Recently the world of Rock & Roll guitar suffered a heavy blow. Guitarist Ronnie Montrose, best known for his work in the band Montrose, and for giving other guitar legend Sammy Hagar his start when playing together in Montrose, passed away in his home. Montrose was only 64 at the time of his death and had future tour dates as well. He had been battling Prostate Cancer for years and on March 3rd, unfortunately, the horrible disease won the fight. However, his past work and the work he had lined up for the future are just a testament to what an inspirational, hard working person he was.
I’ve been playing guitar for several years now and Montrose’s album is still one I love going to to listen to and gain inspiration with classic riffs such as “Rock Candy”. Hagar was quoted in saying that “[Montrose] gave me my first break as a songwriter, as a front man, as a recording artist and as a touring artist, and for that I will always be grateful. The first Montrose album was the first album I ever recorded and it still stands as one of the best recordings I have ever been a part of (Quote: Sammy Hagar special written for Rolling Stones, found here).” Ronnie was an overall great person who produced great music. He inspired many people, including Hagar (Ronnie’s the reason he began playing like he does!). I know something like this could never be truly proven but I really do believe Ronnie Montrose left a huge mark on the Rock & Roll world and without him many guitarists we know today may not be around at all. Montrose is lived on by his wife, children and grandchildren.
You were an incredible inspiration and will be missed by many.
Rest in peace Ronnie Montrose. 1947-2012