A Blast from the Past, Rarities Edition – Part 6

| May 30, 2020

This tune’s a bit longish. But it’s memorable as hell; if you’re old enough to remember when it was released, after the first few notes no intro will be necessary.

It features HQ sound and decent (for the day) video. And it’s the video here that makes this a rarity.

The video was reportedly filmed at Ultrasonic Studios, Hempstead, NY, on May 27, 1968 – which also happens to be the same date and place that the song was recorded for its namesake album. I’m pretty sure the video was filmed during the tune’s recording session – which is what makes it a rarity. (The tune was recorded in one take, with some vocal and guitar overdubbing added afterwards.)




I found this gem in comments on Youtube: “I don’t always listen to In A Gadda Da Vida, but when I do, so do the neighbors.” (smile)


Postscript: Yeah, what you may have heard is correct: the tune really was supposed to be called “In the Garden of Eden”. Here’s the backstory.

According to the band’s drummer Ron Bushy, the song predates the band’s recording career. Per Bushy, the band’s organist/vocalist, Doug Ingle, wrote the song one evening well before the band even recorded their first album. (The tune wasn’t recorded until the band’s second album, which as released some months after their first one.)

Bushy has said that during the day Ingle wrote the song, Ingle drank an entire gallon (!) of Red Mountain wine. Needless to say, after drinking that much Ingle was quite thoroughly plowed.

After he’d finished writing the tune, a drunk Ingle played the song for Bushy, asking him to transcribe the lyrics he sang. But while singing Ingle was slurring his words badly – so badly that Bushy wasn’t sure what Ingle was singing at times. For the first line, Bushy thought he’d heard “In a gadda da vida” vice the intended “In the Garden of Eden”. So “In a gadda da vida” is what Bushy wrote down for that line.

Afterwards, the band decided to use the lyrics as written by Bushy. The song – in an extended “jam” version similar to what’s above, but sometimes lasting over half an hour – came to be a regular part of the band’s performances.

And the rest . . . is hard rock history. (smile)

Category: Pointless blather, Who knows

Comments (18)

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  1. ninja says:

    Thank You, Hondo, for sharing this.

    I still have the original 33 1/2 LP album. Bought it because of the Drum Solo.

    Have gone thru several turntables and diamond needles playing that album.

    Classic All The Way.


    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      That drum solo became the marching cadence for my High School Band. (I played Bass Drum.)

      Big scandal when someone blabbed on us…. heh.

  2. Mason says:

    I’ll just leave this right here;

  3. cc senor says:

    Always thought of it as a pothead song. Come to find out its roots are alky. Fancy that. And, yeah, I used to have a copy. On an 8 track tape, no less.

  4. 5th/77th FA says:

    “…but when I do, so do the neighbors.” (smile)

    Or in some cases the entire Kaserne/town/Rhine River Valley and Tanus Mountain Range. Not that I ever assisted in blasting this tune thru several hundred high powered amplifiers and massive numbers of speakers hanging out the windows of the barracks at Camp Pieri, Wiesbaden, FRG. Amazing how all of those styli hit the same groove all at the same time. Thanks comm rats and wire dogs!

  5. ninja says:

    Iron Butterfly’s Final Performance in 2012 at the Mt Tabor Theater in Portland Oregon.

    Video features the ORIGINAL Founding Members Lee Doorman (Bass Guitar) and Ron Bushy (Drums).

    Doorman passed away on 21 December 2012.

    19 minutes, but worth watching:

    • ninja says:

      Following Hondo’s lead…

      Original Drum Solo performed by Ron Bushy in the video that Hondo posted.

      Never Gets Old.

      • Hondo says:

        Bushy’s solo here is apparently quite well regarded by those in “the business”. That’s even more impressive when you consider it’s a once thru, no overdub solo done in a single take.

        I’ve seen one list that puts this drum solo at #1 all-time. Not sure I’d go quite that far – but it’s certainly on my personal “top 10 list” of all-time great drum solos.

        Another gem from comments to the original video: “This guy on the drums is having a COSMIC ORGASM!!!!” (smile)

  6. David says:

    Was a radio station in St. Louis which played the long version every night at 10PM…. after a while it became a good excuse to switch stations at 10. Finally a DJ named Johnny Rabbitt got fed up and played Alice’s Restaurant instead. And was promptly fired… to be rehired a few days later after massive complaints from the fans. Always suspected it was a stunt to see whether they had any fans LEFT, or maybe a power play on his part to get a raise.(No uncommon, you used to see gun magazine articles like “The .30-06 is Dead” and when the protests came pouring in, the writer could say “see, they DO read my stuff and let’s ta;l about a raise”.)

    • Graybeard says:

      I’m not sure that ever really happens.

      (Do I need the /s tag?)

    • Jim says:

      I grew up in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis during early ’70s and there were two AM radio stations, KDWB and WDGY, that would play this song in its entirety from time to time, even during daytime hours. Once the song was done then it was commercial break and back to normal diet of Partridge Family, Bread, Carpenters, etc.
      Funny comment David, about Alice’s Restaurant. Haven’t heard that one in ages. Time to go to youtube for a listen.

  7. AZRobert says:

    Thanks for the memories, in 69-70 when my sis ran away for good and i inherited her albums, 3 stand out and this was one along with SteppenWolf and one by David Peel and the Lower East Side called have an MJ or something, it was all up in smoke in those strange days…

    Rock on in the Free World

  8. lmn0351 says:

    AZ ….yes it was have a marijuana….i still have the album

  9. OldSoldier54 says:

    Eh … Red Mountain. It all makes sense now.

  10. Graybeard says:

    Takes me back to my high school days and one of my adventures down at Allen’s Landing….

  11. UpNorth says:

    My wife’s family vacationed at Bill’s Lake, near Newaygo, Mi, every summer. My brother-in-law brought his complete stereo up with him, and my father-in-law really like listening to Inna Gadda Da Vida. As the day merged into evening, the song got played….a lot. and very loudly.
    The last summer we vacationed on the north side of the lake the owner of the cabin told Dad that he and his family weren’t welcome back, he decided to serenade most of the lake. Over and over.
    Good times!!