Rock guitarist Leslie West died December 23, 2020 in Palm Coast, Florida as a result of cardiac arrest at the age of 75.  A diabetic, West has been dealing with a number of health issues in recent years including a live saving leg amputation in 2011.

West was the guitar player and vocalist for the band Mountain and is best known for the song “Mississippi Queen”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEnF6EB-yMs

West’s journey to rock stardom began with The Vagrants – a band with his brother Larry.  After making his debut as a solo artist, West formed the rock band Mountain with Felix Pappalardi.

West was also a part of West, Bruce, and Laing with Jack Bruce and Corky Laing.

Along with his solo and band work, West has lent his guitar skills in recording sessions for Sam Kinison, Billy Joel, Bobby Keyes, Felix Cavaliere, Dion DiMucci, Joe Lynn Turner, Joe Bonamassa, and Bo Diddley.

As a part of Mountain, West was one of the bands who performed at Woodstock in 1969; performing an eleven song set.

Their song “Long Red” has found its way into the world of Hip-Hop music after being sampled by a number of artists including Jay-Z, Nas, and Kanye West.

Along with frequent visits to the “Howard Stern Show” – twice as the musical director -, West has had his music appear on nearly three dozen productions including “Spenser Confidential, “Mike & Mike”, “The Blacklist”, “The Americans”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, “The Expendables”, “The Taking of Pelham 123”, “Pineapple Express”, “My Name is Earl”, “The Dukes of Hazzard” film, the 2005 edition of “The Longest Yard”, “The Simpsons”, and “Vanishing Point”. 

He is also credited with acting credits in “The Money Pit” and “Family Honor”.

He was born Leslie Weinstein on October 22, 1945 in New York City

His accomplishments include being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

West is survived by his wife Jenni.

Leslie West discography:
“Mountain”
“The Great Fatsby”
“The Leslie West Band”
“Theme”
“Alligator”
“Live”
“Dodgin’ the Dirt”
“As Phat as it Gets”
“Blues to Die For”
“Guitarded”
“Got Blooze”
“Blue Me”
“Unusual Suspects”
“Still Climbing”
“Soundcheck”

feature photo credit: By Leslie_west.jpg: Wilson Bilkovichderivative work: Nymf (talk) – Leslie_west.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9699842