Robert “Bob” Dennis James (1952 – February 2021) was an American rock singer-songwriter who was best known for his work with the band Montrose.
Born in Struthers, Ohio, James moved to the South Bay area of Los Angeles in 1963. His early bands The Symbols of Time, Shatterminx, and Swan included David Pack (Ambrosia), Joe Puerta (Ambrosia), Robert Fleischman (Journey), and Marc Droubay (Survivor). In early 1975 he was chosen by Ronnie Montrose as the replacement for vocalist Sammy Hagar in the band Montrose and is featured as lead vocalist and co-songwriter on the Montrose albums Warner Brothers Presents… Montrose! (1975) and Jump On It (1976).
After leaving Montrose in early 1977 he reunited with his pre-Montrose original band Swan who recorded demos at Capitol Records with Montrose engineer Charles Faris and performed live in the Los Angeles area. In 1978 he relocated to New York to join the Anglo-American group Magnet who were mentored by Danny Goldberg, Phil DeHaviland, Jerry Moss, and Peter Frampton. Magnet featured Frampton’s former Humble Pie bandmate Jerry Shirley on drums, and released the album Worldwide Attraction on the A&M label in 1979. During this period James was approached by Aerosmith manager David Krebs as a possible replacement for Steven Tyler.
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By late 1982, he had left USSA and returned to Los Angeles where he remained active throughout the remainder of the 1980s and early 1990s as a songwriter and performer, before turning his focus to mechanical engineering, engineering management, and real estate investing. After nearly three decades of professional silence, in July 2013 James filmed a music video for his original composition “Diamond in the Rough”, which can be seen on YouTube. His son Brendan Willing James (born 1979) is the bassist and vocalist with the band Grizfolk.
Bob died at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February 2021 at the age of 68.
Read a more detailed biography of Bob here:
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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…
3: Dagoberto Planos Despaigne, 64, Cuban singer, cirrhosis; Jeroen van Merwijk, 65, Dutch comedian, painter and songwriter, colorectal cancer; Maria José Valério, 87, Portuguese singer.
2: Chris Barber, 90, English jazz bandleader and trombonist (“Petite Fleur”); Àlex Casademunt, 39, Spanish singer (Operación Triunfo 2001), actor and TV presenter, traffic collision; Claudio Coccoluto, 58, Italian disc jockey; Rina Gunawan, 46, Indonesian presenter and singer, complications from COVID-19; Radim Parízek, 67, Czech drummer (Citron) and media proprietor, complications from a surgery; Prabhat Sarma, 85, Indian flutist and singer; Bunny Wailer, 73, Jamaican reggae singer (Bob Marley and the Wailers) and songwriter (“Electric Boogie”), Grammy winner (1991, 1995, 1997).
1: Iurie Berdea, Moldovan drummer (Gândul Mâtei); Michael Gudinski, 68, Australian music industry executive, co-founder of Mushroom Records; Agim Krajka, 83, Albanian composer; Ralph Peterson Jr., 58, American jazz drummer (The Jazz Messengers, Out of the Blue), cancer.
28: Anna Kast, 39, Russian singer (Little Big) and actress; Ian North, 68, American punk and new wave musician (Milk ‘N’ Cookies), heart attack; Jorge Oñate, 71, Colombian vallenato singer, complications from COVID-19.
27: Gipsy Bonafina, 63, Argentine actress (Amapola) and singer; Danilo Rustici, 72, Italian guitarist and composer (Osanna), COVID-19.
26: Bob James, 68, American rock singer-songwriter (Montrose), stomach ulcer complications (death announced on this date); Anura Senanayake, Sri Lankan police officer and singer, cancer.
24: Wolfgang Boettcher, 86, German classical cellist; Alicja Helman, 85, Polish musicologist; Peter Ostroushko, 67, American violinist and mandolinist; Sardool Sikander, 60, Indian folk singer, COVID-19.
23: Vojislav Borisavljevic, 73, Serbian composer (Hell River, Barking at the Stars); Mark de Brouwer, 50, Dutch disc jockey (Radio 10 Gold); Ion Enache, 73, Moldovan composer; Sean Kennedy, 35, Australian bassist (Deez Nuts, I Killed the Prom Queen), suicide; Sergiu Natra, 96, Romanian-born Israeli composer; Luz María Puente, 97, Mexican pianist.