Guitarist Ronnie Montrose dies after cancer battle
Rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who formed the band that bore his name and performed with some of rock’s heavy hitters, has passed away.
His booking agent, Jim Douglas, told the Associated Press that Montrose passed away at his home in Millbrae on Saturday. He was 64.
Douglas says Montrose had been in declining health for some time battling prostate cancer and what Douglas termed “personal demons.”
This statement was posted on Montrose’s website: “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.”
Besides forming his own band in 1973, Montrose also performed with a number of rockers, including Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and the Edgar Winter Group. Douglas says Montrose was working on releasing a DVD and starting a tour that would have taken him all across the U.S.
Montrose is survived by his wife, Leighsa, as well as a son, a daughter and five grandchildren. — The Associated Press contributed to this report