Leslie West, of ‘Mississippi Queen’ band Mountain, dead at 75

Leslie West, of ‘Mississippi Queen’ band Mountain, dead at 75
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Leslie West, of ‘Mississippi Queen’ band Mountain, dead at 75

Leslie West, of ‘Mississippi Queen’ band Mountain, lifeless at 75

The Mountain has fallen.

Leslie West, who kicked out towering jams (with a towering hairdo) in foundational classic-rockers Mountain, has died at 75, his publicist confirmed to The Publish.

West suffered cardiac arrest at his residence close to Daytona, Florida on Monday and was hospitalized, by no means regaining consciousness, reported Rolling Stone.

On Tuesday, his brother, Larry West Weinstein, wrote on Fb that West’s coronary heart stopped and he had been placed on a ventilator, based on the LA Occasions.

He’s survived by his spouse Jenni Maurer, whom he married onstage at a 2009 live performance commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock.

West laid down authoritative guitar riffs and chesty yowls in Mountain, a thundering energy trio rounded out by Felix Pappalardi on bass and Corky Laing on drums. The band’s contribution to the canon was the archetypal “Mississippi Queen,” a growling blues-rock quantity that includes pounding cowbell that went to No. 21 on Billboard’s Scorching 100.

Burly New York native West minimize an imposing determine onstage, together with his eccentric outfits and a Gibson that appeared tiny in his fingers. Whereas the group shared its title together with his first solo album, he joked that the trio was dubbed Mountain “as a result of I used to be so fats” and later named a solo document “The Nice Fatsby.”

One critic even referred to as him a “300-pounder wearing blue velvet, suede and snakeskin” in a live performance overview, based on Rolling Stone.

The group performed a set on the era-defining Woodstock pageant, the place West “had essentially the most amplifiers of anyone there,” he recalled to Rolling Stone in 1989. Mountain disbanded in 1972, however West continued to play with Laing, subbing in Cream bassist Jack Bruce for Pappalardi. He re-formed Mountain in 1974 and continued to play with totally different variations of the band for the following decade after a stalled solo profession (primarily based on the aforementioned “Fatsby”).

Like many rockers of his period, West struggled with medicine; his alternative was heroin. His weight was a difficulty, too, and within the Eighties he was recognized with diabetes and misplaced the decrease half of his proper leg to the illness. Alongside the way in which, he added “actor” to his CV, showing in 1973’s “Household Honor” and 1986’s “The Cash Pit,” and likewise grew to become shut buddies with Howard Stern, notching repeated appearances on the present.

His music additionally garnered a shock second act from the hip-hop neighborhood by way of the tune “Lengthy Purple,” which was sampled by De La Soul, The Recreation, ASAP Rocky, Kanye West and Jay-Z (for the guy New Yorker’s most rocking track, “99 Issues”).

”There was one thing about that track that appealed to rappers,” West informed Blues Blast journal in 2015. “I’ve bought six totally different platinum albums on my wall from all these totally different guys sampling my stuff.”

Leslie West performing in New York City in 2012
Leslie West performing in New York Metropolis in 2012

West was revered by his musical descendants. Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider tweeted that West was “one of many founding fathers of heavy steel” and Rolling Stone famous that recently-deceased guitar hero Eddie Van Halen hailed West as one in all his early influences in 2011, calling the large man’s guitar tone “unbelievable.” And no much less a rock authority than Dave Grohl just lately coated “Mississippi Queen” for his digital “Hanukkah Classes” sequence.

West, who by no means actually stopped his output, releasing albums all by way of the 2000s, together with his most up-to-date in 2015, remained a fast wit who was nice with a quote into his later years. He informed Web page Six in 2007 that his new label was referred to as “Huge Rack Information” “as a result of my fiancée has a pleasant, large rack.”

“There’s no medicine for me,” he added, evaluating 2007 to his glory years. “Many of the stuff that occurred again then I don’t keep in mind.”

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