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In Memory: Ronnie Montrose

Guitar genius Ronnie Montrose has died. He was 64. A cause of death has not been released, but Ronnie had been battling cancer for several years.

The Montrose debut - simply called Montrose - is a rock n' roll classic - and I don't think you'll find many folks that will disagree about the album's significance to the genre.

Behold one of the best songs of all time: "Rock Candy."

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Reader Comments (7)

You are correct Ally. Rock Candy is one of the best songs ever. Kicked major ass. RIP Ronnie
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGary
RIP, Ronnie!

God Bless & Godspeed!

Yes, "Rock Candy" AND "Bad Motor Scooter" are legendary tracks. You can see the classic line-up of Montrose performing the latter with Sammy Hagar in his prime on lead vocals in a YouTube clip from the 70's TV show, The Midnight Special.

But Ronnie Montrose's legendary moments span decades. An absolutely groundbreaking Hard Rock guitarist, he was very much in demand as a session player as early as 1971, appearing on Van Morrison's monumental album, "Tupelo Honey" and subsequently joined his band. He played guitar on the classic Edgar Winter Group album, "They Only Come Out At Night", his work forever immortalized on the Classic Rock Standards, "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride".

And, GET THIS -- Montrose even released a Glam Metal album, "Mean" in 1987 with James Kottak, before Kottak became drummer for Kingdom Come!

Rock On Forever, Ronnie! May your guitar ring through the heavens in that great band in the sky aside Hendrix and all the rest.
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Let's not forget that Ronnie also did sessions with people as diverse as Herbie Hancock and Boz Scaggs. He was so much more than just a hard rock guitarist. RIP Ronnie!
March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Ronnie Montrose was a huge musical influence on me & my guitar playing. From the first time I heard his monster riffing in Edgar Winter's "FRANKENSTEIN", I was hooked! And later on, when the classic #1 best metal album of all time, "MONTROSE" was released, I had my guitar teacher teach me every song on that record. I've owned that on Vinyl LP, 8 track, Cassette, & CD. And if there's another format, I'll buy it again. Some of the 1st live shows I ever saw, were Montrose opening up for KISS on the "Alive!" & "Destroyer tours" of 1976. Recently, I once again got to see Ronnie play live, in November of 2009 & just a few short months ago. He was still an epic monster of a guitarist & an incredible showman. Truly one of the best - R.I.P. Ronnie Montrose!

P.S. Here's a video I shot of Montrose in 2009, ripping thru "Rock The Nation" at the Brixton in Redondo Beach, California.
March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
Someone posted on Sludge yesterday saying "MONTROSE SELF TITLED ALBUM IS PERFECTION" - WOW, I couldn't agree more!!

I have to thank ROnnie for giving my man Sammy Hagar his start. I encourage ALL of you BBG readers (maybe some of you younger ones that is), to MAKE SURE YOU GET A COPY OF MONTROSE, MONTROSE!!! This album is truly one of the greatest rock ablums ever,and one of the strongest debut records ever! (yes, all my opinion of course, but i think its a safe assumption).

Paper Money was no where near the calibar of the 1st but again, Montrose gave Sammy Hagar his start and for that alone I'll be grateful!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkari
I remember hangin' out at my friend Fred's house in Maryland with the usual suspects, partyin' on a Friday afternoon right after school in 1976. There were 7 of us seated around the table in the dining room. It looked like a conference room full of 16-year-old degenerates.

I had been there for about 45 minutes, feelin' no pain, when it suddenly dawned on me, "Where's Fred?"... As soon as I blurted out the question, in walks Fred, holding a black plastic "Record & Tape Collector" bag with a big grin on his face like a kid comin' home from a night of trick or treating.

"Gentlemen, behold...", he said...

... And out from the bag he pulled...

... Drum roll, please...

"Jump On It", the latest album from Montrose, just released that week. We played that record like 5 times in a row. I could not stop raving about Montrose's guitar playing, having never heard of him before and being unaware of his turn on Edgar Winter's monumental album, "They Only Come Out At Night", another record we played to death all the time.

Fred said, "You like that? Check this out..." and proceeded to run up the stairs to his room and returning within seconds, handing "Montrose", the first album which was released in 1973.

And we proceeded to play that 3 times in a row before switching to side two of Led Zeppelin IV which I think we played until we all passed out, hahaha!!!

p.s. I'll never forget comin' back over six months later with AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" and Cheap Trick's "In Color", which we also proceeded to play over and over again, hahaha!!!, until we whipped out those Montrose albums again. I also remember different chicks comin' and goin' during these Montrose Marathons.

They always split cuz we were playin' the stuff so loud, you could never hear anything anyone said, which didn't really matter cuz it was mostly "Oooing" and "Awing" over Montrose's playing.

Like I said, we were a bunch of degenerates!
March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Great post, Metalboy!
"Jump On It" is a hidden treasure. Hagar may have been long gone, but Ronnie's guitar still had the fire! And Bob James was no slouch as a vocalist.

"Don't deny yourself the pleasure, of being first in line...Jump On It!"
March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele

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