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In loving memory of
Leslie Abel Weinstein a.k.a. Leslie West
  • October 22, 1945
  • -
  • December 23, 2020

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Obituary

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.


Tribute Wall

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  1. Dominick Bifolco says:
    28 Apr 2021
    Thanks Leslie ... in the 70’s my big brother (rip) introduced me me to all of the best from the era. You Felix and corky were a part of my life since . You brought joy , feeling , love and happiness to me and all through the years. You were and still are a survivor Weather in life or spirit. Thanks for being you. Your phrasing of guitar will be admired forever. From one New Yorker to another. We’ll miss and love forever... Dominick BiFolco

  2. Danilo Santos lit a candle:
    19 Mar 2021
    Lit since March 19, 2021 at 3:58:29 PM

  3. Jim Woolston lit a candle:
    07 Mar 2021
    Lit since March 7, 2021 at 3:36:00 PM

  4. John Dial says:
    04 Mar 2021
    Leslie, you were the best. You have always been an inspiration to me always. I listen to your music every day. You have been the biggest influence on my guitar playing and I watch interviews and concert footage of you all the time. May you always be remembered and may you rest in the peace that you have earned.

  5. Julian from Nantucket says:
    23 Feb 2021
    Leslie, thank you for the Music, I loved Felix but Mountain wouldn’t have been Mountain without you, Julian from Nantucket.pnhe

  6. Douglas Walker says:
    22 Feb 2021
    Leslie you are an inspiration to all who enjoy music.

  7. Tony lit a candle:
    21 Feb 2021
    Lit since February 21, 2021 at 2:29:23 PM

  8. Tony lit a candle:
    21 Feb 2021
    Lit since February 21, 2021 at 2:28:22 PM

  9. Juergen lit a candle:
    15 Feb 2021
    Lit since February 15, 2021 at 2:55:07 AM

  10. Kareem Denis says:
    11 Feb 2021
    Thank you Leslie for all the great music. RIP

  11. Dave Lassiter says:
    19 Jan 2021
    Got back from Viet Nam & there it was. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN PLAYING ON THE RADIO! I was hooked forever. Saw the crew in person in Statesboro, Ga. Love you & Corky forever my friend. The lord minister & comfort you Mrs. West.

  12. Ms Jamie Stephenson says:
    18 Jan 2021
    Thank You for everything Les...
    I’m so happy you got to see the copies of the Christmas Family photos, I took back in the day.
    So many years of memories. Thankfully, I have my many photos to go with them. Rock in Peace ✌️We all miss you!!!
    xoxo J

  13. EddieM says:
    13 Jan 2021
    Leslie was many things to all of us.
    To me he was a friend with a million great stories with his unique sense of humour.Anyone that knew Leslie knows you could always pickup with him no matter how long it was the last time you saw him or spoke to him like you were continuing the conversation.His musical voice came to us though his guitar , singing and song writing. I loved him before I knew him asa person. We became friends after I did a version of Mississippi Queen he liked that charted. You will always be on my mind. Thanks for the guidance. I know you are in the Rockin’ Roll Hall of Heaven..... EddieM

  14. Michael Bates says:
    11 Jan 2021
    So many memoreis etched in our souls your kindness my friend will always be rembered as much as your contribution

  15. With love from Mc. lit a candle:
    07 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 7, 2021 at 1:46:02 PM

  16. Ronnie Kushner says:
    03 Jan 2021
    My Condolence to all Family, Friends and admirers.

    I first became acquainted with Leslie's music when I was 11years old , just after Mississippi Queen was released and his 1st solo album and the early Mountain material with Felix was like a Holy Grail for me.

    I still remember him slapping me 5 after the Capital Theater show in Passaic , NJ late 1971 and thinking , I'm going to be able to play better now because Leslie touched my hand, such was the admiration I had for him.

    I thought his style, tone and the emotional intensity of his playing made him stand out above the rest.

    I got to meet and talk with him at the Les Paul Jr.Tone Showdown , where he played and evaluated the tonal qualities of a collection of Les Paul Junior guitars , which took place at Montana Studios in Manhattan, on a Sunday in July 1995 and which had an article followup of the highlights of the event appearing in Vintage Guitar Magazine.
    Leslie was jocularly amusing and informative regarding different aspects of his guitars , other gear and playing.

    Leslie seems to have lived a very full and rewarding life in which he shared of himself with others making this world a more fulfilling and interesting place

    Everyone may have different spiritual views as far as what happens to the soul after we leave the physical body, although I believe that whatever thoughts we have should be as supportive / positive as possible , because they will travel to him wherever he is .

    The Music of his that I'm thinking of is Taunta, Kings Chorale and Because You are My Friend.

    Thank you Leslie West for all you shared with us , your music , your humor , the glint in your eyes and yourself.

    Now it's time for all of us to say Goodbye.

    All Hail to the Mountain King !

    Om Peace Shanti Shalom

  17. Ossie Parsons posted an image:
    03 Jan 2021
    Leslie West at the Imperial Theatre in Toronto,  Ontario, Canada
    Leslie West at the Imperial Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  18. Tiger Williams lit a candle:
    03 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 3, 2021 at 1:42:27 AM

  19. Tiger Williams says:
    03 Jan 2021
    Thank you for being a part of the soundtrack of my life, Leslie.
    You were - and always will be - a true Legend.

  20. Keith says:
    02 Jan 2021
    RIP Rock Mountain

  21. Jerome Preisler says:
    02 Jan 2021
    Rest In Peace, Leslie. I first heard you with the Vagrants and knew then you were one of the best. The whole world later found out. Your music will live forever.

    Condolences to the family.


    Jerome

  22. Dr. Hans ML Spiegel lit a candle:
    02 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 2, 2021 at 1:40:32 AM

  23. Rick Shane says:
    02 Jan 2021
    Rock on Leslie West, show them how to play up in Heaven. God Bless you and your family!
    Rick Shane

  24. Marcel Boller-Berger lit a candle:
    01 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 1, 2021 at 1:54:05 PM

  25. Richard Masemer says:
    31 Dec 2020
    Leslie , your music will Live on Forever. Listen to your music daily. Rest in Peace

  26. Dominic P Settemio says:
    31 Dec 2020
    Leslie West! My absolute guitar god hero of all time. Mr. West you WERE THE BEST1 Rest In PEACE

  27. juha holm lit a candle:
    31 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 31, 2020 at 12:48:37 AM

  28. Carl Castagna says:
    31 Dec 2020
    I’ve been a fan of Leslie and Mountain since 1970 when I saw him at Bishop Ford High School .He blew my mind then and will forever. Leslie was gracious enough to consult with me on a drug prevention project - he came to my office and we had a meal together.
    Leslie was that kind of guy - a true rock legend and a real sweetheart. I’m honored to say that we became friends and touched to say that we ended each conversation with “I love you” we spoke last on 12/19/20. God bless Jenni for loving you . She truly was your “Angel”
    Rest and rock in peace my brother
    Love Carl

  29. David says:
    30 Dec 2020
    Rest in peace....your music will last forever.....damn sad

  30. Sarah lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:51:02 PM

  31. AnnMarie Cataldo lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:33:46 PM

  32. Buhz lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:22:01 PM

  33. Colin laing says:
    30 Dec 2020
    R.I.P. uncle les

    Above it all

    From:

    Colin Laing

  34. John says:
    30 Dec 2020
    A true legend. Unreplaceable. RIP Leslie.

  35. Jett Collura says:
    30 Dec 2020
    Les..... we’ll miss you. I’ll never forget the first time I heard “Twin Peaks”. Such a searing tone like none other. R.I.P

  36. Phil Wright says:
    30 Dec 2020
    Thank You Leslie for the years of great music, so glad I got to tell you that while you were here, we will all miss you, I will miss your jokes. Don't Be Sad He Is Gone, Be Glad He Was Here : Dr. Suess

  37. David RubinYCF4 says:
    30 Dec 2020
    May his memory be blessed
    Condolences to the family

  38. David Rubin lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:16:03 PM

  39. Richard L. says:
    30 Dec 2020
    Oh my gosh, Leslie was a true legend. Saw Mountain at Roosevelt Stadium In Jersey City. He played my high school back in the early 70,s, (my parents wouldn't let me go) Loved when he came on the Stern show at KRock. Seemed like a good guy too. Condolences to his wife and family.

  40. Neil Fretague says:
    30 Dec 2020
    My condolences to the Family &Friends of Leslie.A Huge influence on all Guitarists& Musicians. A Mountain of a Person in many ways! Rip Leslie

  41. J. Fay says:
    30 Dec 2020
    Thank you, Leslie. Your music will never leave us. Many friends feel the same way. Softness and thunder. I was fortunate enough for two live concerts and about 5 LP's. My sadness reaches to Jennie and all your friends and family. Peace and love to you all.

  42. Sunny Paul says:
    30 Dec 2020
    I first saw LW at Woodstock then a few weeks later they played a local college.
    I was approached by Leslie afterwards ,and took him and Felix a pizza over to the Holiday Inn We had a nice visit.

  43. GLENN EVANS lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:20:29 PM

  44. Gary A. Cotugno says:
    30 Dec 2020
    God Has Blessed us to have you Leslie.
    I always loved watching you play and thankful for the times i did.
    I will never forget seeing you At The NoFo Concert in Southold and 2001 in Brooklyn.
    You will forever be a force of nature and a true Guitar God.
    Godspeed oh Great One.

  45. Bill posted an image:
    30 Dec 2020
    Leslie in Houston
    Leslie in Houston

  46. Bill says:
    30 Dec 2020
    RIP my friend. You were the most amazing influence in my musical career. Thanks for your great music.

  47. L lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:13:23 PM

  48. Carl. Castagna lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:56:46 PM

  49. Donna says:
    30 Dec 2020
    Rest in Peace Leslie. You will be greatly missed. Your talent and presence unmatched by anyone else on earth. I absolutely loved watching you play♥️

  50. Titmo lit a candle:
    30 Dec 2020
    Lit since December 30, 2020 at 12:36:47 AM

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