The guitarist RONNIE MONTROSE has sadly died at the age of 64, his booking agent Jim Douglas confirming that the virtuoso had passed away at his home in California on Sunday. Montrose had several of his own bands, but he'll be known more for his diverse style that allowed him to play with a number of famous acts including Van Morrison. Influential to many, Montrose saw the likes of Iron Maiden and Van Halen cover his tracks, the former taking on 'I've Got The Fire' and 'Space Station 5' while the latter played 'Rock Candy' and 'Make It Last' during their club days. He appeared on Van's 1971 album 'Tupelo Honey.'

Following the announcement, a statement was posted on the star's web page stating "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."

Continuing, the message added "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."