Whether it’s categorized as psychedelic rock or a transition into heavy metal, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was a mega-hit, both as a single and as the 17-minute longer version on the 1968 album of the same name for Iron Butterfly. The album was the first to be awarded platinum status by RIAA. Today, it is a 4x platinum album, having sold more than 30 million copies. Didn’t every local rock and garage band you know play “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” at some point?
The song was written by the group’s vocalist and keyboard player Doug Ingle. The story goes that the title was supposed to be “In the Garden of Eden.” Somewhere along the way, someone was drunk or high and wrote down “In A Gadda Da Vida” on a demo copy instead. Since that sounded somehow spiritual and, more to the point and times, a reference to Eastern spirituality along the lines of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones going to India and all that, the record company executives kept that as the title. Another story is that drummer Ron Bushy was listening to the track through headphones and, since the diction wasn’t exactly clear, thought that was the song title when asked. You get the idea…
Iron Butterfly formed in 1966 in San Diego, California. They have been touring and performing on and off ever since. Of course, membership in the group has changed over the years, but the members for “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” included Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy, Erik Braunn, and Lee Dorman.
Here is the short version: