In this episode of Moods & Modes, Alex pays tribute to legendary guitarist Leslie West. Leslie is known as the founding member and co-lead vocalist for the groundbreaking hard rock band Mountain. Mountain is often credited as one of the bands that helped influence the development of heavy metal music, and Leslie West’s guitar playing was a massive and oftentimes overlooked influence on guitar players who came after him. Alex discusses how Leslie’s picking attack and natural technique produced smooth, roaring tones without the use of any effects or electronic assistance. You’ll also hear Alex explain West’s profound influence on bands that came after Mountain such as AC/DC and Kiss, and how Leslie’s song “Long Red” left a significant mark on hip hop through songs like “99 Problems” by Jay-Z and “Barry Bonds” by Kanye West. Special guest Brad Tolinski joins Alex to shed light on Leslie’s unconventional amplifier setup and playing style, and you’ll even hear riveting archival interviews with Leslie West himself, including segments where he talks about jamming with Jimi Hendrix, taking LSD for the first Cream concert he saw, and his Sunn Amplifiers PA rig.


Leslie West was an American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter best known as a founding member and co-lead vocalist of the hard rock band Mountain. He also produced two studio albums and a live release with Cream bassist Jack Bruce under the name West, Bruce and Laing. West released a number of solo albums and was highly respected for his guitar work.


Moods & Modes is presented by Osiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Alex Skolnick. Osiris Production by Kirsten Cluthe and Brad Stratton. Editing and mixing by Justin Thomas (Revoice Media). Production Assistance by Matt Bavuso. Music by Alex Skolnick. Artwork by Mark Dowd. To discover more podcasts that help you connect more deeply to the music you love, check out osirispod.com. Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts.


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