Rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose, best known for his work as a member of the band Montrose, died Saturday after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 64.
Montrose's booking agent, Jim Douglas, told The Associated Press that the guitarist died at his home in Millbrae, Calif., and that Montrose's health has been declining for some time. He also said that Montrose was battling personal demons, according to The AP.
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, a statement on his Web site read. 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.
Montrose is survived by his wife, Leighsa, and a son, a daughter and five grandchildren, The AP reported.
Montrose was born in Denver and had his first break when he was invited to play on Van Morrison's 1971 album Tupelo Honey. He formed his own band in 1973 amd also performed rockers who included Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Boz Scaggs and the Edgar Winter Group.
The album, Montrose, brought songs such as Rock the Nation, Bad Motor Scooter, Space Station #5, Rock Candy and Make It Last, according to Rolling Stone.