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Famed Laguna Niguel Guitarist of 'Iron Butterfly' Dead

Lee Dorman, 70, was the bass guitarist for the 1960s band, Iron Butterfly, and may have died in his car en route to a doctor's appointment Friday, according to authorities.

Famed Laguna Niguel Guitarist of 'Iron Butterfly' Dead Famed Laguna Niguel Guitarist of 'Iron Butterfly' Dead

A guitarist who helped define a generation's sound with a riff of throbbing bass notes died of natural causes, a coroner said Saturday. Lee Dorman, 70, was the bass guitarist for the band Iron Butterfly.

He died in his car Friday in his hometown of Laguna Niguel, according to the Orange County coroner's office. Dorman had a doctor's appointment and may have died en route, the agency said. No autopsy was planned, no foul play was suspected, and the cause of death was officially listed as natural causes.

Iron Butterfly, described by some as one of the first bands to leap from the 1960s "psychodelia'' sound to heavy metal, created a sensation in 1968 with its 17-minute-long opus, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.''

A 2 minute-53 second edit of the song reached number 30 on the Billboard charts, which were dominated by AM radio stations that favored short songs. But less-popular FM stations played "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'' in a full 17- minute version, launching the song -- and Dorman's bass beat -- into rock immortality.

The band toured with the song in the late 1960s, before breaking up. No services have been announced.

--City News Service

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