Doug Ingle, Singer & Co-Founder of Iron Butterfly Passes Away

Last surviving member of Iron Butterfly has passed away — Doug Engle
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Last surviving member of Iron Butterfly has passed away — Doug Engle
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Photo Credit: Lou Babinga / Facebook

Doug Ingle, the lead singer and co-founder of Iron Butterfly, has passed away. He was 78. Ingle was a co-writer on the rock band’s most famous hit, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

The news was announced on Facebook by Ingle’s son, Doug Ingle Jr. “It’s with a heavy heart and great sadness to announce the passing of my father, Doug Ingle. Dad passed away peacefully Friday evening, May 24 in the presence of family,” the announcement reads. “Thank you Dad for being a father, teacher, and a friend. Cherished loving memories I will carry the rest of my days moving forward in this journey of life.”

Doug Ingle was a founding member of Iron Butterfly, which formed in San Diego, California in 1966. Original band members include Doug Ingle, Jack Pinney, Greg Willis, and Danny Weis. Once the group signed a record deal, the lineup changed to include Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, Lee Dorman, and Erik Brann. Ingle co-wrote “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and a number of other hits including “Soul Experience,” “In the Time of Our Lives,” and “Easy Rider.”

According to a story told by drummer Ron Bushy, Doug Ingle wrote the famous “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” one evening after drinking an entire gallon of Red Mountain wine. Ingle was so drunk when he played the song that Bushy wrote down the lyrics exactly as he heard them. What was supposed to be “In the Garden of Eden” became “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

After Iron Butterfly broke up in 1971, Ingle toured occasionally with his former bandmates. He was not involved with either of the band’s last two albums released in 1975, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel. He had a short stint with the pop group Stark Naked and the Car Thieves in the early ‘70s following his departure from Iron Butterfly. Following his career as a musician, Ingle managed an RV Park in the Los Angeles National Forest from 1974 to 1978.