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Doug Ingle dead at 78: Founding member and lead singer of Iron Butterfly dies ‘peacefully’ and ‘surrounded by family’


Doug Ingle, original lead singer of rock band Iron Butterfly, has died aged 78.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, he was the last surviving member of the classic Iron Butterfly lineup that featured on their second studio album, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968).

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Doug Ingle. Dad passed away peacefully (Friday) evening (May 24) with family present,” his son Doug Ingle Jr. wrote on Facebook. Deadline.

He continued: “Thank you, Dad, for being a father, a teacher and a friend. Cherished loving memories I will carry the rest of my days on this journey through life. I love you dad.’

The band formed in San Diego in 1966 with original members: Ingle (vocals and organ), Jack Pinney (drums), Greg Willis (bass) and Danny Weis (guitar).

Doug Ingle, original singer and organist of Iron Butterfly, died on Friday, May 24, aged 78; he is shown performing in New York in 1969

Iron Butterfly would go through many member changes over the years, but most people consider the classic lineup to be Ingle (vocals), Bushy (drums), Lee Dorman (bass) and Erik Brann (guitar).

The latter two members joined after recording their debut studio album Heavy (1968).

But it was their second release, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968) that became their bestseller, behind the success of their 17-minute title track, which had an edited 2:52 version. became a top 30 hit.

The album ended up staying on the Billboard charts for an incredible 140 weeks and eventually sold over 30 million copies.

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The group’s third album, Ball (1969), was also a hit, reaching gold status and reaching number three on the Billboard charts.

Around this time, Iron Butterfly were booked to play Woodstock in August 1969, but got stuck at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Ingle would go on to co-write some other hits for the band such as Soul Experience, In The Time Of Our Lives and Easy Rider.

He recorded a fourth album with the band, Metamorphosis (1970), which peaked at number 16 in the US, before leaving the group in 1971.

Ingle (front center) was the lead singer of the classic Iron Butterfly line-up which also included Erik Braun (guitar), Lee Dorman (bass) and Ron Bushy (drums) on their most successful studio album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

Ingle (front center) was the lead singer of the classic Iron Butterfly line-up which also included Erik Braun (guitar), Lee Dorman (bass) and Ron Bushy (drums) on their most successful studio album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Ingle left Iron Butterfly in 1971 after four studio albums, although he joined the band occasionally on tour over the years;  he is pictured in 1997

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Ingle left Iron Butterfly in 1971 after four studio albums, although he joined the band occasionally on tour over the years; he is pictured in 1997

After his departure, Iron Butterfly released two more albums: Scorching Beauty (1975) and Sun and Steel (1975).

Ingle occasionally appeared on stage with the band while touring for decades.

There have been many other line-up changes over the years leading up to the present day, although none of them are original members or from the classic line-up.

Iron Butterfly’s music has had a significant impact on the rock scene worldwide since the late 1960s, influencing such classic bands as Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Rush, Alice Cooper, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Mountain, Slayer, Uriah Heep and Queens Of The Stone Age.

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