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Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt dies in Bradenton

BRADENTON -- Former Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt died Monday at Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Reinhardt was battling several illnesses, according to his longtime friend and music collaborator Richard Price. He was 63.

“It was a culmination of a lot of things,” Price said.

Reinhardt, a Manatee County native, can be heard on Iron Butterfly’s 1970 album “Metamorphosis.” It reached No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and produced the hit single “Easy Rider (Let the Wind Pay the Way).”

Two year later Reinhardt co-founded Captain Beyond, which released a self-titled album on famed Southern rock label Capricorn Records in 1972 and another, titled “Sufficiently Breathless,” in 1973. The group’s final release, “Dawn Explosion,” came out on One Way Records/Warner Bros. in 1977. All three albums cracked the Billboard 200 with “Sufficiently Breathless” reaching No. 90.

“Captain Beyond has a rather legendary status in the ranks of hard ’70s rock,” reads the entry from AllMusic.com.

Reinhardt began his career in the 1960s playing around Bradenton and Sarasota before he relocated to Jacksonville to play with future Allman Brothers Band members Berry Oakley (bass) and Dickey Betts (guitar/vocals) in the group Second Coming, which later featured Price on bass.

Reinhardt and Price, who is most famous for his work with Lucinda Williams, would perform together again during the past decade. The two men spoke shortly before Reinhardt’s death.

“He was a great friend and had a great sense of humor that Dickey Betts and I both loved,” Price said from his home in Sarasota. “He was always there if you needed him.”

Price considers Reinhardt one of the best guitarists of his generation.

“He’s truly in the top 10 of greatest Southern rock, psychedelic, blues-rock players,” Price said. “He’s up there with all the great rock players of his time.”

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Visit heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com.

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