Leslie West, Mountain singer and guitarist, dead at 75

Guitarist Leslie West
Mountain guitarist Leslie West dead at 75. Pic credit: Rich Bornstein/YouTube

Leslie West, a founding member and guitarist for the hard rock band Mountain, has passed away at 75.

Leslie’s brother, Larry West Weinstein, told Variety that he died on Tuesday (December 22).

The musical instruments company, Dean Guitars, also confirmed the sad news of West’s death in posts to Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday.

“With a heavy heart, we are saddened to hear about the passing of #Dean Artist and part of the Dean family, Leslie West. Legendary and one of a kind. Rest In Peace,” the Instagram statement read.

Leslie West cause of death was a cardiac arrest

West was rushed to the hospital on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home near Daytona, Florida, according to Rolling Stone.

He lost consciousness after the cardiac arrest and never regained it.

West suffered from other health issues, including diabetes. He had part of his right leg amputated back in 2011 due to complications from type II diabetes.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dean Guitars (@deanguitars)

Leslie West death: Tributes flood Twitter

Fans, fellow musicians, and other celebrities have been paying tribute since the news of West’s death broke yesterday.

Tributes have been pouring in on multiple social media platforms. Celebrities who have paid tribute on Twitter include the singer and songwriter Tom Morello, English rock singer David Coverdale, singer and producer Gene Simmons, and Dean Guitars CEO Evan Rubinson.

The legendary Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson) also paid tribute on Instagram.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Slash (@slash)

Leslie West bio

Leslie West was born in October 1945 in New York City but grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey as well as various cities in New York.

He started the band known as The Vagrants with his brother Larry in the 1960s.

He released his debut solo album Mountain in July 1969. He recorded Mountain with the bassist Felix Pappalardi.

In the same year, West (vocalist and guitarist), Pappalardi (vocalist and bassist), Steve Knight (keyboardist), and N. D. Smart (drummer) co-founded the hard rock band Mountain in Long Island.

Mountain is a hard rock band and heavy metal band that is widely credited with influencing the subsequent direction of heavy metal music in the 1970s.

The group was an instant hit with fans when they played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York.

Although Mountain broke up in 1972,  the group has reunited on multiple occasions over the years to release records and perform concerts.

Mountain is best known for songs such as Mississippi Queen and Long Red.

Mississippi Queen reached peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.

West is survived by his wife Jenni Maurer. They tied the knot onstage at a Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in 2009.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments