Ron Bushy, the drummer of the legendary rock band Iron Butterfly, has died at the age of 79. The band shared the sad news On their Facebook page on Sunday morning. TMZ reported that Bushy had battled cancer, with his cause of death reportedly being complications from esophageal cancer.
“Ron Bushy, our beloved Iron Butterfly legendary drummer passed away peacefully, with his wife Nancy by his side, at 12:05 am on August 29 at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital,” the band wrote in their Facebook post. “All three of his daughters were also with him. He was a true fighter. He was born on December 23, 1941. He will be sorely missed!”
Iron Butterfly drummer Ron Bushy has died aged 79.
That’s him in the classic “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, and he’s the only member to appear on every studio album of the group. pic.twitter.com/egifdKMevY
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) August 30, 2021
Bushy was known and loved for his long career with Iron Butterfly, but in a interview with Vinyl Writer Music earlier this year, he revealed that music was not always his planned occupation. “I was going to be a marine biologist and go to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla,” he explained. “I got sidetracked in music part-time. I rented a drum kit and learned to play drums at Booker T. & the MG’s, ‘Green Onions’.”
Many Iron Butterfly fans have since taken to social media to mourn Bushy’s death, commenting on the band’s post: “I am so sorry to hear about Ron’s passing. I offer my sincere condolences to the relatives, friends, fellow musicians and enthusiasts.” Another fan added: “Rest in your own for the best drummer there ever was.”
“RIP Iron Butterfly drummer Ron Bushy, who played one of the most distinctive and hypnotic drum solos in rock history,” tweeted radio DJ Frank E. Lee. “(First album I bought. Still plays well).” Someone else added“Damn… heaven just got an extended drum solo. RIP Iron Butterfly drummer Ron Bushy… In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was one of the first rock records I ever got as a kid… damn.”
“Some sounds are absorbed into your soul and psyche, become a part of you. The death of some musicians hit me inexplicably hard because their music has helped me through life like a balm. RIP Ron Bushy of Iron Butterfly,” a fan tweeted. “I’m shaped by the rhythm he created. I play it all day long.”