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Leslie West (born Leslie Weinstein on October 22, 1945) is an American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is best known as a founding member of the hard rock band Mountain.


West was born in New York City, grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, and in East Meadow, New York, Forest Hills, New York and Lawrence, New York. After his parents divorced, he changed his surname to West. His musical career began with The Vagrants, an R&B/Blue-eyed soul-rock band influenced by the likes of The Rascals that was one of the few teenage garage rock acts to come out of the New York metropolitan area itself (as opposed to the Bohemian Greenwich Village scene of artists, poets and affiliates of the Beat Generation, which produced bands like The Fugs and The Velvet Underground). The Vagrants had two minor hits in the Eastern US: 1966's "I Can't Make a Friend" and a cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" the following year.
Some of the Vagrants' recordings were produced by Felix Pappalardi, who was also working with Cream on their album Disraeli Gears. In 1969, West and Pappalardi formed the pioneering hard rock act Mountain, which was also the title of West's debut solo album. Rolling Stone identified the band as a 'louder version of Cream'. With Steve Knight on keyboards and original drummer N. D. Smart, the band appeared on the second day of the Woodstock Festival on Saturday, August 16, 1969 starting an 11-song set at 9PM.
The band's original incarnation saw West and Pappalardi sharing vocal duties and playing guitar and bass, respectively. New drummer Corky Laing joined the band shortly after Woodstock. They had success with "Mississippi Queen", which reached No. 21 on the Billboard charts and No. 4 in Canada. It was followed by the Jack Bruce-penned "Theme For an Imaginary Western". Mountain is one of the bands considered to be forerunners of heavy metal music.
After Pappalardi left Mountain to concentrate on various production projects, West and Laing produc

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Leslie West Latest News

West Hartford Students Dance to Live Music in Connecticut Concert Ballet's Nutcracker

Father Arthur plays Herr Drosselmeyer, mother Leslie is Frau vom Stahlbaum and Mother Ginger and sister Mia will be on stage with Isabella dancing as a member of the Chinese corps. Jacquelyn Daly is another West Hartford resident in the cast, and will ...
Posted: December 8, 2017, 7:02 am

Sandi Tree lights up the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Leslie Curtis has seen a lot of Christmas trees, but nothing like this. “It looks super. Especially made out of sand.” Welcome to Christmas - West Palm Beach style. Coming in at 35 feet, 600 tons, sculpted by 20 truckloads of ...
Posted: November 30, 2017, 4:52 pm

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Dec. 3-10: 'Hamilton's' Leslie Odom, Jr. and more

Leslie Odom, Jr. The Tony winner (“Hamilton”) sings show ... portrays the Revolutionary War-era philosopher and pamphleteer in this solo show. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A., 8 p.m. $20. (323) 851-4839. Pia Toscano The “American Idol ...
Posted: December 3, 2017, 7:09 am
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