Iron Butterfly founder Doug Ingle dead at 78

The last surviving original member of American psychedelic rockers Iron Butterfly has died.

Doug Ingle was the band's lead singer, primary songwriter and organist. His son, Doug Ingle Jr, said in s statement today: "It’s with a heavy heart and great sadness to announce the passing of my Father Doug Ingle.

"Dad passed away peacefully this evening in the presence of family. Thank You Dad for being a father, teacher and friend. Cherished loving memories I will carry the rest of my days moving forward in this journey of life. Love you Dad."

Ingle was 78. His death comes three years after fellow founding member, drummer Ron Bushy, died at 79 of oesophageal cancer.

Ingle was born in Omaha, Nebraska, before moving to California as a child at an early age. His interest music came from his father who was a church organist.

He founded Iron Butterfly in 1966 and their debut album Heavy was released two years later.

The San Diego-based band were hugely influential and are ranked among the founding fathers of American heavy rock. They were best known for their 17-minute classic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – the title track from their second album which has achieved quadruple-platinum status in the US. Ingle sang on and co-wrote the track.

The song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida came from a studio sound-check on which the band largely jammed and improvised, while waiting for their tardy producer to show up. 

By chance, the engineer was taping as a test.

It was edited to under three minutes and released as a single, but the album version became a beloved classic being covered by Slayer and famously making an appearance on animated TV show The Simpsons.