In The Studio:
The San Francisco Chronicle has reported the death of guitarist Ronnie Montrose from prostate cancer. He was 64 .That first Montrose album in 1973 absolutely blew me away. I played “Rock the Nation”,”Bad Motor Scooter”,”Space Station #5″, “Make It Last”, and “Rock Candy” every night on my radio show in Findlay, Ohio, turning on all my friends while scanning the few national rock publications of the day for early true believers . It never came . Guitarist namesake Ronnie Montrose‘s credentials as a sideman were impressive , versatile enough to play tasty acoustic guitar on Van Morrison‘s seminal Tupelo Honey and then turn around to power chord Edgar Winter Group‘s “Frankenstein” into rock history . To be sure , I would later hear echoes of that first 1973 Montrose album in the 1978 Van Halen debut , but it wasn’t until around 1988, during a live Def Leppard interview on my Dallas radio show , that I received validation of my initial fervor for that Montrose debut . In an exchange with Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott and guitarist Phil Collen about the albums that most influenced them , Collen piped up , “Oh , that first Montrose album ! We play it over the P.A. every night before we go on.” There , 15 years after I first cued up “Rock Candy” on the radio , the Def Leppard guitarist reached into his shirt pocket & pulled out a cassette of Montrose !
This classic rock interview with Ronnie Montrose and singer/lyricist Sammy Hagar is online now in “Medium Rare” under “Montrose” .- Redbeard