Mountain's Leslie West Dead at 75

Tony Iommi, Robbie Robertson and more have paid tribute
Mountain's Leslie West Dead at 75
Photo: Jan Persson
Leslie West — an American guitarist and vocalist known best for his work with hard rockers Mountain — has died. West's brother, Larry West Weinstein, confirmed the artist's passing to Rolling StoneWest was rushed to hospital Monday (December 21) after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Florida. He was 75.

Born Leslie Weinstein in New York City in 1945, West's career began as a member of Long Island rock-and-soul outfit the Vagrants. West would soon split from the group to form Mountain with producer Felix Pappalardi, naming the band after his own 1969 solo debut.

Rounding out the lineup with keyboardist Steve Knight and Canadian drummer Corky Laing, Mountain would make their debut with 1970's Climbing!, which features the band's best-known song "Mississippi Queen." Albums Nantucket Sleighride and Flowers of Evil would both follow in 1971, ahead of Mountain's classic lineup disbanding in 1972.

West and Laing would continue to record and tour without mountain sporadically in the decades to come. The band's eighth and final album, 2007's Masters of War, is a collection of Bob Dylan covers with guest features from Ozzy Osbourne and Warren Haynes.

Outside of mountain, West performed and recorded with Cream bassist Jack Bruce, the Who, Joe Bonamassa, Clutch, Twisted Sister's Dee Snider, Johnny Winter, Mick Jagger and more. His most recent solo album, Soundcheck, arrived in 2015.

Guitar greats including Peter Frampton, Slash, Tom Morello, Tony Iommi and more have paid tribute to West, which you can find below. Mountain's music — the intro drum break on "Long Red," in particular — has been sampled by the likes of JAY-Z, Kanye West, Drake, Nas, Eric B. and Rakim, J Dilla, Public Enemy and many more.

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