Leslie West obituary

Founder of US band Mountain whose guitar sound proved to be a great influence on heavy metal

Leslie West, who has died aged 75 following a cardiac arrest, could claim to be one of the creators of heavy metal. His band Mountain made a spectacular impact when they played their fourth gig at the original Woodstock festival in August 1969, alongside the likes of the Who, Jimi Hendrix and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

The physically huge West had a powerful presence as a singer, but it was his massive, overdriven guitar sound that became the group’s most memorable trademark. Kiss’s Paul Stanley said that: “Leslie’s tone could stop a rhino in full charge.”

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