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The demise of one group often leads to the formation of another. Sometimes the new outfit does better than the previous one and sometimes not. The latter was the case for Gamma.

Montrose, led by guitarist Ronnie Montrose, bit the dust in the mid-70s after a moderately successful run. Sammy Hagar was the original vocalist who went on to a solo career before joining Van Halen.

Montrose, issued a solo album in '78, "Open Fire." A year later, he and vocalist Davey Pattison formed Gamma. The group also included bassist Alan Fitzgerald who'd been in Montrose.

Though '79 debut album "Gamma 1" contained "Fight To The Finish" and "I'm Alive," the set failed to crack the Top 100 on the Billboard Album Chart.

Bassist Glenn Letsch and drummer Denny Carmassi, another Montrose vet, were onboard for "Gamma 2." Riding the strength of "Mean Streak" and "Cat On A Leash," the album peaked at #65.

Personnel changes continued as Mitchell Froom replaced Jim Alcivar for "Gamma 3." The '82 album spawned the group's most successful single, "Right The First Time," which landed at #10 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart.

Since their label, Elektra Records, never really got behind Gamma, nor did the group deliver the mega hit labels crave (though they were right in Foreigner's sandbox), Gamma ended its initial run after three albums.

Montrose resumed his solo career. Pattison found another guitarist to work with, Robin Trower, while Froom became a producer (Elvis Costello, Crowded House, Bonnie Raitt and some guy named Paul McCartney). Carmassi joined a latter edition of Heart, staying over a decade, before working with Coverdale/Page and Whitesnake. He also toured with Foreigner.

Following a five-year battle with prostate cancer, Montrose passed away on March 3rd, '12. He was 64 years old.

Gamma Discography


1979 Gamma 1
1980 Gamma 2
1982 Gamma 3
2000 Gamma 4

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