The music world mourns the death of Leslie West. The musician of the hard rock band Mountain died of cardiac arrest at the age of 75. His song “Mississippi Queen” even made it into “The Simpsons.”
Leslie West is considered a co-founder of hard rock, he was a role model for famous guitarists like Eddie van Halen and Zakk Wylde and a contemporary of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. With his band Mountain, he even took the stage at the legendary Woodstock music festival in 1969. On Wednesday morning, the 75-year-old musician died as a result of a heart attack. Already on Monday, December 21, he was hospitalized due to cardiac arrest near the city of Daytona in the US state of Florida.
Louder version of Cream
Leslie West was born Leslie Weinstein in New York City on October 22, 1945. After the divorce of his parents, he changes his last name to West. At the age of 12 he begins to play the guitar, quickly gaining experience in small bands and even landing small hits. In the process, West also met producer Felix Pappalardi, with whom he founded the band Mountain at the end of the sixties.
West is considered to be a friend of the heavier musical pace, and he lives out this preference in the newly formed band. With success: The virtuoso, yet harder sound, which is characterized by West’s distorted guitar solos, quickly causes a stir. Like many rock and metal bands later, they master the alternation between loud, sometimes aggressive songs and emotional ballads.
The music magazine “Rolling Stone” later dubbed the group a “louder version of Cream”. The band Cream around Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton was active from 1966 to 1968 and is considered the first supergroup in the history of rock music.
Over the decades, Mountain’s lineup changed again and again. On April 17, 1983, Pappalardi was shot by his wife after an argument, and in 1985 former Uriah Heep bassist Mark Clarke joined the band. Among fans, Mountain is considered the world’s first hard rock band.
Arguably the band’s biggest hit is “Mississippi Queen” from their 1970 debut album “Climbing!” which has been used in many soundtracks and even video games. He met a larger audience, for example, in 1996 in the episode “Homerpalooza” of the animated series “The Simpsons”.