Leslie West, the vocalist and guitarist from hard rock band Mountain’s, has sadly passed away aged 75.
The news has been confirmed to Rolling Stone by West’s brother, Larry West Weinstein, who said that West passed away on Wednesday morning. A couple of days earlier, West entered cardiac arrest and was rushed to a hospital near his home in Daytona, Florida. However, the guitarist tragically never recovered consciousness.
West founded Mountain in 1969, and they would have their biggest chart a year later with the track, ‘Mountain Queen’. The song was recently covered by Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin as part of their Hannukah cover series, paying homage to some of the greatest Jewish artists.
Mountain was also on the line-up at the world-famous Woodstock Festival in 1969, alongside Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who — to name just a few.
The latter part of West’s life saw the musician become riddled with health problems and, as a result of his diabetes, he then had his right leg amputated in 2011. However, this event didn’t stop him from performing or making music, and he released his final solo album in 2015.
Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello posted a on Twitter: “Rest In Peace #LeslieWest. His guitar tone on ‘Mississippi Queen’ is hands down the BADDEST guitar tone on record.”
Meanwhile, Dee Snider wrote: “For those who don’t really know Leslie West’s work, let me say this about his guitar playing. As a singer, while I respect great players, vocalists spoke to me with their melodies.” Snider then added that West “is the only guitarist who I connected with cause I could sing every 1 of his solos.”
Nils Lofgren also shared this precious memory: “Rest In Peace, friend. Grin opened for Mountain and West, Bruce and Lang through early ”70s. Sweet, bad ass blues man. Got to play together first Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp. I’ll always remember his smile as he looked me in the eye, inspired and shared his gifts.”