Rock guitarist and God Ronnie Montrose died Saturday, March 3 at age 64 at his home in Millbrae, Calif. Known for his self-named band Montrose.
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During his intense battle with prostate cancer, Montrose had vowed to never pick up a guitar again, but he did, recreating many of the classic tunes at their original intensity and touring with a variety of musicians since 2002, including lead singer Keith St. John, who said today he was mourning the loss of his mentor, although he and Montrose split ways in December.
According to St. John, he met Montrose in 2000 when they were both enduring major relationship losses and had their “soft white underbellies on the table.” After the pair started touring Montrose referred to St. John as “the little brother.”
In reflection, the singer said: “There was an immediate ‘other-worldly’ kindred relationship between us and a magically heavy creative flow. While channeling new songs together we endured through the 9-11 catastrophe and carried on about all aspects of human existence and potential band plans. He has been at times closer to me than any other friend or family I have known. He has taught me and shown me a great deal about life, love, business, and everything about how to be human. His fans, many of which I have met along the way, are an amazingly loyal group of loving rock-and rollers who keep Ronnie’s music as their Bible and have been an absolute pleasure and an inspiration to me as we shared our ‘Ronnie-Time’ together. All of us who were touched by his wonderfully strong presence will always have some of Ronnie Montrose as part of who we are.”