The revered rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose has passed away, aged 64, BBC News reports today (March 5, 2012). According to his booking agent Jim Douglas, Ronnie died at his California home on Saturday (March 3, 2012). Douglas told reporters that he had been battling prostate cancer and "personal demons."
Ronnie Montrose was born in Denver Colorado. His big break in the music industry came in 1971, when Van Morrison asked him to play on the album Tupelo Honey. Two years later, he formed a band that was named after himself. They played with a number of legendary artists such as Herbie Hancock, Boz Scaggs, the EDGAR WINTER Group and Sammy Hagar. Iron Maiden covered his songs 'I've Got the Fire' and 'Space Station 5,' whilst Van Halen also used to cover Ronnie's songs in their early career. Montrose was reported to have been planning a US tour later this month, as well as DVD release.
Ronnie Montrose is survived by his wife Leighsa, a son, a daughter and five grandkids. A statement 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."