The self-titled debut Montrose album, released 50 freakin’ years ago (!)—October 17, 1973—on Warner Bros. records was a game-changer that was hugely influential on some of the biggest metal and hard rock bands the world would ever know. Iron Maiden were fans, as was a little band from Pasadena called Van Halen. Montrose was a prime example of the finest hard rock/proto-metal America had to offer at the time. It had riffs for days. It also introduced the world to Sammy Hagar, made a name for producer Ted Templeman and, of course, spotlighted the ample chops of guitarist Ronnie Montrose (R.I.P.). In short, it ruled.
It also helped launch bassist Bill “The Electric” Church’s career. Church’s previous stints as a sideman for Van Morrison and member of Sawbuck got his foot in the door, but Montrose made every member of the talented quartet stars in the early ’70s. Church’s stint in the band was short—just the debut—but he would hook up with Hagar again a short time later when Hagar also left Montrose and embarked on a solo career. Church would be Hagar’s bassist of choice for a decade, playing on some of the Red Rocker’s early, pre-Van Hagar hits and touring the world with him.
So, yeah, Church has seen and done a few things in his career. The man has recently collaborated with prolific Canadian author Martin Popoff to write his memoir, The Electric Church, which is being published today, October 6, by Church Recordings, the label started by his son Trevor William Church of Haunt. If you want a copy, it’s available here along with some cool bundles.