A legend passes

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose Dies at 64

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose, one of rock’s great sidemen, whose namesake band Montrose introduced Sammy Hagar to the world, died Saturday. He was 64.

The cause was complications from prostate cancer, his wife and manager, Leighsa Montrose, said.

Mr. Montrose, a San Francisco native, got his first break when he was hired to play guitar on Van Morrison’s 1971 album, “Tupelo Honey.” His career as a sideman continued with Boz Scaggs, Herbie Hancock and the Edgar Winter Group, playing on the hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.”

But his greatest success came with his own band, Montrose, which he formed in 1973. The original lineup featured Hagar on vocals and released two Led Zeppelin inspired albums considered rock classics, “Montrose,” and 1974’s “Paper Money.” The hits “Bad Motor Scooter,” “Rock Candy” and “Space Station No. 5” became FM radio staples.

First Davy Jones, now Ronnie Montrose. Who will be the third?

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14 Responses to A legend passes

  1. gram cracker says:

    Myiq, it could be any of a number of the geezers of rock… and some of today’s youngsters who will not live to be geezers. Excessive indulgence in booze, drugs and sex seems to be an occupational hazard of the entertainment industry.

    But today my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and survivors of this past week’s tornadoes. Little Angel was taken off life support and allowed to pass on earlier today. How heart breaking for her grandfather and 17 year old aunt to have to let go of Angel. It is incomprehensible to imagine how devastating it is to lose five members of your family, especially in such a gruesome manner.


    Lots of memories today. I came back to SW Ohio on Thursday to vote in the primary. I’m glad to be here so that I check on my Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee relatives. Last year one of my favorite cousins and her husband barely survived the great Joplin tornado.

    Years ago while a student at the U of Miami my daughter survived Hurricane Andrew. She had spent the whole day at Lalapalooza and was unaware of the impending hurricane landfall and that she lived in the evacuation zone. I remember the fear in our voices when we finally spoke a few hours before the hurricane hit. I feared I’d never hear her voice again… and there wasn’t anything I could do to help her.

  2. driguana says:

    thanks for posting this….montrose was an awesome group…

  3. gram cracker says:

    Steve Bridges, an actor best known for impersonating then-President George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, died last week at the age of 48, his manager said Sunday.

    Bridges’ manager said the actor returned from performing in Hong Kong and complained of feeling “super jetlagged.”


    Steve wasn’t a rock legend but most of us probably enjoyed his impersonation of GW. Would BO be as gracious as GW about poking fun at himself? Wonder if Steve got deep vein thrombosis from sitting on a plane for so many hours?

  4. DandyTiger says:

    In some interesting news, there’s apparently oxygen around one of Saturn’s moons.

    So will they be invading, or are they already here?


  5. yttik says:

    It seems like God is collecting a lot of musicians lately. Think he’s starting a band? Maybe when the Mayan calender ends we’re going to have some great background music.

  6. Jadzia says:

    I think Ronnie Montrose IS the third–Whitney Houston wasn’t on your list. Or was she part of a previous triad?

    Also, I think that album was part of my parents’ collection when I was a kid. The cover looks awfully familiar.

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