What singer Keith St. John misses the most about Ronnie Montrose is playing music with him
Current Burning Rain and Kingdom Come, and f0rmer Montrose and Quiet Riot frontman Keith St. John was recently interviewed by Shanda Golden for In The Vault with Shanda Golden in advance of NAMM 2019‘s edition of the Ronnie Montrose Remembered, which will take place at the Anaheim Event Center in Anaheim, California, USA on January 25, 2019.
In terms of dealing with Ronnie Montrose no longer being there (the guitarist passed away back in March 2012), St. John advised (as transcribed by Shanda Golden with slight edits): “Yeah. You know, it’s always tough you know as we get older in this life. We lose people and even sometimes when we are kids, you know, we lose people and it’s really hard. And with a guy like that that you had so much time with on and off [the] stage and you have these incredible spiritual vibes… It’s a big one when you lose somebody like that but one of the reasons why myself and a lot of the rest of us who knew Ronnie well like to do this every year is because it gets us closer with him. It gives us some resolve and you know we feel better and I think the crowd, the fans that come feel the same way. I feel them you know. They’re really, really, you know, they wanted it to keep going and it just, it ended and you know everybody gets to give a little back and get a little back from each other when we do it. It really is a trip. It’s a big spiritual festival and I feel like Ronnie‘s in the building you know every year and so do a lot of the other cats and gals that are there.”
It was pointed out to St. John that he and Sammy Hagar played the longest with Montrose out of Ronnie Montrose‘s lead vocalists for the band to which St. John replied: “Oh yes, yeah. Well, Sam was only there for two years. I was there by far the longest.”
In terms of what he misses the most about Montrose, St. John stated: “Well, it’s selfish but I miss playing with him the most really. I mean, that’s, that’s the biggest thing. You know, once you get into that, that cycle man with somebody and you got that energy with the crowd, that’s, that’s just it’s lifting and it’s in your life and that’s like part of your thing. You know, you miss it.”
You can listen to the interview with Keith St. John at In The Vault with Shanda Golden below:
RONNIE MONTROSE REMEMBERED 2019 http://www.ronniemontroseremembered.com
Wikipedia states the following about St. John‘s time in Montrose (with slight edits):
“Montrose were a hard rock band formed by legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose in 1973. By 1998, Ronnie Montrose was recording his first solo guitar album. Following almost two decades of solo projects, making records with his band Gamma, and producing other bands, he was introduced to Keith St John by their mutual friend and session keyboardist Ed Roth. St John and Montrose immediately hit it off both personally and musically, and Montrose was inspired to reform his band. St John helped Montrose recruit new members from the L.A. scene, and the first new lineup included drummer Pat Torpey and bassist Chuck Wright. Other members who toured and/or recorded with the band while St John was a member included: drummers Eric Singer, “Wild” Mick Brown, and Jimmy Degrasso, and bass players Ricky Phillips, Mick Mahan, David Ellefson, and Sean McNabb.
After they met in 1998, St John and Montrose began writing together and recording home demos of new songs, some of which would make it into live Montrose shows when the band was on tour. Pat Torpey and Chuck Wright also participated in recording some studio demos of Ronnie and Keith‘s music. With some revisions to those early songs, and with some added new fresh material, in 2006, Montrose and St John went into the studio to record a new record with Eric Singer on drums and Ricky Phillips on bass. The untitled has not been be released. St John had the longest tenure of any musician who worked with Montrose about thirteen years.
Managed primarily by Scott Booray, the band toured mainly in the U.S. playing large outdoor festivals, arena shows, theaters, and clubs. Some touring highlites include performing at the Woodstock 40th Anniversary at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco where the opened their set with The Who‘s “My Generation,” and being billed over the years with iconic arena bands such as Journey, Def Leppard, The Scorpions, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Whitesnake, Dokken and many other rock legends.
Ronnie Montrose reportedly took his own life on March 3, 2012, after which St John performed at a grand memorial concert in his honor at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Some of the other performers included: Sammy Hagar, Neal Schon, Steve Smith, Joe Satriani, Denny Carmassi, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer. Keith St John and Doug Aldrich also performed a tribute to Montrose at the Iridium Theater in New York City on April 30, 2012, which was streamed over the World Wide Web and included the Les Paul Trio with Anton Fig. In 2015, St John toured extensively in the U.S. with Tracii Guns and Rudy Sarzo playing their renditions of anthems from their prior bands. Their set every night included renditions of the Montrose hits “Rock Candy” and “Bad Motor Scooter” which were critically acclaimed in reviews of the show by rock journalists.”