New year’s day 2021 – Leslie West tribute

Until December 22, 2020, Leslie West was my favourite living guitarist with his impeccable tone and larger than life persona.

I was always surprised that he’d make it this far, whenever that was, what with the excesses of being in an early 70s hard rock band with the booze and drugs and a massive weight problem. But, he cleaned up his act in the 80s and remained a potent force doing some killer albums right through to the end. He lost a leg to diabetes and smoking, but still rocked.

There’s no way I could play all I wanted to in two hours, but WTF, I gave it a shot.

Vale Leslie West, you were a genuine original and I always had a soft spot for you.


Track list

  • Leslie West – This wheel’s on fire
  • Leslie West – Dreams of Milk and Honey
  • Leslie West – Long Red
    From the first solo album Mountain produced by Felix Pappalardi, released in 1969.
  • Mountain – Mississippi Queen
  • Mountain – Theme for an imaginary western
    From Climbing! the first Mountain LP (1970)
  • Mountain – Don’t look around
  • Mountain – Taunta (Sammy’s Tune)
  • Mountain – Nantucket Sleighride (to Owen Coffin)
    From what many consider to be their masterwork – Nantucket Sleighride (1971)
  • Mountain – Flowers of evil
  • Mountain – King’s Chorale
  • Mountain – One last cold kiss
    From Flowers of Evil (1971). It started off as a concept albums about drugs and Vietnam vets, but I suspect the band was starting to fall apart and side two is live. Pity, because side one is brilliant.
  • West, Bruce and Laing – Why dontcha
    After Mountain broke up, Leslie and Corky Laing (Mountain’s drummer) teamed up with Jack Bruce when he wanted to play rock star again. Released in 1972, this is title track of Why dontcha, the first of two studio albums. The second one isn’t as good.
  • West, Bruce and Laing – The Doctor
    From the ironically titled Live ‘n’ Kickin’ (1974) because the band hand broken up by the time it was released. 
  • Mountain – Never In My Life
    From the monster double live album Twin Peaks (1973). No Corky, no keys.
  • Mountain – Whole lotta shakin’
  • Mountain – Alisan
    From the last “proper” Mountain album with Felix – Avalanche (1974). Corky back on drums. Felix was murdered by his wife in 1983 and got away with it. HTF did that happen?
  • Leslie West – Don’t burn me
  • Leslie West – High Roller
  • Leslie West – Honky tonk women
    From the second solo album The Great Fatsby (1975). Mick Jagger plays rhythm guitar (true) and High Roller is co written with Corky, Mick and Keef, and (I think she was his wife at the time) Sandra Palmer.

Leslie West – Dyin’ Since the Day I Was Born
Leslie West – Busted, Disgusted or Dead
From the second to final solo album Still Climbing (2013). Busted, Disgusted or Dead has Johnny Winter playing on it.

The Leslie West Band – We gotta get out of this place
From The Leslie West Band (1976). Mick Jones (no – not that one, the one who went on to form Foreigner) also plays guitar. Corky on drums.

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