Ronnie Montrose
Ronnie Montrose Ronnie Montrose

November 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012

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 away on March 3rd, 2012. 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 with him while we could.

Music legends aren't born easily. It has to be just the right band, with just the right sound, coming along at just the right time. That band was Montrose, and that sound was heavy, melodic, no-holds-barred rock and roll.

The critics called them "a scorching outfit..." "incredibly impressive..." "part [Jeff] Beck, part Led Zeppelin, and three-fourths nitroglycerin..." "sheer rock and roll ecstasy."

The original Montrose remains the stuff of rock and roll legend, the ultimate stateside power trio with vocals. The songs are a virtual greatest hits of American hard rock: "Rock the Nation," "Bad Motor Scooter," "Space Station #5," "I Got the Fire," "Jump On It," and the immortal "Rock Candy." The fans have been begging for more ever since.

But Ronnie Montrose has always followed his heart. Ever anxious to take his music to the next level, in 1979 he founded the trailblazing band Gamma, a group whose trio of ahead-of-their-time albums were an explosion of guitar and synthesizer pyrotechnics anchored by a bluesy edge.

Between and beyond these band forays, Montrose the player devoted himself to exploring instrumental guitar music on landmark albums like Open Fire and The Speed of Sound. Fans periodically clamored for another taste of the original Montrose power trio format, but he wouldn't revisit Montrose � that huge, heavy sound; those rich, pealing riffs -- until the time came when he could do it with total conviction.

That time is now.

Montrose has returned full force, playing the tunes that rocked a nation with heart-thumping, foot-stomping, fist-pumping energy. The legend has been reborn.