Wednesday, June 09, 2010


When people think about lists for best albums or must have albums one band seems to get lost in the shuffle. In fact if you are a true connisseur of rock n roll, then you must own the 1973 debut album from Montrose. No collection would be complete without it. A guitar, a bass, some drums and a singer whose vocal could peel paint. A simple formula for hard rock that served as a template for hard rock bands that followed. One of the first American-bred hard rock groups to challenge British supremacy in the early '70s. Just listen to Rock Candy, man that is one nasty gut crunching riff.

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose worked with Van Morrison and Edgar Winter in the early seventies before he decided to form his own band in 1973 with a couple session pros and an upstart, talented kid from California on vocals. Some guy named Sammy Hagar. Ronnie was a magician with that Les Paul of his and one listen to their debut album and you see what I mean by must have music. I'm talking about up tempo, foot tapping, beer drinking rock and roll songs that simply scream at you to be played at maximum volume.

Sammy Hagar did not do any guitar work on this album, all of which was left to Ronnie Montrose and was one of the reasons which led to unrest between the two of them and Sammy's eventual departure after their second album in which we all know he started his solo career.

Things between Hagar and Montrose had become so strained just prior to the split, that for the last dates of their final tour they refused to stand anywhere near each other on the stage. What a shame. Montrose underwent several personnel changes through the rest of its span in the seventies. After the band split up for good in 76, Montrose took time off to hunt and formed the band Gamma in the early eighties.

I believe Sammy and Ronnie have patched things up now, as a matter of fact, Ronnie participated on Sammy's, “First Annual Cabo Wabo Cruise” a couple years ago.

Rock Candy
Bad Motor Scooter
Buy It

Funny Toon


Jeff said...

Nice choice, my man. Guess I'll have to write about it another day.

Keep on keepin' on!

Wick said...

Saw these guys in Kalamazzo, Mi. opening for Spooky Tooth & Humble Pie. They were promoting this their first album. My God they were good! Opening with "Good Rockin" set the mood for the entire night.