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Leslie West (born Leslie Weinstein on October 22, 1945) is an American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.
Some of the Vagrants' recordings were produced by Felix Pappalardi, who was also working with Cream (he produced the seminal Disraeli Gears). In 1969, West and Pappalardi would form the pioneering hard rock act Mountain, also the title of West's solo debut album. 1969's Mountain did not feature a keyboardist, but one was later added to the band to keep them from seeming like a Cream imitation.
The band's original incarnation saw West and Pappalardi sharing vocal duties and playing guitar and bass, respectively, and Corky Laing on drums with keyboardist Steve Knight. They had success with "Mississippi Queen", which reached #21 on the Billboard charts and #4 in Canada. It was followed by the Jack Bruce-penned "Theme For an Imaginary Western". Mountain made up one of the bands considered to be a forerunner of and predecessor to heavy metal music.
After the breakup of Mountain, West and Laing would produce two studio albums and a live release with Cream bassist Jack Bruce under the name West, Bruce and Laing. Mountain reformed in 1974 only to break up a few years later, but since 1985 has continued to tour and record.
West also recorded with The Who during the 1971 Who's Next sessions on a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Baby Don't You Do It". Though the track was not originally included on the album, it appeared on the 1995 and 2003 reissues. He also contributes to the demos of what became one of the group's signature songs, "Won't Get Fooled Again" .
West also played guitar for the track "Bo Diddley Jam" on Bo Diddley's 1976 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll all-star album.
West contributed the music and co-wrote the lyrics to the song "Immortal" on Clutch's 2001 album Pure Rock Fury, which was a reworked cover of the song "Baby I'm Down" on Leslie West's first album.
In 2005 he contributed to Ozzy Osbourne's Under Cover album, performing guitar on a remake of "Mississippi Queen"
In addition to fronting Mountain, West continues to record and perform on his own. His latest solo album, entitled Blue Me, was released in 2006 on the Blues Bureau International label. In 2007 Mountain released Masters of War on Big Rack Records, an album featuring 12 Bob Dylan covers that sees Ozzy Osbourne providing guest vocals on a rendition of the title track.
West was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October
In 2005, West received a sponsorship with Carlsbro amplifiers, and could frequently be seen playing through "Carlsbro 50 Top" valve heads. His studio amplifier is a Marshall JMP. For live performances he utilized Marshall JCM 900s. He is well-regarded for his use of octaver, chorus and delay effects. West is currently (2008) sponsored by Budda Amplifiers and plays them on tour.[
West now resides in Englewood, New Jersey.