Guitarist Ronnie Montrose dead at 64

Former Montrose man had prostate cancer

Rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who formed the band that bore his name with ex-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, died yesterday (March 4) at the age of 64.

It is believed that the cause of death was related to the prostate cancer he had been diagnosed with in 2007.

His death was announced yesterday via his official website, with a statement that read:

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

The statement continued: “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 Montrose was born in Denver, Colorado on November 29 1947 and got his first break in music when he played on Van Morrison’s 1971 album ‘Tupelo Honey’.

He then went on to form Montrose with singer Sammy Hagar, bassist Bill Church and drummer Denny Carmassi.

The quartet released two album together before Hagar left, but the remaining trio would go on to release a further three albums, the most recent was released in 1987.

In 1979 he formed Gamma with Davey Pattison and recorded four albums under the moniker. For the past few years, Ronnie Montrose has played solo shows across the US.