Doug Ingle, Last Original Member of Iron Butterfly, and Singer-Writer of ‘In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,’ Dies

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Doug Ingle, the singer and organist for the American rock band Iron Butterfly, and the composer of their epic 1968 song “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,” died last night (May 24, 2024). News of his passing at age 78, was shared by his son, Doug Ingle Jr. Neither the cause nor place of death was indicated, though his son wrote that his father “passed away peacefully…in the presence of his family.”

Ingle was the last surviving original member of the band that, with “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,” contributed one the iconic musical moments of the era. He was preceded most recently in death by the band’s drummer, Ron Bushy, in 2021, who had provided the song’s roughly three-minute drum solo.

By the summer of ’68 Iron Butterfly was already set to issue its sophomore LP. In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida—released via Atlantic Records’ Atco label on June 14, 1968, and featuring the quartet of Ingle, guitarist Erik Brann, drummer Bushy and bassist Lee Dorman—took its name from its title track, which, at 17:05, occupied all of side B on the original vinyl LP.

Lyrically, other than the misheard title phrase, there really wasn’t much to “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” But it was all in the presentation, and Iron Butterfly found their audience with their second album and its centerpiece. The album, recorded on Long Island, rose to #4 on the Billboard LP chart, while the single, edited down to a more radio-friendly 2:52, found its way to #30 on that chart.

Listen to the album version of “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”

Related: Our feature story on the band and its monster track

“In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” quickly established itself as a rock classic and when the band performed the song live, they often extended it even beyond the 17-minute mark, reportedly reaching a half-hour at times.

Iron Butterfly receiving gold and platinum awards for the In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida album. This photo appeared in the Sept. 6, 1969, issue of Record World

Watch the 1968 lineup play the full 17-minute version of “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”

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Ingle was born September 9, 1945, in Omaha, Nebraska, and followed the musical path of his father, a church organist.

Related: Musician Deaths of 2024

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

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  1. Zenguy1213
    #1 Zenguy1213 25 May, 2024, 15:28

    My first big concert was a triple package of the Iron Butterfly, the Chambers Brothers, and Sly & the Family Stone in August of 68 at the Ford Auditorium in Detroit!

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  2. Mike
    #2 Mike 25 May, 2024, 16:43

    This where I miss my childhood. I was 15 years old and still into the The Beatles and the Stones and then Iron Butterfly and then I was totally into I so sad, what great band.

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  3. Mike Horsley
    #3 Mike Horsley 26 May, 2024, 14:29

    I saw Iron Butterfly at the Hollywood Bowl in September 1968 a week before I entered the Navy…Doug Ingle was one of my favorite vocalists….Along with the Butterfly that night was Big Brother & the Holding Company. RIP Doug!!

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  4. Bobby
    #4 Bobby 26 May, 2024, 17:03

    Their best album by far was “Metamorphosis.”

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