A Tribute to Leslie West

Various artists
A Tribute to Leslie West
Leslie West: Justin Borucki.

Here’s a much-deserved tribute to the Mountain guitarist who died in 2020, getting his due thanks to a procession of axe heroes.

Zakk Wylde storms “Blood of the Sun,” letting every note ring for all they’re worth, while Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Eddie Ojeda conjure a magnificent “Theme For an Imaginary Western.” Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre ignites fiery riffs on “For Yasgur’s Farm,” while Rainbow’s Joe Lynn Turner nails West’s vocal approach. Steve Morse expertly pummels the 1972 West, Bruce & Laing stomper “Why Doncha.”

That metallic guitarist on “Sittin’ On a Rainbow” is – surprisingly – the Cars’ Elliott Easton; Randy Bachman and his son, Tal, cover the obscure ’76 cut “Money (Whatcha Gonna Do).” Shredders Marty Friedman and George Lynch pay homage on two tracks, carefully restraining their prodigious chops, while Yngwie Malmsteen misses that point on “Long Red.” Far better are Charlie Starr’s lotto-winning “Silver Money,” and Slash, who brings it home with the cowbell classic “Mississippi Queen.”

Legacy hails a tone pioneer who’s gone, but never forgotten.

This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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