Leslie West of Mountain died on Wednesday, December 23. He was rushed to the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Daytona, Florida and never regained consciousness. The iconic guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and storyteller was 75.
Mountain was one of the first bands to pioneer the genre later to become known as heavy metal. Probably best known for their hit “Mississippi Queen,” he was co-founding member and co-lead vocalist of the band and played Woodstock in 1969.
In 1971, he contributed to The Who’s sessions of Who’s Next. His performances can be heard on the 1995 and 2003 reissues of that cornerstone album.
Artists online responded to his death. Neal Schon of Journey wrote: “Wow… I’m very saddened to hear this terrible news about Leslie West. He was a major influence on my playing. God Bless you Brother.. you are Soaring with Angels.”
Ace Frehley of KISS said that he lost a “great friend.” He wrote: “He was an amazing guitarist, and I was awaiting a call from him, since I did a remake of one of his songs on Origins Vol. 2…but now I'll never get a chance to hear what he thought of the cover.”
West was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall Of Fame in 2006 and appeared on dozens of other recordings from a vast universe of artists.
- Leslie West of Mountain died on Wednesday, December 23. He was 75.
- Mountain was one of the first bands to pioneer the genre later to become known as heavy metal.
- Best known for their hit “Mississippi Queen.”
- He was co-founding member and co-lead vocalist.