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Ronnie Montrose

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose began his career as a backing musician, playing with Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, and Edgar Winter. He finally formed his own band in 1973. Named after the guitarist, Montrose also featured vocalist Sammy Hagar, bassist Bill Church, and drummer Denny Carmassi; they released their debut album in 1974, and Church was replaced by Alan Fitzgerald shortly after its release. Released the following year, Paper Money confirmed the band's status as one of the more popular hard rock acts of their era. However, Hagar was fired after completing the Paper Money tour. Bob James replaced him and keyboardist Jim Alcivar joined the band, yet Montrose's next two albums -- 1975's Warner Brothers Presents Montrose and 1976's Jump on It -- were commercial failures. Ronnie Montrose broke up the band after the release of Jump on It and began his own solo career with the all-instrumental Open Fire (1978). Montrose then formed another hard rock group, Gamma, which recorded three albums between 1979 and 1982. After they broke up in 1982, Montrose picked his solo career once again. He released a rather low-key album, Territory, in 1983, following it four years later in 1987 with the hard-rocking and impressive Mean (attributing it to Gamma). The Speed of Sound appeared in 1988, with The Diva Station, a semi-instrumental mesh of soul, pop, metal, and jazz, arriving in 1990. Montrose began putting more of his time into production work, but continued to release solo albums, including Mutatis Mutandis (1991), Music from Here (1994), Mr. Bones (1996), Roll Over and Play Live (1999), and Bearings (1999), before reuniting Gamma for a fourth Gamma album in 2000. 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 gun shot ended his life on March 3, 2012. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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So true . . . . Ronnie's sound was very one-of-a-kin d . And it always left me wanting more. From the shirtless album to Speed of Sound, his body of work will always be special to me. Rest in peace, sir.
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paulsalvail
Ronnie was the best rock guitarist of all time he could take you on a musical rock tour from. Bad Motor Scooter to Mach 1 Long live the music of the true godfather of hard rock and if only music being released now was as primordial asskicking and relentlessly intricate but super clean
lickwise rock and roll would really mutate into what he always wanted us to have share and endlessly enjoy. Bow down and respectfully mourn celebrate the Master
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when I heard he had taken his own life I felt the world had lost another music master, his sound was unique and ahead of it,s time!! We will miss you Ronnie!!!
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He will missed rock on Ronnie montrose
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lds.rreaves
one of the all time greats!!!
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Cerv
My first concert 74 Toledo sports arena
Montrose,spo o k y tooth,an humble pie
I remember during his solo he created a space age sound with a chrome rod that stuck straight out his axe that scared the s**t outta me.The first alblum MONTROSE is the first true heavy metal alblum and to me makes him the god father of hard rock
Miss you Mr.MONTROSE
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I was lucky to see him live a few times as a kid. Made me go out and buy a guitar best thing I ever did. Thank you Ronnie where ever you are!!!
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joustdaddy
I'm glad to have found so much great classic, I mean truly classic music here on Pandora. I was stationed in the UK in 1976 and some guy from SF bay area showed up with the first Montrose album, I became a instant fan, it was awesome!! Hey! Still is today. If you got to work on a cold snowy Saturday in Chicago, turnn on some Montrose and things seem a little better:).
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Montrose was backup band in Richmond vs. for loosers golden earring. This was in 1976. Montrose split my brain. R.I.P.
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garymartinez 2 3 2 3
play early montose. its better stuff!
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I just saw on uverse Att cable a special memoir video of past montrose band members playing tribute you should see it for yourself , I'm glad to have seen him live on stage
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She's fine & all mine...all mine
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Awesome guitarist, but very inaccurate Bio. He shot himself; yes he had cancer, but COD was suicide by handgun.
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shempdog2002
1st two albums were great. 'Rock candy' is one of those songs that needs to be played LOUD.
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One last ride on your BAD MOTOR SCOOTER on the way to SPACE STATION # 5 RIP
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american_har l e y _ r i d e r
I hadn't thought of Ronnie Montrose in years. After listening to The Speed of Sound just a minute ago, I read his bio and was very sad to hear he's gone. Definitely one of the greats. I find it funny that Sammy Hagar was fired from Montrose in 1974. Rog, thanks for your post - and to everyone who respects the man.
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one of the great ones,sadly missed.keep on rockin' that heavenly band.
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I saw him with Edgar Winter, We were exhausted by the time Humble Pie and Peter Frampton came on; we were comatose. Hell yea, Winterland used to Rock. I may be 'Old But I Got to See all the Cool Bands'
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The reality is Ronnie took his own life after fighting a life long battle with depression and later with alcohol. Ronnie was one of the best guitarists the world has ever known and his music will life forever. I was lucky enough to meet him on a few occasions and he truly loved and appreciated his fans. Sorely missed. RIP Ronnie!
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lauren381
I'm going to miss him!
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dedwards475
Agree with the Winterland shows he did, great memories as I basically grew up going to Winterland.. R o n n i e with Sammy singing was pretty awesome...RI P Ronnie you will be missed
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gibbonsc7
Very underrated guitar...gre a t S.F. Winterland memories of the Montrose band smoking hot... one of my top 10 concerts of all time...God Bless.
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dwbritton, you're not getting old, you're just getting older is all. Ronny went before he was due. I refuse to accept that because musicians of our era die that it's somehow a sign that we're going to be next. Some people live 100 years, some not so long. So long Ronnie. RIP.
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Another great from my past is gone! Damn, I'm gettin' old. RIP Ronnie!
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I bought his first ST album (vinyl) back in '73 - still one of the greatest rock albums of all time and naturally a guitar tour de force. Do yourself a favor and pick up this timeless classic. RIP Ronnie - you never got the recgnition you deserved.
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He left us way too soon! RIP Ronnie!
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RIP
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meclauss
So sad, he passed today...
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OFF THE CHAIN JAMMMI'IN LIKE HELL LOL IT DAVIDMCCARY@ C A B L E O N E . N E T PANDORA RULESSSS/'';
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montrose has been in my bad a** list for 23 yaers man an thy aer still bad a** gammers kick it with meeee''''
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jymandshanno n
Just goes to show talent knows no age. Like a fine wine, these guys just get better with age.
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Let's give a shout out for his 2011 Tour. I saw him last year, and he can still kick it like nobody else. See you at the Fox Theater in Redwood City.
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Macy Foss just made me feel old for liking Ronnie Montrose. Then again, I rock, so that's cool.
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rlevy442
Ronnie is an artist with tons of integrity, follows his muse and is always true to his music, no sellout here.
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jolibling
this 'old' guy does, Macy.
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jymandshanno n
Nice chops, very versatile! Old guys ROCK!!!
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kranz007
Good stuff!
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Ronnie Montrose. Wow. I saw the old Montrose live w/ Slammin' Sammy Hagar, back in the "Paper Money" days. Still kicks butt!
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Boy it's good to here him again, i forgot how great this man is.
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Good to see this guy still playing hot licks
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brhunter8
Yah . .letting bill church and sammy haggar go. .(or should I say "Canning them " ) was probably the stupidest thing he ever did. . LOL they both when on to MEGA stardum . . .one as a studio and the other well . ..let's just say . .he did really really well. . ..ego gets to the best of them . . .
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Yeah I was there too, right around '76...get on your bad motor scooter and ride...diggi n ' the newer stuff too.
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avocadolemon
Really enjoyed his cover version of the standard "Town Without Pity." Great stuff. He was overshadowed by Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen, and Jimmy Page in his time, among others. Still a very impressive tone and excellent control of the instrument. Wonder why Pandora only has one LP here.
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billthebarte n d e r
ronnie came down to cincinnati from michigan in a cargo van. he played in front of about , maybe, 100 people at a metro park. i felt bad for him, but mostly for the people that didnt know who he was. it was a great show and he played his heart out. a very dedicated musician. the early nineties and he still rocks!
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THE MOST UNDERATED AX MAN EVER...I SAW HIM 5 TIMES IN THE LATE 70'S AND EARLY 80'S...RAZOR KING IS BAD A**!!
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Loved the creativity on 'Open Fire' with Mr. Winters. Great project!
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lrsnationwid e
they played in santa cruz back in the late seventies, wish I could remember it!
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wow..,.he's come a lonnnnng way since i bought his debut 'montrose' album. (hagar had the same cheap vocals then as he did with van halen)His guitar work has come ten-fold since then. Nice.
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Montrose rox... again!
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it's good to be back in key west. all of florida is FREEZING! I'm just kicked back chillin' with Ronnie Montrose...r o c k on, Ron!
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