Iron Butterfly original band members list explored as Doug Ingle, founder and lead singer, dies aged 78

Doug Ingle has passed away at the age of 78. (Images via Facebook/Doug Ingle Jr)
Doug Ingle has passed away at the age of 78 (Images via Facebook/Doug Ingle Jr)

Doug Ingle, the co-founder and lead vocalist of the band Iron Butterfly has passed away at the age of 78. He was the last surviving member of the musical group from the late 1960s.

On Friday, May 24, 2024, the son of the late singer shared the news to the public. He wrote,

"It’s with a heavy heart & great sadness to announce the passing of my Father Doug Ingle. Dad passed away peacefully [Friday] evening [May 24] in the presence of family. Thank You Dad for being a father, teacher and friend. Cherished loving memories I will carry the rest of my days moving forward in this journey of life. Love you Dad."

The original band members included Ingle, Jack Pinney as the drummer, Greg Willis on the bass, and Danny Weis who played the guitar.

Doug Ingle, Iron Butterfly co-founder and last surviving member of original band, dies at 78

Danny WeisGuitar1966-67
Greg WillisBass
Doug IngleOrgan, Vocals 1966–1971, 1978–79, 1983–1985, 1987–88, 1994–1999
Jack Pinney Drums, Percussion1966

Iron Butterfly is an American band formed in San Diego, California, in 1966. The original members consisted of Doug Ingle, Willis, Weis, and Pinney. However, there have been around 60 other additions to the band since its inception. Ingle was the only surviving member of the originals before his death on Friday.

Doug Ingle wrote their 1968 hit In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which became an iconic track, shaping the way for the mutation of hard rock and heavy metal music. The 17-minute song was part of their album with the same name that spent 81 weeks in the top 10 in the United States.

The project also became the bestselling album in Atlantic Records’ history, at the time. The LP was then certified quadruple-platinum.

Ingle was born in Omaha, Nebraska on September 9, 1945. He joined the band in 1966 after moving to San Diego. Doug Ingle also worked on other albums including Heavy, Ball, and Metamorphosis. Other members, drummer Ron Bushy, guitarist Erik Brann, and bassist Lee Dorman joined the group in 1968, during the making of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

Bushy had recalled at the time that when Doug Ingle played him the song he was inebriated. The main vocalist was slurring his words and the lyric that was supposed to be "in the Garden of Eden" was interpreted by Bushy as "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".

The drummer of the original band Jack Pinney, left the band after they moved to Los Angeles, along with Greg Willis. Pinney wanted to return to school and focus on studies. Danny Weis was the co-founder of two bands, Iron Butterfly and the 1967 band Rhinoceros. He left the original line-up due to internal tensions within IB. In June 2001, Weis talked about his replacement Erik Braunn, in an interview for the Rhinoceros website, saying,

"Erik Braunn replaced me in Iron Butterfly, and if I remember correctly, he bought a lot of my equipment, some of my clothes, they tried to clone me basically..."

Greg Willis died on November 11, 2016, and Ron Bushy passed on August 29, 2021. The band's current members include Eric Barnett as a guitarist and vocalist, Martin Gerschwitz on the keyboards, Dave Meros playing the bass guitar, and Bernie Pershey, the drummer.

Doug Ingle officially left the band in 1971. However, he did make occasional appearances with the touring band members. After leaving the rock band, the singer also worked with other groups such as Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. Ingle also co-wrote several hits for the Iron Butterfly like Soul Experience, In the Time of Our Lives, and Easy Rider.

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