In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida ~ Iron Butterfly

iron-butterflyIron Butterfly is an American psychedelic rock and early heavy metal band, well known for their 1968 hit “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. They are considered an early heavy metal band as a result of this song and others like it, as well as the title of their debut album, Heavy (the term “heavy,” slang for things of a deep or thoughtful manner, was an important element in the initial conception of heavy metal, a form of music dealing with war, environmental destruction, drug addiction, and other things of a “heavy” nature). Their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated several times with various members.

The band was formed in 1966 in San Diego and released their debut album, Heavy, in 1968, after signing a deal with ATCO, an Atlantic Records subsidiary. The original members were Doug Ingle (vocals, keyboards), Jack Pinney (drums), Greg Willis (bass), and Danny Weis (guitar). They were soon joined by singer/frontman Darryl DeLoach.

Jerry “The Bear” Penrod and Bruce Morris replaced Willis and Pinney after the band relocated to Los Angeles in 1966, and Ron Bushy then came aboard when Morris’ tenure proved to be a short one. All but Ingle and Bushy left the band after recording the first album in late 1967; the remaining musicians, faced with the possibility of the record not being released, quickly found replacements in bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Erik Brann (aka Erik Braunn) and resumed touring.

Weis and Penrod almost immediately went on to form the group Rhinoceros.

The band had been booked to play at Woodstock, but got stuck at an airport. When their manager called the promoters of the concert, they explained the incredible situation they had been dealt and asked for patience. However, 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, his outrageous 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.[citation needed] According to drummer, Ron Bushy, “We went down to the Port Authority three times and waited for the helicopter, but it never showed up.”

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is a seventeen-minute, two-second psychedelic rock song by Iron Butterfly, released on their 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, occupying the entire second side of the album. The lyrics are simple, and heard only at the beginning and the end. (Much similar to the 1967 Doors song Light My Fire, though 10 minutes longer.) The track was recorded on Monday, May 27, 1968 at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. The recording that is heard on the album was meant to be a soundcheck for engineer Don Casale while the band waited for the arrival of producer Jim Hilton. However, Casale had rolled a recording tape, and when the rehearsal was completed it was agreed that the performance was of sufficient quality that another take wasn’t needed. Hilton later remixed the recording at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles.

A commonly related story says that the song’s title was originally “In The Garden Of Eden” but at one point in the course of rehearsing and recording, singer Doug Ingle got intoxicated and slurred the words, creating the mondegreen that stuck as the title. However, the liner notes on ‘the best of’ CD compilation state that drummer Ron Bushy was listening to the track through headphones, and couldn’t clearly distinguish what Doug Ingle answered when Ron asked him for the title of the song (which was originally “In-The-Garden-Of-Eden”). An alternate explanation, as given in the liner notes of the 1995 re-release of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album, is that Ingle was drunk and/or high when he first told Bushy the title, and Bushy wrote it down. Bushy then showed Ingle what he had written, and the slurred title stuck.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/iron-butterfly-in-a-gadda-da-vida.flv[/flv]

In a gadda da vida, baby
(In the Garden of Eden)
In a gadda da vida, honey
Don’t you know that I’m lovin’ you

Oh, won’t you come with me
And take my hand
Oh, won’t you come with me
And walk this land
Please take my hand

In a gadda da vida, honey
Don’t you know that I’m lovin’ you
In a gadda da vida, baby
Don’t you know that I’ll always be true

Oh, won’t you come with me
And take my hand
Oh, won’t you come with me
And walk this land
Please take my hand

In a gadda da vida, honey
Don’t you know that I’m lovin’ you
In a gadda da vida, baby
Don’t you know that I’ll always be true

Oh, won’t you come with me
And take my hand
Oh, won’t you come with me
And walk this land
Please take my hand

In a gadda da vida, baby
(In the Garden of Eden)
In a gadda da vida, honey
Don’t you know that I’m lovin’ you

Oh, won’t you come with me
And take my hand
Oh, won’t you come with me
And walk this land
Please take my hand

  • Audio from the 1968 album, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida:

album -in-a-gadda-da-vida
(319)

About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

Got a comment?