Ronnie's first big break was being offered the chance to play in Van Morrison's band and do the Tupelo album. And if one big break wasn't enough he was then offered the chance to play in Edgar Winter's band. But the Edgar Winter Group was so full of talent (Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Dan Hartman) and there were so many influences that Ronnie needed to have his own band so he set out to form MONTROSE.
Ronnie teamed up with then unknown vocalist Sammy Hagar, Bill Church on Bass, Denny Carmassi on Drums and producer Ted Templeman and the Classic MONTROSE was released. After two albums Sammy Hagar decided to leave the band, Ronnie speculates probably for the same reasons that he (Montrose) had to leave The Edgar Winter Group. Montrose released two more albums with vocalist Bob James before calling it quits.
Ronnie Montrose did a lot of session work in the 70's and early 80's including such classics as Gary Wrights Dream Weaver album. (see sessions page for detailed list). In 1978 Ronnie then released an all instrumental album called OPEN FIRE which was produced by Edgar Winter. At the time an all instrumental album in the rock genre was a risk but the album is known to Montrose fans as a classic.
In 1979 Ronnie formed the band GAMMA, another hard rock band with another then unknown vocalist Davey Pattison. For Gamma 2 and 3 Ronnie was reunited with Montrose Drummer Denny Carmassi. Gamma disbanded in the early 80's due to pressure from the record label to produce a hit.
While continuing to do session and production work, including working with Jeff Berlin, Ronnie released Territory on the Passport Jazz Label. While not one of Ronnie's personal favorites he followed up with MEAN (MONTROSE 1987) and THE SPEED OF SOUND (1988), an amazing all instrumental guitar based rock album. This led to a series of mostly instrumental albums including the Born to Ski sound track, a song on the first Guitar Speak album as well as several more solo projects including the soundtrack to the Mr. Bones Sega Genesis Video Game.
After releasing his first live album, Roll Over and Play Live Ronnie was had a talk with his band mates from Gamma and they all agreed to get back together and do GAMMA 4 (2000). Ronnie then released his all acoustic album BEARINGS while continuing to work with other artists both as a musician and producer. At the time of this writing Ronnie had a project in the works titled Ronnie Montrose and Friends that was nearly complete. However it's release date is a mystery.
Ronnie has a son, Jesse, and a daughter, Kira. He currently lives in California in the Bay area. Ronnie passed away on March 3rd 2012.
I would like to than Ronnie for his support of this web site and for his friendship and of course for the years of great music for all of us to enjoy. This site was offline for quite a while but I have posted it back up as a tribute to a great man and fantasic musican.