That time Leslie West told me that Eddie Van Halen inspired him to get back into guitar after rehab

By Steve Newton

In the Year of Our Lord, 1974, Mountain was one of my favourite bands. Back then I played the crap out of their new live album, Twin Peaks, marvelling at how totally rockin’ a cowbell could sound on “Mississippi Queen”.

And Leslie West’s guitar playing wasn’t too bad either.

Four years later another American hard-rock band would blow me away–and West too, as it turns out.

When I interviewed the Mountain man back in 2002, I asked him what the last album was that he purchased, and he said it was Van Halen III–you know, the one with Gary Cherone that a lotta people think sucked.

Then he went on to explain how, when he got out of drug rehab in the ’70s, it was the Eddie Van Halen’s wild guitar playing that made him want to get back in the rock game.

Have a listen:


To hear my full 2002 interview with Leslie West, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon.


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