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Sammy Hagar and Glenn Hughes Among All-Star Guests for Final Ronnie Montrose Album

Michael Kovac / David Klein / Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images
Michael Kovac / David Klein / Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

Ronnie Montrose fans can look forward to one last studio album from the guitar legend — and it’ll include a long list of famous names.

Styx bassist Ricky Phillips outlined the history behind the project during a recent interview with Sleaze Roxx, explaining his early involvement as well as the many steps he’s taken to bring it to completion following Montrose’s death in 2012. Although a release date has yet to be announced, Phillips said he hopes to have the album — titled 10 by 10 — in stores by “the beginning of 2017.”

The title, explained Phillips, came from Montrose, and reflected his central idea that the album would feature 10 different guest vocalists. “I said, ‘That’s a great idea, Ronnie, but we can’t even think of one singer we like! How are we going to find 10?!’”

As it turned out, Montrose had a list of contenders — and it sounds like all of them were eager to enlist, including Sammy Hagar, Edgar Winter, Grand Funk Railroad veteran Mark Farner, ex-Gamma member David Pattison, Mr. Big frontman Eric Martin and Gregg Rolie. “I got Tommy Shaw on one of the tracks,” said Phillips. “It became this cool project that had this really cool band.”

Unfortunately, Montrose died before he could track solos for the record, but Phillips filled the void with “guys that Ronnie was into” — and added even more guests to round out the sessions.

“I didn’t get everybody that I went after, but I think all the right guys are on the record,” said Phillips. “There’s a great mix of singers and guitarists on there. I have Glenn Hughes on a track with Phil Collen from Def Leppard playing the solo, Sammy Hagar featuring Steve Lukather … Eric Martin, I paired up with Dave Meniketti (Y&T) and on and on. We have Joe Bonamassa on there too. I also have Brad Whitford, who is the unsung hero to both Ronnie and I in Aerosmith. He’s the dark horse in that band. I called him and he was honored to be a part of it. I can’t wait for you to hear the track with Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer. It sounds like it was lifted right out of the ‘70s.”

Ultimately, while Montrose’s lead playing will definitely be missed, Phillips feels the end result stands as a worthy testament to his legacy. “I think Ronnie will be looking down on us smiling when it’s released,” he added. “It’s pretty special.”

FURTHER READING: Phillips talked with us about this project way back in 2012, saying among other things: “We just want to make sure Ronnie’s well represented and it’s done the way he would want it done. That’s the whole focus. Not the way we want it done, but the way he would have had it done.” You can read that entire interview here

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