R.I.P. Leslie West
Leslie West, co-founder and co-vocalist/guitarist of Mountain â the âMississippi Queenâ hard rock band credited as one of the godfathers of â70s heavy metal â has died at age 75. The sad news was first shared by Dean Guitars, with whom West had an endorsement deal, on Wednesday afternoon. Westâs health was known to be in decline for some time (in 2011, his lower right leg was amputated as a result of diabetes complications), but his official cause of death was heart failure, according to a statement later made by his brother, Larry West Weinstein, to Rolling Stone.
I saw Mountain, opening for Triumph, at the Brown Co. Arena (Green Bay) in '84 or '85. Leslie was truly the size of a Mountain. I don't know if it was a gimmick that they did every night or if it was spontaneous. The drummer kept bouncing his sticks off his cymbals and if they weren't hitting Leslie, they were landing all around him. Leslie got pissed and picked up a cymbal stand and threw it at the drums knocking half the drum kit over like the drums were bowling pins.