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Leslie West

Date of birth : 1945-10-22
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-01-12

Leslie West (born Leslie Weinstein) is an American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.

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.

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 #21 on the Billboard charts and #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.

West, along with keyboard player Al Kooper, recorded with The Who during the March 1971 Who's Next New York sessions. Tracks included a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Baby Don't You Do It," and early versions of "Love Ain't For Keepin'" and The Who's signature track "Won't Get Fooled Again". Though the tracks were not originally included on the album (recording restarted in England a few months later without West or Kooper), they appear as bonus tracks on the 1995 and 2003 reissues of Who's Next and on the 1998 reissue of Odds & Sods.

In 2005 he contributed to Ozzy Osbourne's Under Cover album, performing guitar on a remake of "Mississippi QueenIn 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.

Discography:
1969 Mountain
1975 The Great Fatsby
1976 The Leslie West Band
1988 Theme
1989 Alligator
1989 Night of the Guitar- Live!
1993 Live
1994 Dodgin' the Dirt
1999 As Phat as it Gets
2003 Blues to Die For
2005 Guitarded
2005 Got Blooze
2006 Blue Me
2011 Unusual Suspects (UK chart peak: #153)


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