Ron Bushy, Iron Butterfly Drummer, Dead at 79

Ron Bushy, the drummer for 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 been battling cancer, with his cause of death reportedly being complications from esophageal cancer.

“Ron Bushy our beloved legendary drummer of Iron Butterfly has passed away peacefully, with his wife Nancy by his side, at 12:05am on August 29th at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital,” the band wrote in their Facebook post. “All three of his daughters were also with him. He was a real fighter. He was born Dec 23, 1941. He will be deeply missed!”

Bushy was well-known and beloved for his long career with Iron Butterfly, but in an interview with Vinyl Writer Music earlier this year, he revealed that music was not always his planned occupation. “I was going to become a Marine Biologist and go to Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla,” he explained. “I got sidetracked into music part time. I rented a drum set and learned to play drums to Booker T. & the MG’s, ‘Green Onions.’”

Many of Iron Butterfly’s fans have since taken to social media to mourn Bushy’s death, with one commenting on the band’s post, “I’m so sorry to learn about Ron’s passing. I offer sincere condolences to Ron’s family members, friends, fellow musicians and fans.” Another fan added, “Rest in piece to the best drummer there ever was.”

“R.I.P. 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… the heavens 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 youngster…damn.”

“Some sounds get absorbed into your soul and psyche, become part of you. Some musicians’ deaths hit me inexplicably hard because their music has helped me through life like a balm. RIP Iron Butterfly’s Ron Bushy,” a fan tweeted. “I am shaped by the rhythm he created. Spinning these all day.”

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