Montrose began in 1973, California, a hard rock band and was named after the founder and the guitarist Ronnie Montrose. The band’s first lineup included Sammy Hagar, the vocalist, who would eventually go on to become a solo singer and a part of the famous Van Halen. The drummer Denny Carmassi and Bassist Bill Church completed the original quartet. In 1977, the band disbanded.
Before joining Montrose, Ronnie Montrose worked as a session musician, appearing on Ted Templeman’s Tupelo Honey record, as well as Herbie Hancock and Beaver & Krause albums. He was a part of the Edgar Winter Group, the whose hit tune “Frankenstein”. It is known as the best-selling book album, and They Only Come Out at Night is also the hit one. (1972)
After Ronnie Montrose left the Edgar Winter Group in early 1973, the actual lineup of Montrose was formed with Ronnie Montrose, Bill Church on bass, Denny Carmassi on drums, and Sammy Hagar or Sam Hagar on lead vocals. Ronnie Montrose and Bill Church knew each other from their session work with singer Van Morrison and producer Ted Templeman, while Carmassi and Hagar had already played in a team and were hired from the famous San Francisco cover bands of music. Because of their previous relationship, the band was able to meet Templeman, who listened to their examples formed band land with the popular Warner Bros and music. The band, branded as ‘Friends and Ronnie Montrose ‘ for the time being, has yet to be officially titled.
The broadcast included the band’s whole ten-song concert at the Sausalito’s Record Plant, which included the entire debut album and the previously unheard tunes “You’re Out of Time,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Roll Me Nice” For years, the program was available as a tape before being included in the Deluxe Edition of their debut album in 2017.
In 1973, Warner Bros. published the debut song album, Montrose, which was produced by Ted Templeman and charted at No. 133 in the United States. It became the world’s hit, selling over one million views over several decades and earning platinum status. It is referred to as “America’s answer to Led Zeppelin,” it is credited with influencing hard rock and heavy metal band Iron Maiden, who has recorded and/or performed cover versions of songs from the album. Dee Anthony was the first person to manage and book Montrose.
Montrose collapsed as a band with the resignation of vocalist Bob James on December 31, 1976, following the band’s performance at Winterland, and Ronnie Montrose emerged a year later with the solo instrumental album Open Fire, released in January 1978. During this time, the guitarist collaborated with Tony Williams, a jazz-fusion drummer. Ronnie Montrose established Gamma, a progressive hard rock band, in 1979 with Montrose veterans Jim Alcivar and Alan Fitzgerald, drummer Skip Gillette, and Scottish vocalist Davey Pattison. Gamma 1 was the band’s debut album, released in 1979. Former Montrose drummer Denny Carmassi replaced Skip Gillette for their second album, Gamma 2 (1980), while bassist Glenn Letsch replaced Alan Fitzgerald, who went on to become a founding member (as Alan Fitzgerald).