The first was Davy Jones of The Monkees, whom I’d photographed at the RRazz Room in late 2010. Davy died suddenly at age 66. And just days later, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of my good friend, guitarist Ronnie Montrose, age 64. My photos of him were as recent as the fall of 2011, taken at The Fox Theatre in Redwood City.
The deaths of these two men got me to thinking about the expansiveness of the musical category "rock." According to iTunes, both artists fall into the genre "rock," but to my mind, they could not be more different. How can the sweet-natured, charming "Day Dream Believer" even remotely fit into the same classification as the blood-pounding, eardrum-cracking, steamy lyrics of "Rock Candy"? The fan who danced and grooved to the former would certainly be put off by the latter, and vice versa. Yet I noted that when I posted a photo of Davy Jones on Facebook last week, I received a shocking 89 comments (so many fans!), and am certain I will receive even more comments for Ronnie’s photo, particularly because he is such a Bay Area hero.
It seems that the truth is: rock is what makes you, the individual, get off your seat and sway and dance and sing and swing in no organized form. Davy Jones and Ronnie Montrose both got ‘em off their seats, albeit in very different ways. Both gone too soon. Here’s hoping they can find a way to rock on wherever they are, maybe even together.
Davy Jones after his show at San Francisco’s RRazz Room. October, 2010.
Ronnie Montrose at a promo shoot for his album Speed of Sound. Circa, 1985.
Miss ya, Ronnie.
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