This makes me sad. On a couple of levels. Prostate cancer? Really? So sad. He was fighting that for a bit now.
On another level - this guy was a huge, and I mean absolutely HUGE influence on me in my early, formative musician days. We covered all the stuff off of Open Fire, Montrose, Paper Money, WB Presents. I was the singer in most of the bands I played in back then, so I was singing all these tunes from behind the drums - from Bad Scotermooter to Rock the Nation, I Got The Fire, Rock Candy.
His bands read like a who's who of my early days, with Bill Church ("the electric Church"), Denny, Sammy, Alcivar, Fitz and all those guys. The first two Gamma albums are staples and I still listen to them. Pattison is one of those once in a generation voices. Can anyone listen to "SolarHeat / Ready for Action" and not mash the accelerator to the floor? Voyager - there is a blues / rock band in Ventura at the harbor that still plays this song - I often hear it when I'm coming in from a dive.
My first rock band - the first real guitarist I ever played with... dude was a monster. He got a new guitar, and we were rehearsing, and doing Thunder and Lightening... and on about the last notes of the solo, the guy stops playing... apparently the new guitar was a shorter scale than his old Mustang he'd been playing. We look at him, and he's staring down at his new guitar in disbelief. We ask what's wrong? He says, "I got gypped a fret...."
I have hundreds of memories of playing Montrose tunes all over the place, from backyard parties to clubs to opening for other bands to just playing them for the sheer joy of playing a really excellent song.
I'm so bummed. Not because of Ronnie - I didn't know him. Mostly because I have no idea where any of these guys are that I used to play this stuff with. They've absolutely vanished. I have boxes of photos and tapes of us. The whole Montrose thing is just making me miss those guys, and playing these tunes.
I'm sad. I'm enjoying my morning - thinking about those times when I was a younger guy, but I am sad I haven't seen these guys in so long.
Thanks for the great stroll. I would have never known about Ronnie's passing without your post.