Monday, March 5, 2012

Ronnie Montrose RIP

Cease and desist! Hence forth, no more cool guitarists are allow to die without permission! We have all been surprised by unexpected passing of public figures but this one caught me by surprise. Dignified and private to the end, Ronnie's illness was mostly kept quiet. In a world where people are more concerned with other people's business, this gentle guitar giant passed away at age 64. Ah yes, it's much more fun to point at what others have done or have so the masses can explain the chip on their should. Not Ronnie!

A transplant from Colorado, the San Francisco Bay Area became Ronnie's home. On planet earth; Ronnie was a riff king. What? You need proof?? Without revealing my age, there was a time in my life when I bought my first press of the Montrose Album but there was another band that I heard about named ZZ Top. I made a tape of the Montrose Album and then traded a kid at school for ZZ Top's Fandango. My brother already had the Montrose album and it was a safe trade, in my myopic view of life at the time thought I would always have access to those songs and huge riffs. My point is that, the only band that could even hold a candle to Ronnie Montrose band is ZZ Top. That little band from Texas is the only band that in my mind even compare to Montrose. Ultimately, I bought the Montrose discography collection twice, once on vinyl and once on CD.

Wild night. The opening to Van Morrison's Wild Night was a riff that Ronnie made up and it caught Van Morrison's ear. Great song? Yes, certainly but the opening riff is the type of riff that when people hear three chords they are already locked on to the song and jumping around. That my friend is a riff, hook, ostinato, phrase or whatever you'd like to call it. B-line is that your hooked and probably going to remember that group of notes until your rust or die. What? Still not a believer? Listen to Montrose - Rock Candy, Bad Motor Scooter, I got fire, One and a half, One Thing on my mind, and Rock the nation - If those songs don't do it for you then you aren't a fan of rock and roll. Ronnie's discography is modestly stated the underpinnings of heavy metal as we know it. Wild night was just one riff, another was Frankenstein by Edgar Winter. Too many great riffs to list - Get culture look up Ronnie Montrose!

The world doesn't know what it has until it's gone. Ronnie seemed to disappear from the scene during the late 80's until recent. He wasn't in the monsters of rock tour, Warped tour,  but he was on one Day on the Green in 1978. Ronnie had various project bands like GAMMA. Gamma albums were awesome but the first two especially seemed to really be earth shattering in terms of integrating the guitar, keyboard and special effects. Even the cover of the Gamma Albums seemed to have mystic appeal to me and my friends. There were other bands that I listened to that in my view were largely influenced by Ronnie Montrose. David Meniketti and Y & T had huge riffs like Montrose. No offense to Y & T but they seemed like Montrose light even though they blew the doors of the house - Ronnie Montrose was that good! Even without the monster tours, Ronnie's music remained relevant.

Ronnie - we miss you! One met never forgotten! This series of interviews are really interesting and you can learn while listening.

RIP Ronnie Montrose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ronnie used Baker Guitar elusively!

This video is simply awesome!

More !

Rock The Nation ! Uptown Theater in Napa California - February 2012

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