Two guitar greats we lost

Unless you’re a deep classic rock listener, or perhaps a guitar player, you may not know just how great Leslie West was. West was a founding member, guitarist and co-lead vocalist of Mountain (formed in 69′), who had their biggest success with “Mississippi Queen”. Leslie West just passed before Christmas at the age of 75, just two months after guitar legend Eddie Valen died (Oct 6). West, like many rock stars had some major issues with drug addiction…and at one point had given up guitar playing altogether. It was when Van Halen was opening for Journey, that Neal Schon told Leslie to come hear Eddie…as Neil put it, “this kid plays guitar like an organ…”. After seeing Eddie play at a show, West said he was impressed like he was when he’d seen Eric Clapton…and seeing Eddie, influenced Leslie West to pick up his guitar once again. West joined Van Halen (w/Sammy Hagar) on stage in August 1995 at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y., doing Mississippi Queen, as seen in the first video here. As recently as 2013 Leslie West joined Peter Frampton for the same tune, and shared a bit of their connection (LANGUAGE WARNING on this video). R.I.P. Leslie West and Eddie Van Halen. ~ Ron