Guitarist Ronnie Montrose took his own life on March 3
Guitarist Ronnie Montrose passed away on March 3, leaving millions of rock fans mourning the loss of one of heavy music’s greatest six-stringers. Ronnie formed the band Montrose in the ‘70s alongside Sammy Hagar, and his legacy spanned several genres of music. At the time of his passing, many assumed that based on Montrose’s previous battle with prostate cancer, his death was from the disease.
Now, Montrose’s death has officially been ruled a suicide. The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office has released a report stating that he passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At the time of his death, his blood-alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit.
As Guitar Player reports, Montrose struggled with depression for years, and his wife and manager, Leighsa, says he never fully concurred that depression.
“Ronnie had a very difficult childhood, which caused him to have extremely deep and damaging feelings of inadequacy,” Leighsa said. “This is why he always drove himself so hard. He never thought he was good enough. He always feared he’d be exposed as a fraud. So he was exacting in his self-criticism, and the expectations he put upon himself were tremendous. Now I see that perhaps he didn’t want to carry these burdens for very much longer.”
Montrose’s family has also posted the news on his website:
“By now, the devastating truth of Ronnie’s death is public knowledge. We hope you can understand why we wanted to keep this news a private family matter for as long as possible. We can only hope that you will choose to celebrate Ronnie’s life, and what his music meant to you, rather than mourn his passing. Ronnie would have wanted it that way. He loved being a guitarist, a composer, a producer, and a creator of magic. He fully understood his gifts, and yet he constantly pushed himself to evolve, improve, and make better music. He did this for himself, and he did this for you, because he adored and appreciated his fans. Please keep his energy, his joy, and his love in your hearts.
“Please note that there will be no more statements from the Montrose family at this time. We ask that you respect the family’s privacy.”
Please keep Leighsa and the Montrose family in your prayers.