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Mountain Legend Leslie West Dead at 75 — inside His Life and Career

Junie Sihlangu
Dec 24, 2020
09:15 A.M.
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The Mountain band’s Leslie West sadly passed away this week at the age of 75. The musician was rushed to the hospital earlier in the week with a health scare that led to his death.

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Leslie West died on Wednesday morning, December 23, 2020, at the age of 75. On Monday he was rushed to a hospital near Daytona, Florida after he suffered from cardiac arrest at his home.

Sadly, the Mountain band’s member never regained consciousness. The news of his passing was confirmed by his brother Larry West Weinstein who had previously revealed the star was unwell.

Leslie West of Mountain poses with a Washburn guitar in a rehearsal studio in 1984 in London, United Kingdom | Photo: Erica Echenberg/Redferns/Getty Images

Leslie West of Mountain poses with a Washburn guitar in a rehearsal studio in 1984 in London, United Kingdom | Photo: Erica Echenberg/Redferns/Getty Images

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On December 21, 2020, West Weinstein took to Facebook to share that his brother’s health was declining. He reached out to the musician’s fans asking them to keep his family in their prayers, stating:

“Jenni [Leslie’s wife] is by his side in Florida but it’s not looking good.”

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The star’s brother also thanked Jenni Maurer for helping him get this far. West Weinstein noted how his brother’s heart had given out and that he was on a ventilator with a possibility of death looming.

The singer’s sibling thought he wouldn’t make it through the night. West was born as Leslie Weinstein on October 22, 1945, and he grew up in Manhattan, Long Island, and Forest Hills, Queens.

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He was the founding member of the Vagrants in the mid-sixties. It included his brother West Weinstein who played bass guitar, and the band released two big hits, “I Can’t Make a Friend” and “Respect.”

The late star eventually left the band and started making music as a solo artist. He released the album, Mountain and the name of the record also became the name of the band he formed.

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West’s only other band member was bass player Felix Pappalardi, whom he met when he was producing the Vagrants. Some of the Mountain’s songs included “Nantucket Sleighride.”

West’s Mountain debut album, Climbing! was released in 1970 and it featured the famous song “Mississippi Queen.” The classic-rock song has since featured in numerous soundtracks and television shows.

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The song can be heard on shows like “The Simpsons” and “The Americans,” and it was also used for “Guitar Hero III.” The band also managed to land big gigs like performing at the Woodstock festival.

Leslie West performed solo and with his band.

The late artist’s band ended up disbanding in 1972. West then later formed a Cream-style group with Mountain drummer Corky Laing and Cream’s Jack Bruce, and together they released three albums.

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They even sold out at New York’s Carnegie Hall before the late star reformed Mountain in 1974 for two more records. The next year he went on his own and released the album The Great Fatsby.

The singer performed solo and with his band. In November 2020, West, moved to Florida and he is survived by his wife whom he married onstage at a Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in 2009.

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