Erik Braunn

Erik Braunn
Erik Braunn was a musical prodigy. In 1967 at the age of 17 he replaced Danny Weis as lead guitarist for the Los Angeles group “Iron Butterfly”. In 1968 “Iron Butterfly” broke new ground with the 17 minute side long song Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida. Erik is credited with creating the signature guitar riff. Another important feature of this song was the advent of the extended drum solo. Throughout the late sixties and and early seventies almost every rock band worth it’s salt would perform a song with an extended drum solo. Some of the best being Ginger Baker of Cream banging away on the 18 minute “Toad”, Pete Rivera bashing away on a 24 minute version of “Get Ready” and of course, the greatest pounder of them all. John Bonham on Led Zeppelin’s live version of “Moby Dick”. And let us not forget any of the famous Canned Heat Boogies.Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida sold 4 million copies and stayed on the charts for 140 weeks. Rock folklore has it that the song was actually “In The Garden of Eden” but when Doug Ingle was initially rehearsing the song he was so drunk no one could understand the lyrics. The best they could make out was “Inna-Gada-Da-vida”, so that was what was written on the demo. The album is often considered the first to go platinum. In 1969 Braunn quit citing “the pressures of stardom”. By 1970 “Iron Butterfly” was on the decline. Doug Ingle was looking like more of a junkie then a genius and new guitarist “Mike Pinera” formerly of “Blues Image” was brought in to revamp the band. They released “Metamorphosis” which was actually a decent album. This album was the first to feature the of use of “The Magic Bag” (or voice box).The voice box is best exemplified in the songs “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh and “Show me the way”, “Do you feel like we do” on “Frampton Comes Alive”. However the coffin on the back cover seemed to depict the future of the band, Dead. Little was heard of Erik after his departure from “Iron Butterfly”. In the mid seventies he participated in a brief reunion of the group. He died of heart failure on July 25th, 2003 at the age of 52.

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