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Montrose

One of the first American-bred hard rock groups to challenge British supremacy in the early '70s, Montrose are remembered as, if not the most successful, then certainly one of the most influential bands of the era. In fact, many of the personalities responsible for the group's legendary, self-titled debut (producer Ted Templeman, engineer Donn Landee, vocalist Sammy Hagar) would later become instrumental players in the formative and latter-day career of the mighty Van Halen. And to his credit, though he ultimately lacked the focus and leadership skills to consistently guide his band's career, guitarist Ronnie Montrose was a true original on the instrument. His superlative playing aside, the avid big-game hunter lived the guitar-playing gunslinger lifestyle long before Ted Nugent made the combination famous.

After cutting his teeth as a session musician with the likes of Van Morrison and the Edgar Winter Group, Ronnie Montrose decided to form his own, self-named band in 1973. Enlisting the help of fellow session pros Bill Church (bass), Denny Carmassi (drums), and a talented up-and-coming Californian singer named Sammy Hagar, Montrose soon released their eponymous first album in November of that year. Although it never broke the Billboard Top 100, Montrose eventually went platinum and was arguably the first full-fledged heavy metal album by an American band (early proto-metal efforts by Blue Cheer and Steppenwolf notwithstanding). With classics like "Space Station No. 5" and "Bad Motor Scooter" leading the charge to the nation's airwaves, it is still considered one of the finest, most influential releases of the decade to boot. But trouble was already looming, as Church quit the group soon after and was replaced by bassist/keyboard player Alan Fitzgerald for the ensuing tour. Released less than a year after their debut, the erratic Paper Money proved to be a surprisingly diverse but unfocused follow-up that failed to match its predecessor's consistency or popularity. Making things worse, escalating tensions between Ronnie Montrose and Hagar soon led to the latter's departure following the Paper Money tour. (Hagar went on to an increasingly successful solo career and eventually, of course, Van Halen.)

Hagar's replacement was relative newcomer Bob James, but it was new full-time keyboardist Jim Alcivar who quickly placed his stamp on the group's appropriately titled third album, Warner Bros. Presents Montrose! Released at the tail end of 1975 and produced by Ronnie himself, its pedestrian songwriting and generally plodding, tepid sound alienated what was left of the band's remaining faithful and led to Fitzgerald's departure soon after (he later became a member of Night Ranger). New bassist Randy Jo Hobbs performed on Montrose's last-ditch effort, 1976's Jack Douglas-produced Jump on It. Also poorly received and boasting a ridiculously ill-conceived album cover to match, it never had a chance and the musicians soon went their separate ways. Carmassi joined Hagar's solo band (also featuring Bill Church by then) and later played with Heart and many others. As for committed outdoorsman Ronnie Montrose, the guitarist took some time off to enjoy his other hobbies before releasing three albums with new band Gamma in the early '80s. He recorded under the Montrose name once again for 1987's Mean, a one-off affair featuring singer Johnny Edwards (later, briefly of Foreigner), bassist Glenn Letsch, and drummer James Kottak (soon to form Kingdom Come, and eventually a member of the Scorpions).

In early 2002, Ronnie Montrose formed a new Montrose lineup with bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), drummer Pat Torpey (Mr. Big), and singer Keith St. John (Burning Rain). They played West Coast dates throughout the year in support of their Rhino compilation The Very Best of Montrose. Montrose continued his production and session work, and would tour regularly over the last dozen years of his life, despite battling prostate cancer during the late 2000s. A self-inflicted gunshot ended his life on March 3, 2012. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Montrose

1. Rock The Nation

2. Bad Motor Scooter

3. Space Station #5

4. I Don't Want It

5. Good Rockin' Tonight

6. Rock Candy

7. One Thing On My Mind

8. Make It Last

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Track List: Inertia

1. Eureka

2. Don'cha Know

3. Deep Within

4. Never Be Mine

5. Wondering

6. On My Mind

7. Down

8. Surrender

9. Forgiveness

10. Different Story

11. Never Be Mine (Reprise)

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Track List: Paper Money (Radio Single)

1. Paper Money

Comments

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Love love love this album
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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ONE hell of a LEGENDARY band....
MADE their Permanent MARK in the world of ROCK & ROLL!!

0;o))))
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Great stuff but lets hear some Jump on it and Warner Brothers Presents too
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The Montrose album Inertia is not by Ronnie Montrose how about replacing it with Jump On It
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Too good
Come out and play!!!!!
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Truly sux that Mr.Montrose went out that way.2 live so recently...& I've lost good fiends, brothers 2 da "C",.. Lord have mercy on any of his family... what a shame...SUCH A GREAT ROCKER !!!
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milosdad
Not many people like the Paper Money LP but I love it. Different approach but great tunes nonetheless.
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Excellent band in concert!
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Good opening act r.i.p. Ronnie
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milosdad
Loved these guys as a kid. Got to see them open for Edgar Winter and then Foghat. Killer shows.
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I can't wait to get on my bad motor Scooter...aw it has peddles too... Maybe not so bad :(
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Something you don't hear much anymore in music... The slide guitar the instrument of the devil...
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mfijut0
Montrose killer band
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scott42479
I didn't know Ronnie Montrose died from a self inflicted gunshot,...O M G ! that makes me so sad. RIP my friend
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the whole album kills,..this was truly the first American metal,..a band before it's time,..I think yall agree
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Got to see Sammy perform Space Station #5 back in the Red Rocker days as an opening act for Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Deo as lead singer. F'ing great show. Wish I still had that tour T-shirt.
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I've a many bad motter scooters in my days looking for my next
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What a great album EVERY song on here kicks A**
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singring
I agree about Paper Money and Jump On It, but Warner Bros Presents is a great album! Give it a re-listen...
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Yeah what Tina said!!!
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Bad Motor Scooter is Bad A**!!!
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The drum intro on Rock Candy gets me everytime!
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The combo of Montrose and Hagar was magical atleast for me it was...
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Only time I saw Ronnie live was him playing lead for Edgar Winter… Show was not too shabby1
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I herd them once I forgot how good they were
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My brother and I saw Trapeze, Montrose, the Eagles, and the Rolling Stones July 1975 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for $10. What a show- had never heard of Montrose or Sammy Hagar but they rocked-
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I remember slicing the plastic and throwing on the first Montrose album at the record store I worked at when it was released. The reaction was immediate. Everyone wanted it.. It was an amazing album!! Saw Montrose 3 times on the tour, as a solo band, with Edgar Winter and JoJoGunne. Great memories
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Vintage Sammy. He could sing in Japanese I would still dig this dude
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Inertia IS NOT a Montrose release-get it right Pandora...
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its been awhile sence i've heard any MONTROSE
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Sammy the tequila that good in mexico.Alway s rocking the nation.d.d.
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Hell yes!!!! Montrose First Album!!!!
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Loved the 70's. Such good ROCK n ROLL.
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Indeed.
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Either 12 64 make it last d.d
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jennamelissa 7 0
ck out warner bros presents montrose
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Denny is still tearing it up! He's been gigging with Sammy. I saw them in Cabo at the birthday bash!
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Yeah buddy, memorable stuff indeed. Whoever said the 70's sucked? Best memories ever.....
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bobbybuzzaro o
In my opinion the best rock and roll album of all time. Ronnie you are missed!
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Denny Carmassi's drumming on this album changed my life and heavily influenced me. Thank you, Denny!
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This was truly the one album that made an indelible mark upon my heavy metal addiction
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Another Winter brother associate excellent guitar player fromblues to Jazz fusion shred....... . O n e of the strongest debut albums alsolets not over look Sammy Hagar on vocals...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . r a t e s anA++
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By far the best damn debut album ever! Better than Boston, better than Van Halen, even better than the mighty Zeppelin!!!
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My first New Years Eve Concert winterland Sf,CA Montrose, Y&T an Earthquake.. . y e a h baby
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kmcglynn03
awesome- took me back- I was lookin for Mott the Hoople and Brownsville Station and I got MONTROSE-
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milosdad
Why are they shying away from the fact that Ronnie committed suicide?
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Best rock album EVER!!!
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#1 ROCK ALBUM OF ALL TIME!! EVERY SONG ROCKS! TELL ME IF YOU DISAGREE! RIP RONNIE MONTROSE JAMMIN FOR JESUS!!!
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kvons1
Make It Last---can't argue the logic to these lyrics! (FACTS) RIP: R.M.
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