Following yesterday’s news that Leslie West has passed away at the age of 75, tributes have come pouring in for the rock guitar icon.
“He was a sweetheart and an extremely funny man – I love you Leslie and will miss you dear friend. RIP,” said Peter Frampton. West’s close friend and Dean Guitars CEO Evan Rubinson wrote “to a man I loved more than most – the funniest, most honest guy I’ve ever met.”
“Mississippi Queen is one of, if not the, greatest riffs of all time,” said Geezer Butler. “He was the funniest guy you would ever meet… and one of the greatest rock guitarists ever,” echoed Joe Bonamassa.
Tributes from Joe Satriani, Tom Morello, Dee Snider, Vernon Reid, Todd Kerns, Brian Ray, Slash, Nils Lofgren and more are below.
Leslie West was the very first US guitar player I met when Humble Pie opened for Mountain here. Leslie’s playing and sound had me glued watching everything he did. He was a sweetheart and an extremely funny man. I love you Leslie and will miss you dear friend. RIP @lwestmountainDecember 23, 2020
Holding the Mississippi Queen!One of the baddest, true hard-core rock and roll guitar warriors that ever lived! Never In My Life did I find a legend like you. 🎸 Great musicians will never die. Rest in Peace Leslie West. @lwestmountain pic.twitter.com/Fue0VkX8M3December 24, 2020
R.I.P Leslie West…Yet another sad loss…I’ve never tired of listening to Mountain…🙏🙏🙏❌❌❌ pic.twitter.com/6YjVnFLJOLDecember 23, 2020
To a man that I truly loved more than most — the funniest, most honest guy I’ve met. #RIP #LeslieWest https://t.co/UGGlZsxD0oDecember 23, 2020
Sad to hear of Leslie West’s passing. Such a lovely bloke. He was fantastic to us when Sabbath supported Mountain on our first US tour. He came to see us at Mohegan Sun, even though he was wheelchair bound. Mississippi Queen one of, if not the, greatest riff of all time. RIP pic.twitter.com/DZ3FLWeGpQDecember 23, 2020
With a heavy heart, we are saddened hear about the passing of #Dean Artist and part of the Dean family, Leslie West. Legendary and one of a kind. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/sGmk4pF011December 23, 2020
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of legendary guitarist Leslie West. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/8gkAg8z7o3December 23, 2020
Rest In Peace, friend. Grin opened for Mountain and West, Bruce and Lang through early ‘70’s. Sweet, bad ass blues man. Got to play together first Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp. I’ll always remember his smile as he looked me in the eye, inspired and shared his gifts. #LeslieWest pic.twitter.com/g3UWvZgb9KDecember 24, 2020
One of the GOAT.This year will not be looked upon with fondness outside of marriages & childbirth.Rest In Chords Of Power, Fatsby.🌹 Leslie West, Mountain Guitarist Who Belted ‘Mississippi Queen,’ Dead at 75 https://t.co/9DwHERUTXN via @RollingStoneDecember 24, 2020
RIP Leslie West. One of the greats. What a loss #riplesliewest pic.twitter.com/mSv6ar9kxHDecember 23, 2020
Leslie West and Mountain are one of the founding fathers of heavy metal. His explosive, powerful guitar playing and seering solos helped define the genre. Attending guitarists gatherings with Leslie I saw ALL guitarists bow down before him (yes even @eddievanhalen)…December 23, 2020
So very sad.Leslie’s tone could stop a rhino in a full charge. Mountain sound was massive. Leslie was a warm and lovely guy. Sad. https://t.co/uuzPBiJDghDecember 23, 2020
Wow … I’m very saddened to hear this terrible news about Leslie West. He was a major influence on my playing. God Bless you Brother.. you are Soaring with Angels 🙏🏽♥️ https://t.co/wEeLbJ6fXZDecember 23, 2020
Leslie West was a giant presence onstage and off. He introduced me to the Les Paul TV model in 1970 when I saw Mountain at the Santa Monica Civic. He was ferocious and graceful, mean and melodic all at the same time. He left a big impression on me and so many of us. #LeslieWest pic.twitter.com/OFK50WmChSDecember 24, 2020
Leslie West has moved on to go jam with EVH. As a fellow Queens N. Y. kid Leslie was our guy. From the days playing the Action House in Long Island with the Vagrants, Leslie was the best of the best. Do yourself a favor… take a trip back to 1971….. https://t.co/QRgVzfRHQo pic.twitter.com/bWERIjMqnyDecember 23, 2020
I am very saddened by the loss of one of my biggest guitar heroes Leslie West. His band Mountain was amazing, and his guitar tone was always a huge influence on me. I saw him live many times, and GFR played shows with Leslie on the same bill. Huge Rock Guitar Legend. 2020 sucks. pic.twitter.com/k48oSY4VQTDecember 24, 2020
Rest in Power #LeslieWest! I love his playing, singing and writing. A big influence on so many musicians, including myself. Leslie had THE SOUND in his hands. Was so cool to hang out with him at a NAMM dinner in ‘09, what a great friendly guy and phenomenal musician. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/WsV25hmnB9December 23, 2020
Rest in peace @lwestmountain ✌️ we became friends in the 90s and I’ll never forget you bringing your whole family to Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway and you and me staying up all night after the show in my hotel room hanging out talking about rock and roll. F 📴 2020 and f 📴 cancerDecember 23, 2020