Guitarist “chose own exit” after cancer battle that stopped him playing for two years, saying he’d enjoyed life of joy

Ronnie Montrose

Life of joy: Ronnie Montrose

Ronnie Montrose has died following a battle with prostate cancer. He was 64.

Friends say he “chose his own exit” after telling them he’d enjoyed a life of joy.

The guitarist had been fighting the disease for several years, recently revealing it had led him to stop playing for two years.

His official website reports: “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. 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.”

The musician and producer started his career in 1969. During recording of an album with his first band, Sawbuck, he landed a job with Van Morrison. He moved to the Edgar Winter Band before forming Montrose. They released five albums between 1973 and 1987. He also put out eight albums under his own name plus four with experimental outfit Gamma.

During his time he also worked in session and live with former Montrose and Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock and many others.

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