Ronnie Montrose's death ruled a suicide

ronnie-montrose-ritchie-blackmore.jpgRock guitar legend Ronnie Montrose passed away back in early March. Now in cooperation with his family and widow, longtime family friend Michael Molenda has written a piece for Guitar Player talking about Montrose's passing, which has been ruled a suicide. The piece was written in anticipation of the coroner's report being released.

Molenda writes:

"It wasn't prostate cancer that killed guitar legend Ronnie Montrose. He beat that gremlin into the dirt, as he did so many obstacles to his career and musical expression. But Montrose, who was immensely proud of being a 'survivor,' simply couldn't vanquish the clinical depression that plagued him since he was a toddler.

On March 3, 2012, he sought inner peace by taking his own life. A report by the San Mateo County Coroner's Office, released on April 6, confirms the guitarist died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

And Montrose's family has released a statement:

"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."

His widow Leighsa also recounts his heartbreaking final moments, as the two were exchanging text messages. Our condolences to his family and friends.

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