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Biography

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose ventured on a fully solo career following his faltering attempts to keep MONTROSE afloat following the departure of vocalist SAMMY HAGAR who, slowly but surely, lured most of Montrose's sidemen away to his more dramatic career. Finally putting MONTROSE to rest and retaining his deal with Warner Bros the guitarist released the instrumental 'Open Fire' in 1978. Joining him on this record were erstwhile MONTROSE compatriots keyboard player Jim Alciver and bassist Alan Fitzgerald together with drummer Rick Schlosser and guest keyboards from Montrose's old partner Edgar Winter.

Discouraged by the record's flat response Montrose created GAMMA releasing three albums between 1979 and 1982. When this act collapsed mid way through a European support tour to FOREIGNER Montrose resumed his solo effort with 1986's jazz influenced 'Territory'.

Montrose also kept his hand in producing up and coming acts, one of which CITY KID, scored a major deal with Geffen Records prior to a name change to TESLA. Other acts to benefit from the Montrose studio touch were San Franciscan thrashers HEATHEN, Chicago's WRATH and guitarist JEFF NORTHRUP.

The 1987 album 'Mean' benefited greatly from a collective comprising of vocalist Johnny Edwards, GAMMA bassist Glen Letsch and drummer James Kottak. Both Edwards and Kottak had been members of BUSTER BROWN.

Although the album was praised as a welcome return to form Edwards drifted away to be supplanted by Johnny Bee Bedanjek and keyboards now augmented Montrose's guitar courtesy of Pat Feehan. Kottak was to join the immensely successful KINGDOM COME. His erstwhile band mate Johnny Edwards landed the job of replacing LOU GRAMM in FOREIGNER after initially linking up with NORTHRUP, the band that was recruited by CARMINE APPICE to record the third KING KOBRA album.

Speed Of Sound' album (recorded with a line-up of Montrose, bassist Glenn Letsch, keyboardist Pat Feehan and drummer Johnny Bee Badanjek) once more garnered a favourable response but by 1990's 'Diva Station' Montrose had opted for a totally instrumental approach once more. The following year saw not only a new album 'Mutatis Mutandis' with bassist Craig McFarland and drummer Michele Graybeal but also Montrose featuring heavily on the 'Born To Ski' compilation album.

1995 had Montrose back in the public eye laying down guitar for Techno outfit ANTI-M on their 'Positively Negative' album. The guitarist would also team up with Seattle act RAIL replacing the departed Rick Knotts. With such a high profile player on board the band gigged under the banner 'RAIL WITH RONNIE MONTROSE'. However, fans would dub the band 'MONORAIL'. This stint would last into 1997. Seemingly willing to try his hand at anything the guitarist cut an album in 1996 as the soundtrack to the Sega video game 'Mr. Bones'.

Inevitably Montrose was to bury his differences with SAMMY HAGAR as the original MONTROSE line-up reassembled to cut a track 'Warmth Of The Womb' for Hagar's 1997 'Marching To Mars' album.

Montrose reformed GAMMA in 2000 and resurrected MONTROSE in 2002. In 2005 Montrose contributed his interpretation of 'Try For Freedom' to a FRANK MARINO tribute album though WildMess Records entitled 'Secondhand Smoke'. Montrose's 1999 band included guitarist David Henzerling, of KING KOBRA and LIZZY BORDEN, drummer John Covington, of GREG LEON INVASION, and bassist Bobby Gaylor. Subsequently Henzerling and Covington forged BIG COCK.

Montrose's 2006 live band would include the notable inclusion of former MEGADETH rhythm section bassist David Ellefson and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, the latter also holding Y&T and ALICE COOPER credentials. A new album project, dubbed 'Ronnie Montrose and Friends: 10x10', featured guest singers SAMMY HAGAR, EDGAR WINTER and DEF LEPPARD's Joe Elliott.

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