No products in the cart.



Last Friday morning, I tweeted “Headed to the Ronnie Montrose tribute show in SF tonight. The memories will be swirling around all night long (Hagar pun intended).”

They were, as one world-class player after another hit the stage to play the music of my youth, the music made famous by a man who late in his 40-year career became my friend. There were so many remarkable moments crammed into one evening that I’m hard-pressed to keep this post to a reasonable length. But I’m not here to deliver a concert review (capsule version: an awe-inspiring display of both love and talent). I want to talk about two moments that fired my imagination into the stratosphere.

First was at the pre-show reception, where I had the chance to chat with several of the players who Ronnie enlisted into his touring bands during the last 15 years of his life. All tremendous talents and, as I discovered for myself, all tremendously fond of Ronnie and grateful for having had the chance to share a stage with him. What had slipped my mind until he was standing right in front of me, though, is that one of those individuals was the physical model for my character Jordan Lee. So, yeah, all of a sudden I was standing there chatting with one of the characters from Believe in Me, kinda sorta. It wasn’t quite an out-of-body experience, but it was close.

Second was during the final song of the Montrose set played by original members Sammy Hagar, Denny Carmassi and Bill Church, with Joe Satriani sitting in. (As several of us commented to each other at the preshow, “It’s a great party, I just wish the guest of honor was here.”) Of all the musicians who took the stage Friday night, Bill Church had known Ronnie the longest, dating back to when they both played in Van Morrison’s band in 1971. The Montrose set finished with the acoustic ballad “Connection,” and as Satriani and Hagar began the song, Church put down his bass and stood alone by the drum riser for a long minute, hand on his heart, head tipped back, eyes to the sky. He made a fist and pounded his chest, once, twice, still staring up into the darkness above. Talked to the air. Closed his eyes and stood alone, communing with Ronnie’s spirit, until eventually Carmassi came along and brought him up to the front of the stage to join Hagar and Satriani.

It was a magnificent, heartfelt gesture, a moment of genuine truth and connection. And one day it or something like it will find its place in something I’m writing.

These moments—the moments when reality itself seems to swirl and bend into a kind of hyper-reality, when for just a split-second you can feel the charge of every ion in every molecule in the room—these moments are where stories come from.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to get all our latest updates & book release news.