Death Of Ronnie Montrose Ruled A Suicide

Posted by on April 10, 2012

The world lost a great guitarist last month when Ronnie Montrose died at the age of 64. While the guitarist had been battling cancer, it turns out that his death has been ruled a suicide. Montrose died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound, and his blood alcohol content was at 0.31, which is almost four times California’s legal limit. His family posted the following statement on his web site, ronniemontrose.com:

“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.”

Guitar Player interviewed his manager and wife, Leighsa Montrose, who said his childhood might have led to his decision to end his life. “Ronnie had a very difficult childhood, which caused him to have extremely deep and damaging feelings of inadequacy,” she 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.”
The magazine says that while Montrose didn’t leave a suicide note, he texted his wife “I have the .38 in my hand and am ready to go,” and “still have the gun in my hand. I’m going on the voyage.” By the time she got home, he’d shot himself. “I looked at his peaceful and calm face, and I said to him ‘You’ve shown me I have no choice in this matter,’she said. “I told him I loved him. I accepted what had happened. And then I sat calmly on the couch and called the Brisbane Police Department.”

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