Ronnie Montrose, rock guitarist, has died. A statement on his official website confirms the news:
Ronnie Montrose ~ 1947-2012Montrose ran his own bands - Montrose and Gamma - alongside a lifetime of working as a guitar for hire. His spell filling in after Rick Notts quit Rail showed the respect in which he was held, as the band shared billings with him (Ronnie & Rail) and included Montrose songs in their set.
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 with him while we could.
Ronnie had been away from music for two years while receiving treatment for prostate cancel, but in September 2011 had sounded positive during an interview with the North County Times:
"I didn't touch a guitar for two years, but when I realized I was seeing the light at the end of the recovery tunnel and was going to live pain-free, I realized again that it was a fun little instrument to play."It sounds like something went sadly wrong.
"I've blocked all my health issues out of my mind. That's a portion of my life that I'm done with. Now, I can't wait for every day to come so I can wake up and plug in. I'm up there entertaining myself and my playing is stronger than ever, because my excitement is back."
Ronnie Montrose was 64; he died yesterday.