- Montrose (band)
Montrose, 1975. Clockwise from top left: Alan Fitzgerald, Ronnie Montrose, Sammy Hagar, and Denny Carmassi.
Background information Origin United States Genres Hard rock, heavy metal Years active 1973–1976, 1987, 2005 Labels Warner Bros. Associated acts Van Halen, Edgar Winter Group, Van Morrison, Heart, Buster Brown, Scorpions, Coverdale-Page, Chickenfoot, Gamma, Sawbuck Past members Ronnie Montrose
Randy Jo Hobbs
Montrose was a California-based hard rock band. The band originally featured Ronnie Montrose on guitar and future solo artist and former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar. Rounding out the original foursome were bassist Bill Church and drummer Denny Carmassi.
Prior to forming the band, Ronnie Montrose had been a successful session musician (playing, along with Bill Church on Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey album, produced by Ted Templeman, and on albums by Beaver & Krause and Herbie Hancock). He was also a member of the Edgar Winter Group, playing on such hit singles as 'Free Ride', which was from the best-selling album 'They Only Come Out at Night' (1972).
The original line-up lasted long enough to make just this one album, the Templeman-produced Montrose. The first member to leave was Bill Church who was later replaced by Alan Fitzgerald for the band's second album, Paper Money.
Hagar left for a solo career, and Montrose released two more albums, Warner Brothers Presents... Montrose! (1975) and Jump On It, both featuring Bob James, formerly of Los Angeles-based band Swan, on vocals, and new member Jim Alcivar on keyboards. On Jump On It, Fitzgerald was replaced on bass by Randy Jo Hobbs.
After departing, Hagar had a successful solo career, which featured fellow former Montrose member Bill Church as part of the backing band for awhile. He joined Van Halen in July 1985.
In 1987, Ronnie Montrose formed a new version of Montrose with singer Johnny Edwards and drummer James Kottak (both from the band Buster Brown), and bassist Glenn Letsch, who had replaced Fitzgerald in Gamma. This version of the band released one album, Mean.
The original Montrose line-up reunited on Sammy Hagar's Marching to Mars (1997) album, performing "Leaving the Warmth of the Womb," and on stage as an encore at a few Hagar concerts in 2003 and 2005.
Ronnie Montrose has also performed off and on from 2002 to present with a Montrose lineup featuring Keith St. John (endorsed by Sammy Hagar) on lead vocals and a rotating cast of veteran hard rock players on bass (such as Dan McNay or Sean McNabb) and drums (Mick Brown of Dokken). Ronnie successfully battled prostate cancer from 2008 to 2010 and has begun more regular gigs.
- Montrose (1973) #133 US; #43 UK
- Paper Money (1974) #65 US
- Warner Brothers Presents... Montrose! (1975) #79 US
- Jump On It (1976) #118 US
- Mean (1987)
- The Very Best of Montrose (2000)
- "Rock Candy"
- "I Got the Fire"
- "Bad Motor Scooter"
- "Make It Last"
- "Rock the Nation"
- "Space Station Number 5" / "Good Rockin' Tonight" #71 UK
Studio albums Compilation albumsThe Very Best of Montrose Singles Related articles
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