Music World Pays Tribute to Deceased “Mississippi Queen” Rocker Leslie West

West died on Wednesday at age 75 due to cardiac arrest

Music World Pays Tribute to Deceased "Mississippi Queen" Rocker Leslie West
Leslie West of Mountain, perform during Hippifest in Vienna, Virginia.
LightRocket via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the man from Mountain passed away at the age of 75.

Leslie West, who played guitar and sang lead vocals on Mountain’s hit song “Mississippi Queen” and other rock songs of the 1970s, died in Florida due to cardiac arrest.

Known for his chunky riffs and melodic playing, West’s guitar had a distinctive tone that was far thicker than the sound favored by many of his peers. On “Mississippi Queen,” that tone takes center stage.

“You’ve got the cowbell, the riff is pretty damn good, and it sounds incredible,” West said of his signature song in an interview with Guitar Player earlier this year. “It feels like it wants to jump out of your car radio. To me, it sounds like a big, thick milkshake. It’s rich and chocolatey. Who doesn’t love that?”

“I didn’t play fast — I only used the first and the third finger on the fingering hand,” West told the Best Classic Bands in 2011. “So I worked on my tone all the time. I wanted to have the greatest, biggest tone, and I wanted vibrato like somebody who plays violin in a hundred-piece orchestra.”

Following the news of West’s death, tributes to him poured in on social media.

West is survived by wife, Jenni Maurer, whom he married onstage after his Woodstock performance in 2009, according to The New York Times.

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