Then: Guitarist Ronnie Montrose born November 29th, 1947 was a session guitarist for Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock, Boz Scaggs and others in the late 60’s and early 70’s. In 1972 he became a member of The Edgar Winter Group and recorded the album ‘They Only Come Out At Night‘ which featured hit songs ‘Free Ride‘ and ‘Frankenstein‘ which are still played today on classic rock radio. In 1973 Ronnie formed his own band called Montrose with bassist Bill Church from a previous band they were in together called Sawbuck, drummer Denny Carmassi and an unknown singer from Southern California named Sammy Hagar.
They released their debut self titled album ‘Montrose‘ in 1973 which was produced by an up and coming producer named Ted Templeton. The album was and is a legendary kick ass non stop hard rockin’ record that set the bar very high for the band and included rockers like ‘Rock Candy,’ ‘Bad Motorscooter‘ (according to Hagar the first song he ever wrote) and ‘Rock The Nation.’ After the release of ‘Montrose‘ and a tour bassist Bill Church left the band and was replaced with bassist Alan Fitzgerald. The bands second album ‘Paper Money‘ (1974) was nowhere near the hard rocking classic that the debut record was and vocalist Sammy Hagar left for a solo career soon after. Montrose went on to record three more studio records ‘Warner Brothers Presents…Montrose!‘ (1975) ‘Jump On It‘ (1976) and ‘Mean‘ (1987) with little success. Below is a video of Montrose performing the song ‘Bad Motorscooter‘ in 1974 with the original lineup.
Now: Below is a video of Montrose (with a new lineup) performing the song ‘Space Station #5‘ at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Ca in the summer of 2006. This lineup features Ronnie Montrose (guitar) Keith St. John (vocals) Dave Ellefson (bass) and Jimmy DeGrasso (drums)