Woodstock was just our third job, and it was quite a thrill. Mountain got on the show because our booking agent also handled Jimi Hendrix. When we flew over in the helicopter, it felt like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There was a first-aid kit, and I opened it up and took out an amyl nitrite popper. I looked out at that crowd, and I almost fell out of the helicopter. I think I had the most amplifiers of anybody there. It was paralyzing because that stage, that setting, was some kind of natural amphitheater. The sound was so loud and shocking that I got scared. But once I started playing, I just kept going because I was afraid to stop. There were bagels backstage, and they were going real quick.
Smart , the band broke up in and has reunited frequently since He envisioned a project that would take on a rawer and much harder style which he had begun to favor, with his newly-developed guitar style inspired by hearing Cream's Eric Clapton. Pappalardi rejected the demos by the West-Landsberg-Janick trio, but took a suggestion that he play bass on West's solo album, Mountain. The album also featured Landsberg and former Remains drummer N. The album spotlighted West's raw vocals and melodic, bluesy guitar style, and Pappalardi's bass lines were prominent throughout. According to West, when Pappalardi asked what would be next, West suggested the pair go on the road. The group was heavily influenced by Cream. Keyboardist Steve Knight from Devil's Anvil , another of Pappalardi's productions was added after Landsberg left to form another group, Hammer, with Janick. Naming themselves "Mountain", after West's solo album, West, Pappalardi, Smart and Knight played shows on the West Coast before getting to play their third concert as a working band at the Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. Their performances of "Blood of the Sun" from West's album and "Theme for an Imaginary Western" a song they planned to record for Climbing and written by former Cream bassist Jack Bruce did appear on the second volume of Woodstock performances called "Woodstock II" however, both of these "live" songs were not recorded at Woodstock.
Mountain was a big band named for their big guitarist, Leslie West. Sometimes considered precursors to heavy metal, the band was hard and bluesy. People seem to either love it or hate it. I love it. Felix Pappalardi, the other big creative force in Mountain, was killed by his wife in Dirty Shoes Blues? Next week: The Grateful Dead. With exception to two Hendrix tracks and one Sha Na Na cut, the massive box set contains complete sets from every Woodstock artist—even those long believed lost or never recorded. Categories: Music , record collecting. Tagged as: Leslie West , Mountain.
Mountain performing at Woodstock. Left to right: Felix Pappalardi, Norman "N. In early , West left The Vagrants to form his own band. Smart on drums. When the album was released, West and Pappalardi decided to take their show on the road, replacing Landsberg with Steve Knight.
Leslie West's debut album, Mountain , was released in July , a month before Woodstock. Having blown away the mostly-unprepared Woodstock audience, Mountain were now primed for stardom. Replacing drummer N. Mountain gained a large following among fellow musicians and fans and is often credited with being one of the early influencers of heavy metal. Mountain broke up in , reunited briefly in , and disbanded again in He then retired from music for a time to deal with a life-threatening drug addiction, but again reformed Mountain in with Laing and bassist Mark Clarke.
That incarnation of the band dissolved in , but Leslie West has remained active in music, including further stints with Mountain from through and from through He died in when his wife and songwriting partner Gail Collins accidentally shot him during an argument. After Mountain broke up in , Steve Knight returned to jazz, enjoying a long career as a sound engineer, author, songwriter, and session player.
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