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FASTFJR 03-05-2012 08:39 AM

R.I.P.....Ronny Montrose
One of our better guitarist.........

I had tickets to see Montrose in May at the Sellersville Theater

Ronnie Montrose, a hard-rock guitarist whose self-titled group introduced Sammy Hagar to the world in the 1970s, died Saturday. He was 64.

Montrose had been battling prostate cancer for several years, though he said in 2009, he had beaten it.

He said at the time it had been “debilitating” and he hadn’t played guitar for two years after he got the diagnosis. He played occasionally between 2009 and his death.

Montrose started his rock career at the top, playing on Van Morrison’s famed 1971 album, “Tupelo Honey.”

Two years later, after session work with the Edgar Winter Group, Boz Scaggs and Herbie Hancock, he formed his own four-man band with drummer Denny Carnassi, bass player Bill Church and Hagar on vocals.

The band’s debut album, “Montrose,” contained future hard-rock standards like “Rock the Nation,” “Space Station No. 5” and “Rock Candy.”

Montrose later formed the band Gamma. He played and released records over the next three decades with both bands and solo — including a guitar instrumental album in 1978, “Open Fire.”

He also did considerable session work, behind artists as diverse as the Beau Brummels, Johnny Winter and the Neville Brothers.

He reunited with Hagar years later, and the original Montrose lineup played “Leaving the Warmth of the Womb” on Hagar’s solo album, “Marching to Mars.”

A statement on his website Sunday said, “A few months ago, we held a surprise party for Ronnie Montrose’s 64th birthday. He gave an impromptu speech and told us that after a long life, filled with joy and hardship, he didn’t take any of our love for granted. He passed today. He’d battled cancer, and staved off old age for long enough. And true to form, he chose his own exit the way he chose his own life. We miss him already, but we’re glad to have shared him while we could.”

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cgrand 03-05-2012 09:15 AM

rock candy, baby...

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