‘Mississippi Queen’ Guitarist Leslie West Has Passed Away At 75

‘Mississippi Queen’ Guitarist Leslie West Has Passed Away At 75 | Society Of Rock Videos

via Rich Bornstein/YouTube


Leslie West, Mountain co-founding member and guitarist, has died at the age of 75 on Wednesday morning. Rolling Stone confirmed his death through his brother, Larry West Weinstein. Leslie West went into cardiac arrest on Monday at his home near Daytona, Florida and was immediately rushed to a hospital but failed to regain consciousness.

Born on October 22, 1945 in New York City, West’s career in music started out with the garage rock act the Vagrants and they had two minor hits. He then formed the pioneering hard rock band Mountain with bassist and vocalist Felix Pappalardi. Mountain would go on to heavily influence the development of heavy metal in the ’70s.

His powerful and versatile guitar playing propelled him to legendary status – putting him alongside other virtuoso axemen like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. West influenced the next generation of guitarists like Eddie Van Halen.

In a 1990 interview with L.A. Times, West said: “I wanted to have a sound you could identify like that. I was never a speed player. I tried to capitalize on my vibrato. I hope I’m regarded as a melodic guitar player, not someone up there going ‘weinie, weinie,’ all night long.”

He also told Guitar World, “I’m no great guitarist technically. I only play with these two fmgers [index and ring]. But you wanna know why people remember me? If you take a hundred players and put them in a room, 98 or 99 of ’em are gonna sound the same; the one who plays different, has some of his own, that’s the one you’re gonna remember.”

Over the years, he had several health issues. He is survived by his wife Jenni Maurer.

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