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Leslie West first picked up a guitar in anger as it were in the sixties when he was a member of the Vagrants. The Vagrants were just one of many bands on the club circuit on Long Island during the sixties. Two other bands were the Young Rascals and The Hassles, which featured a young Billy Joel. Many people however will remember Leslie West as a founder member of Mountain alongside Felix Papalardi and long time (although not founder) drummer Corky Laing. In fact, aside from a short period of time during the seventies when Leslie was a member of West, Bruce and Laing alongside Corky and former Cream bassist JackBruce, Mountain has taken up a large part of Leslie's time. His first solo album entitled Mountain led to the formation of the band of the same name. Leslie's second solo album The Great Fatsby emerged in the mid seventies during a break in Leslie's activities with Mountain and featured many world-renowned musicians including Mick Jagger who allegedly only participated if he could play guitar rather than sing!

There are plenty of rock tales and reminiscences about Mountain and beyond from both Leslie and Corky in the recent successful book entitled Nantucket Sleighride and Other Mountain on the Road Stories. Early 2006 will see the reissue of Leslie’s 1988 album Theme. This album features a number of tracks closely associated with Leslie including Theme for an Imaginary Western and also covers, in the shape of Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender and the Jimi Hendrix song Red House. This album also features Jack Bruce who was of course one third of West Bruce and Laing in the seventies.

Original copies of this album sell for up top $150 on ebay which means this reissue is doubly welcome for Leslie’s large and devoted fan base.


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