71, 1974–85, 1987–2012, 2014–present
Labels Atco, MCA
Associated acts Captain Beyond, Rhinoceros
Website .com.ironbutterflywww
Members Ron Bushy
Eric Barnett
Mike Green
Dave Meros
Phil Parlapiano
Ray Weston
Past members Members

Iron Butterfly is an American psychedelic 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 music. Formed in San Diego, California among band members that 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.[5] Iron Butterfly is also notable for being the first group to receive an RIAA platinum award.[6]


  • History 1
    • Formation and Heavy (1966–1968) 1.1
    • Success with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and first breakup (1968–1971) 1.2
    • Reunions (1974–2011) 1.3
    • Deaths of former members and inactivity (2012–2013) 1.4
    • Third re-union (2015–present) 1.5
  • Personnel 2
    • Current members 2.1
    • Former members 2.2
    • Lineups 2.3
    • Timeline 2.4
  • Discography 3
    • Studio albums 3.1
    • Live albums 3.2
    • Compilation albums 3.3
    • EPs 3.4
    • Singles 3.5
  • Videography 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Formation and Heavy (1966–1968)

Ron Bushy, Iron Butterfly performing "In a Gadda da Vida", Germany, May 2005

The band formed in 1966 in Danny Weis (guitar).[8] 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. All but Ingle and Bushy left the band after recording their 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 (also known as "Erik Braunn" and "Erik Braun") and resumed touring. In early 1968, their debut album Heavy was released after signing a deal with ATCO, an Atlantic Records subsidiary. They were represented by the William Morris Agency who booked all their live concerts.

In terms of sound, the group took inspiration from a variety of sources outside of the rock arena, such as the bongo playing of Preston Epps and the rhythm and blues music of Booker T and the MGs. Around this time, the band notably ran into guitarist Jimmy Page, who stated that he used the group as partial inspiration for the name "Led Zeppelin". As well, one of the Zeppelin's first touring sets in the U.S. was playing with Iron Butterfly at Fillmore East in New York, New York.[6]

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 "gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in December 1968 [9] and had sold over three million copies by the end of 1970. It ultimately sold over 20 million copies, went platinum, and stayed on the Billboard magazine 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".[10]

The next album, 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 would subsequently found Captain Beyond.

Bassist Lee Dorman in Prague on 11 March 2012

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. Bobby Hasbrook played in various Iron Butterfly lineups with Mike Pinera and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt. Bobby Hasbrook continued to play and tour with Iron Butterfly until 1982.

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 Erik Barnett. A DVD of live performances from the tour was released in 2008. Larry Rust became keyboardist from 1999-2005.

Guitarist/vocalist Charlie Marinkovich joined the band in 2002. Originally from Seattle, Marinkovich had played with Randy Hansen and others.[11]

German violinist, keyboardist and composer Martin Gerschwitz, formerly of "Lita Ford", "Meat Loaf", "Walter Trout", and most recently of "Eric Burdon & The Animals" [12] 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.[13] On July 25, 2003, Erik Brann died of heart failure at the age of 52.[14]

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.[15] The award was presented by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.[16] 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 couple of shows, when Gerschwitz was unable to play due to his earlier arranged own solo-tour schedule [17]

Deaths of former members and inactivity (2012–2013)

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.[18]

Third re-union (2015–present)

In late 2014 there were reports of the band reforming with a lineup consisting of Bushy, Mike Pinera, Doug Ingle Jr. on keyboards, and an unnamed bassist.[19] However, this reformation did not come to fruition and in 2015 the band unveiled a lineup consisting of Bushy, returning guitarist Eric Barnett, along with new members Mike Green (percussion), Dave Meros (bass), Phil Parlapiano (keyboards), and Ray Weston. 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.[20]


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 Montana – backing vocals (live - 1989)
  • Cecelia Noel – backing vocals (live - 1989)
  • Oly Larios - bass (substitute - 2001)
  • Ken Chalupnik – bass (substitute - 2006)




Studio albums

Year Album US
1968 Heavy 78
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 4
1969 Ball 3
1970 Metamorphosis 16
1975 Scorching Beauty 138
Sun and Steel -

Live albums

Year Album US
1970 Live 20
2011 Fillmore East 1968 -
2014 Live at the Galaxy 1967 -
2014 Live in Copenhagen 1971 -
2014 Live in Sweden 1971 -

Compilation albums


  • "Iron Butterfly Theme" b/w "Look for the Sun", "Possession"
  • RADIO EP: "Iron Butterfly Theme", "Possession" b/w "Get Out of My Life Woman", "Unconscious Power"
  • "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", "Flowers and Beads" b/w "My Mirage"


Year Name US Album
1967 "Don't Look Down on Me"
b/w "Possession" (from Heavy)
- Non-album track
1968 "Unconscious Power"
b/w "Possession"
- Heavy
b/w "Iron Butterfly Theme" (from Heavy)
30 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
1969 "Soul Experience"
b/w "In the Crowds"
75 Ball
"In the Time of Our Lives"
b/w "It Must Be Love"
"I Can't Help But Deceive You Little Girl"
b/w "To Be Alone"
118 Non-album tracks
1970 "Easy Rider (Let the Wind Pay the Way)"
b/w "Soldier in Our Town"
66 Metamorphosis
1971 "Silly Sally"
b/w "Stone Believer" (from Metamorphosis)
- Non-album track
1975 "Pearly Gates"
b/w "Searchin' Circles"
- Scorching Beauty
"High on a Mountain Top"
b/w "Before You Go"
"Beyond the Milky Way"
b/w "Get It Out"
108 Sun and Steel
"I'm Right, I'm Wrong"
b/w "Scion"


(Contained video performances of "Easy Rider" (3:21), "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (17:03) and "Butterfly Blue" (19:51))

  • Rock 'N' Roll Greats In Concert! (Passport Video) 2004

(Contained video performances of the full concert at Itchycoo Park in 1999)


  • Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides.  


  1. ^ Iron Butterfly at AllMusic
  2. ^ Talevski, Nick (2006). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door.  
  3. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock.  
  4. ^ A. Hamilton, Neil (1997). The ABC-Clio Companion to the 1960s Counterculture in America.  
  5. ^ "Lifetime Award; The San Diego City Beat". September 7, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  6. ^ a b "DRUMHEAD Magazine". Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  7. ^ Joynson, Vernon (1995). Fuzz, Acid, & Flowers. London: Borderline Books.
  8. ^ "Iron Butterfly". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  9. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 242.  
  10. ^ Mover, Johnathan. Iron Butterfly's Ron Bushy Making History Retrieved on 2009-08-31.
  11. ^ "Official Website". Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "About". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  13. ^ "The Chronology: 2000 - 2004". 2005-10-24. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  14. ^ Perrone, Pierre. Erik Brann Obituary in The Independent UK Newspaper 2003-08-07. Retrieved on 2010-07-12.
  15. ^ "San Diego Music Awards". San Diego Music Awards. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  16. ^ Varga, George.Rock 'n' Roll Mayor loves Iron Butterfly San Diego Union Tribune Weekly Insert, Night & Day. 2010-09-03. Retrieved on 2010-09-04.
  17. ^ MeddleEarth. "Iron Butterfly 2012-05-13 Portland Oregon - sample: Easy Rider". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  18. ^ "The Official Iron Butterfly Website". Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  19. ^ "Iron Butterfly Reforming With Ron Bushy, Mike Pinera and Doug Ingle, Jr. ~ VVN Music". 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  20. ^ "Ironbutterfly.Com". Ironbutterfly.Com. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Collectors website with discography
  • Iron Butterfly Performances
  • Iron Butterfly All Music Guide Entry
  • Iron Butterfly Worldwide Discography at Discogs
  • Doug Ingle interview at Classic Bands
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-VidaCritical comment on
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