Leslie Abel Weinstein (A.K.A Leslie West), 75, a recent transplant to Ormond Beach, passed away peacefully on December 23, 2020, at Advent Health Palm Coast, after suffering a cardiac arrest two days earlier.
Leslie, born on October 22, 1945, originally from Forest Hills, New York, attended Quintanos School for Young Professionals, as well as Forest Hills High School in NYC.
Leslie was an iconic guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and storyteller. He has left a legacy that to this day is celebrated by peers and fans across The World.
Leslie first emerged in the music scene as a member of The Vagrants. He would go on to form Mountain with Felix Pappalardi, a few years later, a band that was amongst the first to pioneer the genre that would become known as Heavy Metal. Hits that include “Mississippi Queen,” “Theme From An Imaginary Western,” and others established an indelible voice and guitar tone that remains legendary to this day.
In 1969, Leslie played at Woodstock with his band Mountain. As the decade turned, he formed the band West, Bruce and Laing with his bandmate from Mountain drummer, Corky Laing, and Cream’s Jack Bruce.
West also appeared in films that include Family Honor (1973) and The Money Pit (1986). He was a regular guest on the Howard Stern Show, and over the course of decades Leslie and Howard remained friends.
West was inducted in to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and appeared on dozens of other recordings from a vast universe of artists.
Leslie is survived by his wife Jenni West, whom he married on stage at the Woodstock 40th Anniversary performance; brother, Larry West-Weinstein, nephew Max Weinstein, stepchildren Sam, Jypsie, and Tatiana Maurer; grandchildren Damien, Zakkry, Lailoni and Maddox, as well as several stepfamily and cousins most dear to his heart.
Services for Leslie are private at this time; however, a public memorial will be planned for a later date.