Mountain’s Leslie West Dies: Rockers React
Following the news of Leslie West's death, numerous rock artists — including Dee Snider, Sebastian Bach, Journey's Neal Schon and Stone Temple Pilots — paid tribute to the Mountain cofounder on social media.
West died Wednesday at age 75, though no official cause of death has yet been revealed. His brother, Larry West Weinstein, confirmed the guitarist’s death to Rolling Stone. On Monday, West reportedly suffered cardiac arrest at his home near Daytona, Fla., and was rushed to a hospital but never regained consciousness. He faced other health issues in recent years; in 2011, his lower right leg was amputated following diabetes complications.
The musician's longtime guitar company first confirmed the news, with Dean Guitars CEO Evan Rubinson offering his condolences and describing West as “a man that I truly loved more than most — the funniest, most honest guy I’ve met.”
"Leslie West of Mountain is gone," tweeted Snider. "His music remains but his amazing spirit is no more. I'm at a loss for words right now ... and that says a lot. RIP my friend." In a follow-up tweet, the former Twisted Sister frontman added, "For those who don't really know Leslie West's work, let me say this about his guitar playing. As a singer, while I respect great players, vocalists spoke to me with their melodies. [West] is the only guitarist who I connected with cause I could sing every one of his solos!"
"Wow ... I’m very saddened to hear this terrible news about Leslie West," wrote Schon. "He was a major influence on my playing. God Bless you, brother ... you are soaring with angels."
Bach reflected of West, "[We] became friends in the '90s, and I'll never forget you bringing your whole family to Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway, and you and me staying up all night after the show in my hotel room hanging out talking about rock 'n' roll."
Todd Kerns, guitarist for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, wrote, "R.I.P. Leslie West. One of the greats. What a loss."
Stone Temple Pilots tweeted, "Thank you for everything, Leslie. We will miss you."
Hard rock and metal broadcaster Eddie Trunk called West a "legend," writing, 'A massive guitar influence on so many and always a blast to speak with. I knew him well."
You can read those reactions and more below.