was a Californian hard rock
band. The band featured Ronnie Montrose
and future solo star and Van Halen member Sammy Hagar
. Rounding out the foursome on their Ted Templeman
-produced debut, Montrose
(Warner Bros., 1973), were bassist Bill Church
and drummer Denny Carmassi
. The original line-up lasted long enough to make just this one album. The first member to leave was Bill Church who was later replaced by Alan Fitzgerald
for the band's second and final album with Hagar on vocals, Paper Money
(Warner Bros., 1974). After departing, Hagar released a succession of solo albums in the mid-to-late 70s and early 80s (often with the remaining members of Montrose) as well as a one-off live album with the band Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve
. He joined Van Halen
in the mid 1980s. As a band Montrose released a further two albums on Warner Bros., Warner Brothers Presents... Montrose!
(1975) and Jump On It
, both featuring Bob James on vocals, and new member Jim Alcivar on keyboards. On Jump On It
Fitzgerald was replaced on bass by Randy Jo Hobbs
Prior to forming the band Ronnie Montrose had been a successful session musician (playing, along with Bill Church on Van Morrison's 1971 Tupelo Honey album, also produced by Ted Templeman, and on albums by Beaver & Krause and Herbie Hancock). He was also a member of the Edgar Winter Group, playing on such hit singles as 'Free Ride', which was from the best-selling album 'They Only Come Out at Night' (1972). The guitarist later formed another band in the hard rock mould in the early 1980s, named Gamma, who featured Denny Carmassi, of the original Montrose band and late of Sammy Hagar's band, Jim Alcivar from Montrose, and a Scottish singer named Davey Pattison.
In its original incarnation, Gamma released several albums on Elektra records ('Gamma 1', 'Gamma 2', and 'Gamma 3') before splitting.
The original Montrose line-up reunited on Sammy Hagar's Marching to Mars (1997) performing "Leaving the Warmth of the Womb" and on stage as an encore at a few Sammy concerts in 2003 and 2005.
Among their most famous songs is "Rock Candy
", which in the '70s was a minor hit. Others include: