Happy Birthday today (Oct. 22) to guitarist Leslie West of Mountain. He’s 72. Also celebrating is keyboardist Greg Hawkes of The Cars (66) and ex Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer (59).

Leslie West is best known as the founder of hard rock band Mountain. Mountain was formed on Long Island, New York in 1969 originally by Leslie West on vocals and guitar along with bassist/vocalist Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight, and drummer N.D. Smart. The band is known for their performance at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. Soon after Woodstock, N.D. Smart was replaced by Corky Laing on drums. Laing would play drums on the classic Mountain album Climbing! and the hit "Mississippi Queen". They broke up in 1972 and have reunited frequently since 1973.

Leslie West had is lower right leg amputated as a result of complications from diabetes in 2011. He continues to write music and perform. West has been a major guitar influence to many musician’s including Eddie Van Halen. Cheers to Leslie West on his birthday today! One of the all time greats.

For more on Leslie West, check out his official website here.

Greg Hawkes
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Bobby Blotzer
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