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Iron Butterfly Bassist Dead At 70
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Dec 21, 2012 - 4:17:22 PM

ORANGE COUNTY—Lee Dorman, the bassist for the acid rock band Iron Butterfly, was found dead at his home on Friday, December 21, He was 70 years old.
Lee Dorman, bassist for Iron Butterfly.

Police responded to Dorman's home at approximately 10 a.m. and he was found sitting in his car. Police believe there was no foul play involved in his death. Dorman had a history of heart problems which may have influenced his decision to retire from music.

Dorman is from St. Louis, Missouri and moved to San Diego sometime in the 1960's. Iron Butterfly formed in San Diego in 1966 with original members Doug Ingle on vocals and organ, Jack Pinney on drums Greg Willis on bass and Danny Weis on guitar. Jerry Penrod and Bruce Morris replaced Willis and Pinney after the bands relocation to Los Angeles.

The band went through a number of band member replacements as bassist Dorman, guitarist Erik Bann and drummer Ron Bushy joined the band for touring. Their debut album, "Heavy," was released in 1968 after the band signed a deal with ATCO, an Atlantic Records subsidiary.

The 17-minute song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was the title track for the band's second album and became a Top Thirty hit in the United States. The album sold over three million copies by the end of 1970 and received a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in December 1968. It would eventually sell over 30 million copies and become among the world's 40 best-selling albums.

The band continued to have a multitude of lineup changes throughout its career until their fourth album when the band broke up after playing a final show on May 23, 1971. Dorman and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt founded the band Captain Beyond along with singer Rod Evans and drummer Bobby Caldwell. The band disbanded and got back together a few times over the years and released three albums and a four track EP.


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