The winners of our Ronnie Montrose Remembered Prize Package Giveaway have been selected. We received hundreds of entries with detailed stories recounting fans special memories of Ronnie and the impact he had on their lives.
This contest ran shortly after our Ronnie Montrose tribute article on the anniversary of his death. We’ve selected the six final winners of the prizes packages and published their stories inside here.
Ronnie’s wife Leighsa read each story entry herself and passed along these words in response to them. “I’d just simply say that Ronnie would say to them, “well thank you, I never get tired of hearing kind words.” He appreciated his fans more than I can tell you. He took time to talk with each person and genuinely listen. He cared.”
It was difficult to choose from the entries submitted. So many of your lives were greatly impacted by Ronnie over the years. It was touching to read each of these memories and see how his legacy and spirit are continued to be carried on in life. Here are the stories that our team felt best captured his memory best.
DVD package winners
“I saw Ronnie over 25 times! Starting the first tour with the album just being released, in Uptown Arena Modesto. It was my first concert and it changed my life. Over the years with different Montrose bands even with Bob James as well as solo, guest walk ons with Ted Nugent/Journey, and Sammy Hagar at the Cow Palace as well as years later at the Concord Pavilion. Met him on the Open Fire tour for the first time and he was so cool to us, he made sure we got to see the second show of the night as “his” guest. Also talked with him at the Golden Bear in So Cal, a convention room gig at a hotel in Fresno, The Road House in Sacramento, also talked at The Tracy Dry Bean Fest. On and on and on…lol I saw him and met him so many times he recognized me from stage at The Galaxy in Orange County. But the best had to be at Fresno Seland Arena, the first album had just dropped, He was playing with Rare Earth, and I believe Fleetwood Mac (pre girls) We had made Motrose shirts in art class with silk screen of the first album logo, He saw us and flipped out tugging on his shirt then pointing at ours. he gave us a thumbs up then came over right in front of us posed for some pics as he just ripped up a special solo just for us.”
“Favorite Montrose Memory: A fond memory i have of Ronnie is from his Gamma era. The band toured England and Europe in the early 80s and i went to see them at Manchester Free Trade Hall. After the show i, along with about 10 others waited for the band outside to come out and maybe sign a few autographs. It was cold but we were kept warm by the memories of a great concert. Suddenly the backstage door opened and we were all asked in a very polite manner if we would like to come in and meet the band, which was a first for many of us as bands often rushed off without even a wave.
Inside the band were sitting casually with their baggage having a well deserved drink. For the next half an hour we all mingled and chatted like old school friends who had not seen each other for years, the atmosphere was like something i have never experienced ever since, Ronnie sat on the corner of a table and let all the others take centre stage, signing anything that was put in front of him ( someone got him to sign a Newcastle Brown beer tin, which they forgot and i picked up and still have in a glass cupboard in the cellar ) Ronnie was so humble that night, happy that he had again reached the top with a new band and it was as if he wanted to let them feel what it was like to be, part of a great rock and roll band and get the recognition from the fans who listen to the music and come to the shows.
For those 30 minutes or more we fans were treated like,as i said, long lost friends, not just ushered in to meet and greet but with a genuine enthusiasm from both sides. I was the last to leave as i was staying in Manchester the others were taking trains, so i talked with Ronnie and a shy Denny about Montrose days and the show Sammy had performed at the same place some time earlier with his new band together with Bill Church, he said then that one day we’ll perform together but he couldn’t say when and smiled.
I politely left, as not to out stay my welcome and got a thanks for coming from Ronnie as i opened the door i looked back and I’ll never forget the schoolboy smile he sent me on my way with.
I never saw Ronnie again but chatted with him several times via his home page when it first got started. I wouldn’t say Ronnie was an anti-hero, more of man who knew the importance of keeping touch with the people who he wrote the music for.”
“I have a good friend who rides Harley’s and has always been my “Biker Buddy”. Years ago I used a clip of Bad Motor Scooter as his ring tone. At this time I was working in a clinic with several handicapped kids, one in particular was very hard to work with. He had bit and scratched the other 2 therapists, and I was the only one who would work with him. One day during his therapy my friend called and Bad Motor Scooter came on. As I scrambled to turn it off, I noticed her was really enjoying it. I let it ring and he just rocked along. I then played it over and over, and through each of his therapy sessions. he family had to go buy a copy for him to listen to at home. I still see his smile every time I hear that song, which is never enough.”
CD Package Winners
“In the fall of 1981 I was a High School sophomore with an English class project to interview a local “celebrity” and write an essay of the whole experience. Being a long haired fledgling 16 year old guitar player Ronnie Montrose was my obvious choice. My father through his work in recording studio and pro audio equipment sales had a connection within Ronnie’s management and arranged to get us tickets, backstage access and time with Ronnie for a brief interview. So on a warm, school night in late October my Dad and I went down to the Keystone Palo Alto to see Ronnie and Gamma in one of their first shows supporting the Gamma 2 album. They played most all of Gamma 1, a few solo songs and of course that was my first time hearing Voyager. After the show we were led backstage to a small dressing room where a slightly built, very humble, inviting and gracious Ronnie Montrose gave me the interview of a 16 year lifetime, signed a few photos and sent me on my way with a night I’ve never forgotten (& an “A” on my paper!) Saw him at least 20 times since then but my one lone regret was NOT buying tickets for his November 2011 shows at the Firehouse Art Center in Pleasanton (3 blocks from my house!) because they were over my wedding anniversary weekend and…I just figured I’d see him the “next time around”. Well, there wasn’t a “next time around” and getting tickets for the Memorial Concert… just didn’t happen. So while I will forever have the Embassy Ballroom concert on my DVR, every album (sorry CD/SACD, FLAC file, MP3, etc.) a growing collection of live concert bootlegs, the memories of over two dozen concerts and an extra special night in Palo Alto, I will never have that last concert in my home town back. Your contest is a step in the right direction for some closure on one of the biggest regrets of the last decade and as a 40+ year fan I would be graciously honored to be considered one of your winners.”
“Went to see Gamma at the Old Waldorf in S.F. I got really drunk before to show and lost my wallet with our tickets. We were trying to get the door guy to let us in even though we lost our tickets. Was not working. Then the elevator opens up and out comes Ronnie and Davi Pattison and my buddy explains to Ronnie that we lost our tickets and Ronnie looks at the door guy and says let them in! They let us in. Opening was a band that we meet afterwards called Ranger. They later called themselves Night Ranger. Thanks again Ronnie!”
“I’ve seen Ronnie many times. I think my favorite memory was when he came out retirement and started touring again. I saw him at the State Theater in Modesto CA and it was an amazing show. I could really see that he was enjoying himself. Part of the way through his set Ronnie paused and stood there looking at the crowd. He then told us how he had been battling cancer and hadn’t played for several years. Ronnie kind of laughed to himself and said “I forgot how much I fucking enjoyed this!” Then he went on an played one of the best sets I’ve heard in years. Whether I win or now, I will always remember that show and the following show a year later that was just a few weeks before he passed.”
For more information on Ronnie Montrose, or to order the DVD, please check out these sites: