West was 75
Leslie West, guitarist, vocalist and founding member of the classic rock band Mountain, has passed away at the age of 75. West’s brother, Larry West Weinstein, confirms to Rolling Stone that the “Mississippi Queen” singer died from cardiac arrest earlier on Wednesday (Dec 23rd) in Florida after being rushed to a hospital after suffering cardiac arrest at his home near Daytona, FL, where he never regained consciousness.
“Mississippi Queen” was featured on the band’s 1970 debut Climbing! and was by far their biggest hit. The track with its iconic cowbell and guitar riff has been featured in countless TV shows, soundtracks and Guitar Hero III.
West inspired a slew of guitarists from Eddie Van Halen to Journey guitarist and founder Neal Schon, who shared on Twitter, “Wow … I’m very saddened to hear this terrible news about Leslie West. He was a major influence on my playing. God Bless you Brother.. you are Soaring with Angels.”
Peter Frampton was also influenced by West, who stated, “Leslie West was the very first US guitar player I met when Humble Pie opened for Mountain here. Leslie’s playing and sound had me glued watching everything he did. He was a sweetheart and an extremely funny man. I love you Leslie and will miss you dear friend. RIP
Joe Bonamassa, Eddie Trunk and others shared love for West following the news of his death.