ENGLEWOOD, N.J. -- Happy Birthday to Englewood’s Leslie West!
West turns 70 Oct. 22.
Born Leslie Weinstein in New York City, West is a founding member and guitar player for the hard rock and heavy metal band Mountain.
He grew up in New York-area suburbs, including Hackensack, and began his musical career with The Vagrants. In 1969, he and Vagrants producer Felix Pappalardi formed the pioneering hard rock act Mountain. Called a "louder version of Cream" by Rolling Stone, the band appeared on the second day of the Woodstock Festival.
Along with keyboard player Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat & Tears, West recorded with The Who during the March 1971 "Who's Next" New York sessions, one of many productive collaborations throughout the years.
In addition to fronting Mountain, West continues to record and perform on his own. His latest solo album, "Blue Me," was released in 2006. In 2007, Mountain released "Masters of War," an album featuring 12 Bob Dylan covers.
West was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Johnny Ramone, a fan of West, has called him "one of the top five guitar players of his era."