Leslie West, the towering guitarist who created the hard rock milestone “Mississippi Queen” with his band Mountain, died on Wednesday morning. West’s brother Larry West Weinstein, Rolling Stone confirmed the death of the musician He was 75 years old alt The cause of death was cardiac arrest On Monday, West was admitted to hospital after suffering cardiac arrest at his home near Daytona, Florida, where he never regained consciousness

Released in 1970 on Mountain’s debut album, Climbing !, “Mississippi Queen” was two and a half minutes of boisterous bliss that revolved around West’s burly whine and guitar explosions and drummer Corky Laing’s completely unironic cowbell “Mississippi Queen,” one of them Never-to-speak classic rock-era songs featured on countless soundtracks, TV shows (The Americans, The Simpsons), and Guitar Hero III. In an interview with Guitar Player earlier this year, West said the song “did everything has what it takes to become a winner You got the cowbell, the reef is damn good and it sounds amazing It feels like it is about to jump out of your car radio To me it sounds like a big fat milkshake it is rich and chocolaty who doesn’t love this? “

A contemporary of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, West was respected for his versatile playing (from fingerpicking to metallic power chords) and adored by a new generation of guitarists who followed suit in 2011, Eddie Van said Halen told Rolling Stone that West and Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore were among his greatest influences: “Leslie West has this incredible tone in Mountain,” said Van Halen

The on 22 Born Leslie Weinstein in October 1945, West grew up in New York – Manhattan, Long Island, and Forest Hills, Queens – and was a founding member of the Vagrants, a blue-eyed soul garage band of the mid-1960s The group (which also included his brother Larry heard on bass) scored two minor hits – “I Can’t Find A Friend” and a cover of Otis Reddings “Respect” (released just before Aretha Franklin’s Titanic version) – before West left the band. A turning point, he once said, was the Visiting Cream at the Village Theater (later Fillmore East) in 1967 “My brother said to me,” Let’s have some acid before we go, “West told Blues Rock Review in 2015,” So we were taking LSD and suddenly the curtain opens and I hear them play “Sunshine of Your Love” and I see Eric Clapton and his suede jacket I said, “Oh my god, we really suck, after that I really started practicing and practicing”

With the help of Cream producer and bassist Felix Pappalardi, who met West while producing the Vagrants, West made a solo album. Mountain Mountain also became the name of the band the two men founded – “because I was so fat! ” West later joked

West was known for electro-shocking white blues riffing, but could also play more fluid melodies (as heard in Mountain’s “Nantucket Sleighride” and his solo in their “Theme for an Imaginary Western”) “What struck me the most when I started was how you could identify your sound like a signature with Clapton,” West told the LONCE in 1990 “I wanted a sound that could be identified I was never a speed player I tried to use my vibrato I hope I’m seen as a melodic guitarist, not someone who cries all night” weinie “plays”

When Cream broke up in 1968, a new generation of even more muscular guitar-based bands were ready to pick up where they left off The mountain was particularly big, and not just because of the bulky size and frizzy hair of West A reviewer who reviewed an early mountain show, describing it as a “300-pounder in blue velvet, suede and snakeskin”

The original incarnation of Mountain made a high profile appearance at the Woodstock Festival – on the second day between Canned Heat and the Grateful Dead. “I think I had the most amps out there,” West told Rolling Stone in 1989 “It was paralyzing because this stage, this backdrop was a kind of natural amphitheater The noise was so loud and shocking that I was scared But when I started playing I just kept going because I was scared to quit. “West also has some unreleased parts about it Who’s Who’s Next contributed

Though Mountain had a large following, the group broke up in 1972 on West took its Cream roots to a new level and formed a Cream-style power trio with Mountain drummer Corky Laing and Creams Jack Bruce The group released three albums and sold out at New York’s Carnegie Hall, but in 1974 West Mountain reformed for two more records

The following year, West officially went on his own with his album The Great Fatsby, a musically diverse album that showed the softer side of his style and also made fun of his weight problems in its title. The album contained “High Roller,” which West wrote with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards Jagger also played guitar on the track the album failed to make West a star solo act, and for the next several decades he switched between solo albums and touring and recording with various versions of Mountain

West health has been a concern for many years. He moved to Milwaukee to give up a heroin habit in the mid-1970s. In a 1990 interview, he said it was 10 years since he “stopped mistaking himself with narcotics in the Middle In the 1980s he was diagnosed with diabetes – his right lower leg was amputated due to complications from the disease – and he immediately lost 85 pounds and dropped to 200 pounds, but his weight fluctuated over the years

In the following years, West continued to work: he was a regular on Howard Stern’s radio show, made solo recordings and did some acting tricks, including 1986 in The Money Pit Mountain continued with various lineups and the band released an album in 2007 with Bob Dylan Covers, Masters of War; Ozzy Osbourne sang the lead role on the title remake.His 2011 album The Unusual Suspects was a testament to West’s stature and featured contributions from Slash, Billy Gibbons and Zakk Wylde Peter Frampton was featured on West’s last album Soundcheck

Aside from “Mississippi Queen,” “Long Red,” a piece of Mountain’s psychedelic blues, remains one of West’s enduring legacies. A drum hit from a live recording of the song, played by ND. Smart has been sampled by numerous rap acts including De La Soul, The Game, ASAP Rocky and most notably Kanye West in “The Glory” and Jay-Z in “99 Problems” “There was something about this song that appealed to rappers” the guitarist told Blues Blast magazine in 2015, “I have six different platinum albums on my wall from all of these different guys who tried my stuff. When I wrote this song in 1969, there was no hip-hop. It’s just like that That the song has a hip-hop beat, “West’s legacy goes well beyond hip-hop, however Numerous bands have reported on his material, most recently Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin remade “Mississippi Queen” for their “Hanukkah Sessions” earlier this month

West, who moved to Florida last month, is survived by his wife Jenni Maurer The couple married on stage in 2009 at a Woodstock 40th Anniversary concert. About his own mix of blues and metal, West told The Morning Call in 2000, “It’s like being a cook. You can use the same ingredients as everyone else use, but this is how you put them together you have your own style ”

Leslie West

World news – FI – Leslie West, mountain guitarist who kicked ‘Mississippi Queen’ out, dead at 75

Source: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/leslie-west-dead-1106777/