Dec 22, 2012
Lee Dorman's cause of death is believed to be from natural causes, according to the Orange County Coroner's Office, as the rock star had a history of heart problems.
OC Sheriff deputies say Lee Dorman was found dead in his car without any evident signs of foul play, nor were any drugs or paraphernalia found, reportedly.
Douglas Lee Dorman was born on September 15, 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri, and moved to Southern California in the 1960s to make it in the music business.
In 1967, Lee Dorman joined the acid rock band Iron Butterfly in Los Angeles and recorded the band's megahit album, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which has sold a staggering 31 million copies and counting.
The album is historically significant as the very first album ever to be awarded Platinum status.
The epic 17-minute title track, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," is one of the most recognizable musical anthems in history.
The song would not have been as successful without Lee Dorman's hypnotic, iconic bass line by which the song is immediately recognized. That is a rare status for a bass player to hold, as most musicians know.
Since the song's 1968 release, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" has been the all-time favorite rock song of The California Blogger and of many Californians.
Not just because the song was recorded by a Southern California rock band, and not simply because it rocked the psychedelic heavy metal scene into the worldwide mainstream either.
As most know, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was a mispronunciation of the original song title of "In The Garden Of Eden" and the song alludes to the biblical story of Eve and a dark character of dubious distinction.
The song sounded so groovy that everyone bought it and played it obsessively. It was written by Iron Butterfly organist and lead singer Doug Ingle, whose father was a Christian church organist.
After Ingle's churchy organ intro, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" kicks into gear with Lee Dorman's spellbinding bass ostinato, which famously influenced Led Zeppelin and a thousand other bands.
Lee Dorman may have moved to California in search of music success, but he didn't know he would help to define a new sound that would explode and still hold its appeal and influence beyond his own mortality.
The following 1968 video from the Playboy Mansion features a one-minute discussion on religion before launching into a multiracial psychedelic dance party with Iron Butterfly playing their shocking sound, along with some surprise moments.
Death and dying is a part of life, but it's a drag to report the news of the death of Lee Dorman from Iron Butterfly. What a supremely cool dude he was, totally.
Lee Dorman 1942-2012