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How Did Ronnie Montrose Die
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How Did Ronnie Montrose Die

This past Saturday, March 3, the world of Rock & Roll lost an icon. Ronnie Montrose, guitarist for the band Montrose, died at age 64 in his bay area home. There has not been a lot of information released yet about his death due to it's recentness but there are already unfortunate drug overdose rumors and complete falsehoods circulating the web. In this article I am going to lay those rumors to rest and reveal how did Ronnie Montrose die.

Ronnie Montrose had been fighting prostate Cancer for years, and yesterday the horrible disease won. His agent, Jim Douglas, was quoted in saying that he had been fighting this battle, as well as "personal demons" for years, likely where the rumors have seeded from. Another unfortunate fact is that many out there do not even recognize who Ronnie Montrose is. His self proclaimed band Montrose which formed in the early 70's gave Sammy Hagar his big break.

Ronnie Montrose, Rockin the Nation

Prior to forming his band, Montrose was picked up by rock legend Van Morrison hired the young guitarist to play in two of his albums:

  • 71's "Tupelo Honey"
  • 72's "Saint Dominic's Preview"

Both of these albums were truly inspiring in the eyes of guitarists everywhere and revolutionary in the eyes of a musician. To this day they continue to be considered as some of Van Morrison's best works. He then went to join the Edgar Winter Group briefly. Though he did not spend much time with the group, he was with them long enough to release such landmarks as "Frankenstein", "When It Comes" and "Rock n Roll Boogie Woogie Blues". While playing with EWG, Montrose had the opportunity to also play with greats such as Boz Scaggs and Herbie Hancock. These 4 years of his life helped make his name in the music industry and gave him his start.

So What Follows Van Morrison and the Edgar Winter Band?

From there Montrose went on to form his self named band in 1973. Though the band only lasted until 1976, a mere 3 year stint, they still went on to produce an astonishing number of great songs. I guess you can't really expect anything less with Ronnie Montrose and Sammy Hagar in the same band. The band is the result of Montrose just plain blowing Hagar's socks off, Hagar walking up to Montrose's house and playin some tunes..and the rest is history. The two went on to form the band Montrose and were signed by Warner Brothers very soon after. Though the band served as the gateway for Hagar's fame and success, little was said after the bands split about Ronnie Montrose. The band was rumored to have broken up due to tensions rising between the two guitarists.

Later, in '78, Montrose went on to form his final band, Gamma, which truly never received much recognition. The band attracted moderate attention from hard rock fans and unfortunately achieved mediocre success, at best. But they still wrote some of the greatest rock n roll guitar riffs of all time. Not only that, but after they soon split, Montrose went on to write a number of solo albums where he experimented with many interesting genre fusions of jazz, blues and of course, rock. All incredibly notable albums for any guitarist. I highly recommend any guitarist looking to be inspired listen to some of these albums.

Remember Ronnie Montrose

Due to it's recent manner, services are still be planned for the rock legend, husband, father and grandfather. This is a sad time for many rock fans and guitarists out there and Ronnie Montrose will be missed. Ronnie Montrose (1947-2012)


Street Talk

I came across this article and had to respond. I have been a Ronnie Montrose fan since I was 14 and now I'm.......well never mind but, besides all the most notable music with Sammy Hagar, I liked Gamma 1,2,and 3. He was a great talent. This article brought me back to some great memories. Thanks Deven!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Good info and article Devon

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Hey, no problem at all! It was honestly a pleasure writing it. I knew a lot of the info prior but doing the research to make sure it's all accurate and listening to a bunch of the classics was truly a lot of fun!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for writing this article. it is good to get the facts out on Ronnie. I for one have been a fan of his since he first hit the music scene. Yes, I am that old, lol

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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