Monday, 28 July 2003

Erik Braunn

Iron Butterfly guitarist Erik Braunn dies at 52

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Erik Braunn, lead guitarist with Iron Butterfly during the two years of the heavy metal band's greatest success, has died. He was 52.

Braunn died of cardiac arrest Friday in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. No other details were given.

Braunn, considered a violin prodigy, began his musical career at age 4. He was born in Pekin, Ill., but raised in Los Angeles. He was 16 when he joined Iron Butterfly and spent 1967-69 on tour with the band. He was the lead guitarist on the band's 1968 anthem, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

Braunn and Doug Ingle, Ron Bushy and Lee Dorman, left their mark on musical history with the psychedelic, 17-minute "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." The album went platinum and stayed on the national sales chart two years, and a three-minute version also became a Top 40 radio hit.

Braunn occasionally reunited with the band for performances, and worked as a songwriter, musician and producer until his death. During a 1988 reunion, he told the Times about his superstardom experience 20 years earlier, saying: "My first vacation I bought a car, a Jaguar, and parked it outside the hospital where I spent two weeks for ulcers and gastroenteritis."

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