"They were at Woodstock." To anyone who was a teenager in the early 1970s, those four words together were holy. Any band or artist, no matter how pedestrian, was awarded instant credibility and respect if it was lucky enough to have been included in the festival that has come to define a generation.
Mountain was there, but it was one band that had more going for it than just an appearance at the three-day mudbath or the fact that it will live forever on classic rock radio via its one hit, "Mississippi Queen." Leslie West was one of the more innovative and imitated hard-rock guitarists of his day, with roots so deep in the blues that Mountain was frequently hailed as heir apparent to the then recently disbanded Cream.
The first incarnation of Mountain lasted just three years, calling it quits in 1972. But West, along with drummer and best friend Corky Laing, has never permanently put the band to bed. A DVD to be released in April includes concert footage, interviews, and Laing's book-signing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Moreover, West will host a show on vintage heavy metal on VH1 Classic, starting next month. Looks like Mountain isn't over the hill just yet.
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