It was a rockin' good time on Thursday evening as friends, bandmates, and family gathered to remember
Dorman, 70, who joined the band in 1967, died Dec. 21, in Laguna Niguel, according to the Orange County coroner's office. He 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.
A crowd gathered to hear the thumping bass line of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida at Hennessey's Tavern as surviving members of Iron Butterfly saluted their late bassist.
Martin "Martino" Gerschwitz, a surviving member of the 1960s group, hosted the tribute at Hennessey's Tavern, an Iron Butterfly hangout in recent years.
"It went extremely well, it was a packed house all night long, tons of great jammers and simply a wonderful and very appreciative audience," he said.
Daughters Carly and Brair made the evening extra special for him he added, they also took the video.
Gerschwitz, a former guitarist for The Animals, joined Iron Butterfly in 2005 as lead singer and guitarist. The group toured Europe last spring. In late '67, the psychedelic band turned an artistic corner and pioneered a new sound, later called heavy metal. Its debut album included -- as its entire "B side'' -- the 17-minute-long "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.''
AM rock stations ignored it at first, as the opus did not fit tight formats that had three-minute maximums.
But less-popular FM stations played "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'' in its full 17-minute version, launching the song -- and Dorman's bass beat -- into rock immortality. It spent 81 weeks on the Billboard charts. The top-40 AM stations reacted by playing a 2-minute, 53-second version of the song, which cut out drum solos and psychedelic chanting that sounded to many like an LSD trip gone wrong, or maybe right.
As for Gerschwitz, he said he still lives in Laguna Niguel and plays regularly at Hennessey's.
There will be a private memorial later on sometime in January for Dorman, but he doesn't have details yet, he added.