Legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose has passed away at the age of 64 after battling prostate cancer for two years. Ronnie was born in San Francisco on November 29, 1947, and picked up the guitar in his late teens and formed his first band, Sawbuck, in 1969. Montrose also performed with rock legends like Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and the Edgar Winter Group. Jim Douglas, Montrose’s booking agent, said Montrose was working on releasing a DVD and starting a tour that would have taken him across the U.S.
A touching message posted on his official website read, “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.”
Montrose is survived by his wife, Leighsa, as well as a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.