Around the same time Led Zeppelin was starting to flex their muscles, another riff-happy, blues-based rock band was starting to be heard from their base in Long Island. They were called Mountain. If you’re into any kind of metal, you owe them a big thanks, especially singer and guitarist Leslie West.
There’s not a classic rock station on the planet that still doesn’t play this song. Some good cowbell, this.
Guitarists took note of Leslie West’s heavy guitar. Call it proto-heavy metal. It’s a huge legacy.
Mountain’s first incarnation lasted from 1969 through to 1974, a period that included an appearance at Woodstock. After a quick break-up in ’75, the band got back together a year later and continued in fits and starts until about 2010.
He was also in a band called West, Bruce, and Laing, featuring Jack Bruce of Cream on bass and his Mountain drummer, Corky Laing.
Fun fact: West was also something of an actor. You can find him in the Tom Hanks film The Money Pit.
West had been ill recently. He died yesterday (December 23) of cardiac arrest at the age of 75.