Ronnie Montrose (Montrose)
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After rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose (b. Colorado, USA) dissolved his own band, Montrose, in 1976, he decided to pursue a solo career. Switching styles from hard rock to jazz rock, he released Open Fire, an instrumental album that was unpopular with fans and critics alike. Disillusioned, he formed Gamma, who recorded three albums between 1979 and 1982. When Gamma ground to a halt in 1983, Montrose recorded Territory, another low-key solo set. In 1987 he teamed up with vocalist Johnny Edwards (later Foreigner ) and drummer James Kottak (later of Kingdom Come ), both ex-Buster Brown, and ex-Gamma bassist Glen Letsch. Mean was the result, an uncompromising hard rock record that had the guts and musical firepower of Montrose's debut, released 13 years previously. This line-up was short-lived, with Johnny Bee Bedanjek replacing Edwards and the addition of synthesizer player Pat Feehan, before The Speed Of Sound was recorded. Adopting a more sophisticated, melody-conscious approach, it lost much of the ground that had been recaptured by the previous album. Montrose decided to go solo again, producing The Diva Station in 1990. This was a semi-instrumental affair and incorporated rock, metal, jazz and soul influences, including an astonishing version of the old Walker Brothers hit, 'Stay With Me Baby'. Ronnie Montrose remains an extremely gifted guitarist, but as yet he has found it difficult to channel his energies in a direction that also brings commercial rewards. This situation has seen him devoting more time to production work.
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