Montrose Biography

After working with Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and Edgar Winter, guitarist Ronnie Montrose (Colorado, USA) formed Montrose in San Francisco in the autumn of 1973. Comprising vocalist Sammy Hagar (b. Samuel Roy Hagar, 13 October 1947, Monterey, California, USA), bass player Bill Church and drummer Denny Carmassi, they signed to Warner Brothers Records in 1973 and released their self-titled debut the following year. Produced by Ted Templeman, Montrose was an album that set new standards in heavy metal; the combination of Hagar’s raucous vocals with the guitarist’s abrasive guitar sound became a blueprint against which new bands judged themselves for many years to come. Including the classic recordings ‘Bad Motor Scooter’, ‘Space Station No. 5’ and ‘Rock The Nation’, the album still ranks as one of the cornerstones of the hard rock genre. Alan Fitzgerald replaced Bill Church on bass before the recording of the follow-up, Paper Money. Hagar was fired shortly after the tour to support the album was completed. Bob James and Jim Alcivar were drafted in on vocals and keyboards, but they never recaptured the magic of the debut release. Hagar and Ronnie Montrose, the principal protagonists, went on to solo careers, the latter joined by several ex-members of Montrose in Gamma. Carmassi, in addition, re-emerged in the 90s as drummer for the much hyped Coverdale Page project.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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