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Iron Butterfly


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Iron Butterfly (1966-1971, 1974-1985, 1987-2012, 2015-present): a Hard Rock band from San Diago, California, USA.
Soon after their founding in 1966 by Doug Ingle (keyboards/vocals), Jerry Penrod (ex-David Ankles Band; guitar), Danny Weis (ex-David Ankles Band; guitar), Ron Bushy (drums/vocals) and Darryl DeLoach (bass/vocals), Iron Butterfly moved from San Diego to Los Angeles and after being spotted at the Whisky A-Go-go they signed to 'Atlantic' subsidiary label 'Atco'.

Heavy, their 1968 debut, managed to push its way to 78 in the US. Shortly after its release, Erik Braun replaced the positions of both Weis and Penrod who left to form Rhinoceros while DeLoach would be replaced by Lee Dorman.

Their next release, the organ driven progressive rock/heavy metal album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (The Garden Of Life) would arrive the following year. Released in 1968 it would become one of the most known early examples of the psychedelic music and progressive rock genres' shining moments. The album proved to be their labels' biggest seller for several years. The album was one of the first ever to go "platinum", helped greatly by the 17 minute title track that alone featured all that a progressive rock fan could want: a neo-classical organ with far-east overtones, heavy beat, a long drum solo, screeching guitars and sharp feedback. The album settled out at a US 4 and sold some 3 million copies. The follow up, Ball (1969), made it to a US 3 mostly on the reputation of its predecessor, as did the live set Iron Butterfly Live that succeeded to make 20 in the US in 1970.

It was at this point that the entire guitar section was replaced with Mike Pinera and Larry Reinhardt taking over the positions. The resulting 1971 release, Metamorphosis, would change the hard rock world forever by introducing the twin guitar attack. The album sailed to number 16 but the band couldn't keep it together and split shortly after with Pinera joining Alice Cooper many years later (1981-82).

The act reformed in 1975 as a four piece with Bushy and Braun recruiting Howard Reitzes (keyboard/vocals) and Phil Kramer (bass/vocals) but their wave had passed by and the resulting album Scorching Beauty (1975) was un-inspiring chart wise. Bill DeMartinez took over the keyboard slot for their final shot of Sun And Steel (1975) on 'M.C.A.' It was now clear the act had made its contributions to the music world and split once more the next year.

In 1989 the act attempted yet another reformation with Dorman, Braun, Reinhardt with new men Steve Feldmann (vocals), Derek Hillard (keyboards) and Kenny Suarez (drums). The reformation went nowhere.

Various attempts at reformation followed under many line-ups for events and touring with no albums except for four new sets in the form of Fillmore East 1968 (2011), Live at the Galaxy 1967 (2014), Live in Copenhagen 1971 (2014) and Live in Sweden 1971 (2014). All albums featuring live events from the past.

Original vocalist Darryl DeLoach (born on September 12, 1947) died of liver cancer on October 3, 2002 at the age of 55.

On July 25, 2003 Erik Brann died of heart failure at the age of 52.

Former guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt died on January 2, 2012 from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 63.

bassist Lee Dorman, who had a history of heart trouble, died on December 21, 2012 at the age of 70.

Classic lineup of Iron Butterfly in 1969: from left to right Doug Ingle (organ, lead vocals), Ron Bushy (drums, percussion), Lee Dorman (bass, backing vocals), Erik Braunn (guitars, backing and occasional lead vocals).
Photo by: Atco Records (advertisement)
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Dashboard for Iron Butterfly

Nation USA
City San Diago, California
Promotional Address Unknown
Genre Hard Rock
Formations 4
Web Unknown
Active Years 1966-1971, 1974-1985, 1987-2012, 2015-
E-Mail Unknown
Last Modified 2022-11-25
Diskery ID 597

Artists Linked With Iron Butterfly

Alice Cooper

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