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.