Montrose 50th- Ronnie Montrose, Sammy Hagar, Ricky Phillips

This “Ronnie Montrose Tribute” features my classic rock interviews with the late guitarist Ronnie Montrose plus original Montrose band singer/songwriter Sammy Hagar, who  takes a personal look back at the first Montrose album released in October 1973, widely cited by members of Van Halen to Def Leppard as the all-important missing link in the evolution of hard rock. That album and the follow-up, Paper Money, have been remastered  and now frame the  sadly final  Ronnie Montrose swan song album 10×10   featuring a galaxy of stars including Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey, Tommy Shaw and Lawrence Gowan of Styx, Sammy Hagar, Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Joe Bonamassa, Phil Collen of Def Leppard, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, Mark Farner, Glenn Hughes, drummer Eric Singer, and veteran Styx bass player/ tribute producer Ricky Phillips, who joins us here In the Studio as well.

Guitarist namesake Ronnie Montrose’s credentials as a sideman were impressive, versatile enough to play tasty acoustic guitar on Van Morrison’s seminal Tupelo Honeyand then turn around to power chord Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein” into rock history as the only #1 rock instrumental ever. We would later hear echoes of that first 1973 Montrose  album in the 1978 Van Halen   debut. Even though commercial success eluded them, their influence was indelible, and that first RonMon album would be the linchpin for much of the modern hard rock sound that would follow. Ronnie Montrose, who passed in 2013, shared with In The Studio   host Redbeard Ronnie’s  theory on why his early work is still cited almost fifty years later, while Ricky Phillps details the fifteen year odyssey of this 2017   10×10   project. –Redbeard Photo Credit: DJ Photography