Erik Braunn, the former guitarist of Iron Butterfly, died of cardiac arrest on July 25. He was 52.
Braunn was a four-year-old violin savant when he got accepted into the prodigy program at The Boston Symphony. When he was 16, heavy metal band Iron Butterfly asked him to join the group. He played with Ron Bushy, Lee Dorman and Doug Ingle from 1967 to 1969 — the band’s most prosperous period.
In 1968, Iron Butterfly released the album, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which sold over 20 million copies, went platinum and stayed on the Billboard Magazines charts for over a year.
Braunn’s contribution to the 17-minute song by the same name is one of the most recognizable guitar licks in rock music. Although a three-minute version of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was released, the longer one was favored by radio DJs who wanted to take an extra long break.
Braunn occasionally reunited Iron Butterfly for concerts, but he was putting together a solo album when he died.