Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was released 50 years ago today!

The Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was released 50 years ago today.

First album to be certified Platinum!

Gold Record for “Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida” by the Iron Butterfly

Dad was the Iron Butterfly’s manager and attorney.
I played at the band’s ranch in Topanga Canyon when I was little.
I also played piano at the age of five with Herbie Hancock when he stayed at our house.
I was backstage and under the bleachers when Black Oak Arkansas played Circus Circus in Las Vegas in the early 70’s.

Dad managed all of them and other famous artists while we were growing up in Los Angeles. It was not your ordinary childhood.

“IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA” by the Iron Butterfly 1968


The band’s seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is among the world’s 40 best-selling albums, with more than 30 million copies sold. Iron Butterfly is also notable for being the first group to receive an RIAA Platinum Award. It went to #4 on the U.S. charts.

The Iron Butterfly in 1968

Doug Ingle (organ, lead vocals), Ron Bushy (drums, percussion), Lee Dorman (bass, backing vocals), Erik Braunn (guitars, backing and occasional lead vocals)



In-a-gadda-da-vida honey,
Don’tcha know that I love you?
In-a-gadda-da-vida baby,
Don’tcha know that I’ll always be true?

Oh won’tcha come with me,
And take my hand?
Oh won’tcha come with me,
And walk this land?

Please take my hand…
Let me tell ya now.
In-a-gadda-da-vida honey,
Don’tcha know that I love you?

In-a-gadda-da-vida baby,
Don’tcha know that I’ll always be true?
Oh won’tcha come with me,
And take my hand?

Oh won’tcha come with me,
And walk this land?
Please take my hand…
Let me tell ya.

Two, three, four!
In-a-gadda-da-vida honey,
Don’tcha know that I love you?
In-a-gadda-da-vida baby,
Don’tcha know that I’ll always be true?

Written by Douglas Ingle • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


In early 1968, the band’s debut album Heavy was released after signing a deal with ATCO, an Atlantic Records subsidiary. All but Ingle and Bushy left the band after recording the album in late 1967. Faced with the possibility of the record not being released, they quickly found replacements in bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Erik Brann (also known as “Erik Braunn” and “Erik Braun”) and resumed touring.


I almost went to Woodstock! This was a smash hit record in the Summer of Love 1968. Here’s the story from Wikipedia that I heard when I was growing up:

The band had been booked to play at Woodstock, 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. In truth, the demands were never given a second thought. Dorman later expressed regret at this turn of events, feeling the band’s career may have gone further had they played the festival. According to drummer Bushy, “We went down to the Port Authority three times and waited for the helicopter, but it never showed up”.

But I always heard that Dad had refused to let the band get on the helicopters unless they were paid first and that’s why we never got to Woodstock….

Here’s the truth. The band’s equipment and lightshow got stuck in the famous New York Throughway traffic jam and never made it to the location. The band was stuck in NYC (and needed a helicopter to get to the festival) and the staff at Woodstock had too many problems to deal with and said “f*ck you”, the helicopter never came and the band did not go to Woodstock.


Iron Butterfly “Ball” 1969

The gold record for this album is on the wall too. It went to #3 on the U.S. charts.

Gold Record for “Ball” by the Iron Butterfly

The next album, Ball, reached number three on the charts and went gold, but more lineup changes followed. In 1970, with Erik Brann gone, Iron Butterfly released their fourth studio album, Metamorphosis with two new members, guitarist/vocalist Mike Pinera (whose Blues Image had opened for the Butterfly’s Vida tour) and guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt.


“Metamorphosis” – the fourth studio album by Iron Butterfly, released August 13 , 1970.

The album managed to get into the top 20, but Doug Ingle quit the group shortly after its release. Without an organist for the first time in their history, the remaining four members cut a single, “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 subsequently founded Captain Beyond.


Captain Beyond – “Captain Beyond” (self-titled) 1972

Captain Beyond was a rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1971. The original line-up was singer Rod Evans, guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt, bassist Lee Dorman, and drummer Bobby Caldwell. Evans was the original lead singer for Deep Purple best known for his vocals on their 1968 debut chart-breaker “Hush”. Reinhardt and Dorman had played in Iron Butterfly; Dorman, in particular, played on most of Butterfly’s early albums, including their 1968 breakthrough In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Caldwell had come to prominence playing with Johnny Winter.

A recent “Jeopardy” Answer!


A fine Pizza Tribute in Las Vegas

NOTE: We own a small MUSIC CATALOG and the MASTER TAPES of some fine vintage recordings (some previously released on the ATCO/Calliope/Festival Records labels) and they are FOR SALE! Please message me if you are a interested in more information (serious buyers only of course).


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Platinum Record for “Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida” by the Iron Butterfly

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