Ronald Douglas "Ronnie" Montrose (29 November, 1947 – 3 March, 2012) was an American rock guitarist, who led the bands Montrose and Gamma and also performed and did session work with a variety of musicians, including Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, The Beau Brummels, Boz Scaggs, Beaver & Krause, Gary Wright, Tony Williams, The Neville Brothers, Dan Hartman, Marc Bonilla, Edgar Winter, and Johnny Winter. The first Montrose album was often cited as "America's answer to Led Zeppelin" and Ronnie Montrose was often referred to as one of the most influential guitarists in American hard rock.
Montrose was born in San Francisco, California. When he was a toddler, his parents moved back to his mother's home state of Colorado (his father was from Bertrand, Nebraska, and his mother was from Golden, Colorado). He spent most of his younger years in Denver, Colorado until he ran away at about 16 years old to pursue his musical career. He ultimately spent most of his life in the San Francisco Bay area.
In 1969, he started out in a band called Sawbuck with Bill Church. Montrose had been in the process of recording, what would have been his first album with Sawbuck, when producer David Rubinson arranged an audition with Van Morrison. Montrose got the job and played on Morrison's 1971 album Tupelo Honey. He also played on the song "Listen to the Lion," which was recorded during the Tupelo Honey sessions but released on Morrison's next album Saint Dominic's Preview (1972)...
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