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POINT TO PONDER
“A winning effort begins with preparation.”
- Joe Gibbs
STORYLINE by Jim Mulready
Rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose grew up admiring musicians like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Hendrix. Born in San Francisco and reared in Denver, he returned to San Francisco in 1968 to be around the “San Francisco Sound” that was becoming popular at the time. Music was his passion; he practiced in the evening and supported himself doing repair and carpentry jobs during the day. He was the kind of young man most people would think of as “just another starving musician.”
In 1970, while doing an office remodel, he met promoter Bill Graham who introduced him to his partner and music producer, David Rubinson. Graham and Rubinson ran a small record label at the time (Fillmore Records) and after watching Montrose play with his band, Sawbuck, they signed them to a recording contract. Rubinson was so impressed with Montrose's talent and ambition that he got him some session work with the Pointer Sisters and keyboardist Herbie Hancock. Then came his big break.
In 1971, Van Morrison was assembling a band for a new album, eventually released as Tupelo Honey. Rubinson secured Montrose an audition and he got the job. After two albums Morrison moved onto another band and Ronny got a job touring with Boz Scaggs for 3 months.
Now established, Montrose went on to a 40+ year musical career. In addition to forming his own band several times, he played with such bright lights as Sammy Hagar, Edgar Winters, the Neville Brothers, the Beau Brummels, and many others. He continues doing session work for many other performers and recorded countless movie soundtracks.
He continues touring until his untimely death from prostrate cancer last week, passing at the age of 64 years.
At some point you will meet someone who will absolutely change the direction of your life. You won't see it coming and you probably won't even realize it while it's happening. Only in hindsight will it become obvious who that person meant. When Ronnie Montrose took that carpentry job remodeling an office, he had no idea who Bill Graham and David Rubinson were, but they saw his talent and gave him a chance.
Ronnie took care of the preparation by being the best musician he could; Graham and Rubinson provided opportunity. Preparation + Opportunity = Success. What have you done today to prepare yourself?