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Lee Dorman, bassist for Iron Butterfly, dies at 70

Lee Dorman, 70, the bassist for the psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly, was found dead Friday morning in a vehicle, said Gail Krause, an Orange County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman. A coroner's investigation is under way, but foul play is not suspected.

Iron Butterfly was formed in San Diego in 1966 and recorded an album before Dorman joined a revised lineup that included guitarist Erik Braunn, keyboardist and singer Doug Ingle and drummer Ron Bushy.

In 1968, the group recorded "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida," a 17-minute heavy metal track that "was nothing short of a pop monument," The Times said in 1988, "the song of the moment" that caught the attention of the counterculture market. The album stayed on the national sales chart for 2 1/2 years and a three-minute version was a top 40 hit.

By the 1970s, another guitarist, Larry Reinhardt had joined Iron Butterfly. When the band soon broke up, Dorman and Reinhardt formed Captain Beyond with Rod Evans from Deep Purple and other musicians.

Captain Beyond recorded three albums that reflected rock, heavy metal and jazz influences, and scored something of an FM hit with the song "Sufficiently Breathless." Without Dorman, a new version of Iron Butterfly formed in 1974 and recorded albums without commercial success.

He was born Douglas Lee Dorman in 1942 in St. Louis, Mo., and had long suffered from heart problems, which ended his music career, according to the All Music Internet database.

As of 1988, he was living in Laguna Beach, leading boat cruises off Southern California and working as a bar manager.

— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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