Rock and roll is mourning the loss of one of its most versatile axe men.
Ronnie Montrose, who played guitar in a variety of bands over the years in addition to his own, passed away on Saturday, Rolling Stone has confirmed. He was just 64-years-old.
"He'd battled cancer, and staved off old age for long enough," a statement on the musician's website said. "And true to form, he chose his own exit the way he chose his own life. We miss him already, but we're glad to have shared with him while we could."
Montrose is said to have battled prostate cancer for five years. In 2009, he revealed during his tour that he had beaten it, but it made its return soonafter.
Montrose lent his talent to Van Morrison (in which he got his start in 1971), The Neville Brothers and Sammy Hagar, among others. He also released several solo instrumental albums during the 70's, 80's and 90's along with albums with his bandmates of Montrose and Gamma.