Guitarists around the world are in mourning today as the news hit the Internet about the passing of legendary axe-slinger Ronnie Montrose. He was 64 years old and his death comes after a long battle with prostate cancer. While the musician was known for his own eponymous group, he also worked extensively with Edgar and Johnny Winter, Sammy Hagar and Van Morrison among many notable others. His repertoire with his band Montrose, Gamma and as a solo artist spanned twenty releases and he influenced more Rock and Metal guitar players than you can count. PiercingMetal’s own Joe Kaufman reviewed his appearance at B.B. King’s back in 2006 and you can check that report out HERE. Interestingly enough, I happened to catch his Montrose singer Keith St. John only a few weeks ago when he was fronting a rebuilt Quiet Riot at this same venue.
Even though my background is as a drummer, I cannot say anything more than this was an incredibly gifted guitar player who knew how to drive the group forward with his technique. We send condolences and sympathy to his family, friends and worldwide fans. Thanks for the music Ronnie. You were one in a million.
Ronnie Montrose Wikipedia Entry: HERE
UPDATE: 4/3/2012 – The coroner’s office have officially reported that Ronnie Montrose’s death was due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. What a shame. Suicide is never the answer.