Mountain Rocker Leslie West Dies at 75 After Fighting for His Life Following Cardiac Arrest

The ‘Mississippi Queen’ hitmaker has passed away at the age of 75 in Florida as fellow rockers were praying for him while he was hospitalized following a cardiac arrest.

AceShowbizMountain co-founder Leslie West has died, aged 75.

The “Mississippi Queen” rocker died on Wednesday morning (23Dec20) after fans and famous friends offered up their support on social media following a Facebook post from West’s brother, Larry West Weinstein, who confirmed the musician was on his deathbed.

Larry has now confirmed West’s passing to Rolling Stone, revealing his brother suffered a cardiac arrest at his home near Daytona, Florida on Monday and was rushed to a hospital, where he never regained consciousness.

West became one of the architects of the heavy rock movement thanks to his guitar work on “Mississippi Queen”, which was released in 1970 on Mountain’s debut album, “Climbing!“.

The track has featured on film soundtracks and TV shows, and was sampled by Jay-Z for his “99 Problems” hit.

Fans included Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen.

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Born Leslie Weinstein in 1945, West grew up in New York and was a founding member of garage band the Vagrants.

He formed Mountain with Cream producer and bass player Felix Pappalardi and the band won rave reviews by performing at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Mountain split in 1972 and West went on to form a new band with drummer Corky Laing and Cream bassist Jack Bruce. Mountain regrouped in 1974, and Leslie also released a solo album, “The Great Fatsby“.

Away from the music, West battled a heroin addiction and in the mid-1980s he was diagnosed with diabetes, losing his lower right leg due to complications.

He continued working and became a regular on shock jock Howard Stern‘s radio show, recorded solo records, and even found success as an actor in films like “The Money Pit“. He also continued recording with Mountain.

West moved to Florida last month (Nov20) and is survived by his wife, Jenni Maurer, who he married onstage at a Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in 2009.

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